Semilla is a very useful restaurant: it’s open every day, and it’s large enough that you can usually book a table on the same day. The menu is large enough to make most people happy, including vegetarians. The wine list, including a lengthy selection available by the glass, is well-priced and always full of wines I want to drink. The generous air-conditioning has saved more than one sweaty summer night. The staff, led by jovial owners Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré are kind and professional.
However, to focus only on these practical matters is to ignore the delightful fact that food here is really, really good. One winter evening, I tasted four different dishes based on a biche (deer) brought in by hunters. Last week during the heat wave I swooned for bright green beans with nectarines, and many other dishes tailored made for summer ingredients and sweltering temperatures. Rarely does a restaurant respond so well to both the season and the needs of their customers. For that reason, I find coming back year after year. One of our favorite restaurants in Saint-Germain.
- Modern & creative, open Saturday, open Sunday, vegetarian friendly, excellent wine, in Saint-Germain
54 rue de Seine, 75006
Open Wednesday-Friday for dinner only
Open Saturday-Sunday for both lunch & dinner
Closed Monday & Tuesday
Reservations online or at +33 1 43 54 34 50
OUR PHOTOS OF SEMILLA
IN OTHER WORDS
Lost in Cheeseland (2015) “You’d think that having Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious craftsman title) Eric Trochon at the helm of a restaurant would imply steep prices but at Semilla, you’re in for one of the best meals and best deals. The international influence is strong here, where Ferrandi-trained chefs serve up modern interpretations of classic French dishes in a stunning open kitchen.”
Alice Waters for Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “Over the last five years, I’ve been impressed by many wonderful little places in Paris where the chefs (and they aren’t necessarily French) are carefully sourcing ingredients and bringing back the kind of food and the way of life that first inspired me to open Chez Panisse. I ate three memorable lunches in a row here—lovely salads and little soups and one of the most perfect seafood risottos I’ve ever had.”
Patricia Wells for Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “Owners Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré and chef Eric Trochon have had a hit on their hands since the day Semilla opened in 2012. It’s usually booked solid—I like to go early to watch the room fill up.”
Le Fooding (2015) says that “despite the anonymous look of this place, Semilla and its Meilleur Ouvrier de France (2007) chef Eric Trochon have a dedicated fan club – an international Rive Gauche and gourmet crowd, who love relaxed and sexy gastronomy. Served in the sonorous dining room on the evening of our visit: delicious ricotta-lemon-oregano ravioli, a chilled melon soup with mozza di buffala, and crispy pig’s head for the tapas-style appetizers… To drink, there’s an excellent choice of natural wines.”
Table à Découvert (2013) “Plus sérieusement, en terminant ma dernière bouchée, j’étais déjà en train de me demander quand est-ce que j’allais revenir et si je n’en ferais pas ma cantine (ça, c’est signe chez moi de grand contentement).”
Simon Says (2012) “On se surprend à découvrir des assiettes bien calées à l’instar du Tartare de Pierre (Gagnaire) associant boeuf, tête de veau et hareng; le dos de lieu jaune avec sa crème de céleri et le jus de rôti pivote bien et laisse l’appétit grand ouvert.”
John Talbott (2012) says “the menu changes DAILY – oh boy – and is quite interesting…The entree was a trio – a veloute of mushrooms (very very good), a chestnut “muffin” that had too much salt for me and a rillette-like/tuna-fish-salad-looking queue de veal that was also superb…”
Alexander Lobrano (2012) reports that “this food was so fresh, sincere, tender and young… this is a terrific restaurant, and a stand-out in a city where there’s a brilliant and ever burgeoning offer of cosmopolitan bistro cooking with good old-fashioned French bones.”
Figaroscope (2012) “Les nourritures y sont plaisantes, ingénues, ne prennent pas le chou et swinguent dans l’air du temps: à la fois bio, paisibles, marchant droit et sans complexe…Belle carte des vins inspirée par des dingos du genre, autant dire que les flacons swinguent. Yeux roses garantis…”
We thought that restaurant would be great. So disappointed, food was presented nicely but was tasteless and undercooked. Staff were all over you and rushed you through the meal . Very defensive when we tried to discuss meal. Would never go again, hoping that we don’t get sick from the raw food. So many wonderful choices in Paris, not this place.
Me and my partner just ate their last night. The ceviche is really fresh and so is the tomato salad. My fish dish was underseasoned and nothing to rave about. My partner’s pork dish was horrible, chewy,that i have to throw it up. Semilla is supposed to be my first “proper” french dinner but it was the worst 83 € me and my partner spent. It’s a sad french dinner and I would never recommend this place.
We were intrigued by great reviews, and decided to test the waters here on a Tuesday. Totally terrific…the general ambiance felt remarkably like newer places in our home territory in SF, but with a very french accent! We loved the open room, open kitchen, general energy level, without being overwhelmed.
We thought sequencing was weird. Started with butterfish in a creme, following by a cheese course, which we expected last. Our next two dishes came together, including a signature foie gras and an amazingly perfect pollack. The pollack was complemented with rhubarb, which morphed to a citrus flavor against the fish. We finished with a mousse in a caramel sauce. Wow…all perfect!
As this makes your list of top 50 restaurants in Paris under the heading “especially good at lunch” and “absolute favorite”, I took time to cross town and have lunch there today…..and I was disappointed to be unimpressed. It was solidly good, but by no means great, and at 24 euros for just the starter and main dish (with dessert another 10 euros extra), it is FAR from being good value when compared to other high quality modern French restos in Paris at lunch. I would only ever return if I were already in the neighborhood and out of other ideas.
You have other places on your top 50 list (as well as a few that aren’t) whose food is much more impressive both taste wise and aesthetically…and they also offer starter, main course AND dessert or cheese for approximately 25 euros or less… with a much better and larger selection of wines by the glass.
Also, because we liked Semilla so much. We will be back to try their other restaurants… Fish Boissonerie (across the street) and Cosi (take away sandwich concept next door). I’m sure it’ll be tasty!
Thank you for introducing this place. We were here in April this year and focused on a lot of the more popular places among locals/tourists (Le Chateuabriand, Le Comptoir, L’Atelier de Joel R. and La Regalade St. Honore). But this time around, we didn’t want to repeat those again. Semilla was fabulous. Between my wife and I, we were able to try five dishes due to the fact that you can order a half portion (demi). Highlights were the pan-seared veal breast with caramelized onions and veal reduction and sea bass “carpaccio” with pureed spinach and butter. For dessert, we ended with the “dulce de leche” rice pudding – we vacuumed that up in less than a minute. They do in fact change out a few dishes each day, but not entire menus, due to seasonal ingredients. For lunch, it is a set course menu, 3 dishes for 23 euros. Will easily come back here! -Dylan, Los Angeles
We are in Paris for 3 weeks and made a reservation at Semilla after dining at Fish. The first impression is that they DINA great job with the furnishings and the staff is friendly and helpful. The wine selection was fine and the first courses came out of the kitchen in a haphazard manner. We should have expected that it would then take about an hour and a half to get the mains. We all ordered the St. Pierre which was okay. The onions were supposed to be carmelized, but that didn’t happen. The waitress ever returned to the table to see how everything was.
The owner was behind the bar dealing with the overflowing groups waiting to be seated. Our reservations were at 8 and we were told to be prompt. If only they would have been organized and professional about the dinner. It’s was the end of our first week and the only disappointing dinner so far. After dining at Verjus, Spring, La Regalade and L’Ami Jean we expected this meal would at least be consistent.
We had an opportunity to speak to one of the owners Drew Harre. He told us parts of the menu changes daily, and the whole menu changes weekly. Admittedly, they’re still tweaking the menu and he considers the restaurant a “work in progress.” We had some friends that had gone the week prior and had the blanket de veau and said it was excellent. But unfortunately, they did not have it on the menu.
In summary, It’s amazing that the restaurant has only been open for a month. They had some very strong dishes as well as some dishes that could use a little work. While it’s true they still have some tweaking, as Drew states, it’s a work in progress, I’m confident they’ll come up with a winning formula “à tout de suite”. I would definitely go back. Definitely a rising star!