In 2011 French Chef Bertrand Grébault opened Septime, after working in l’Agapé where he was awarded his first Michelin star at the age of just 26 in 2008.
On our first day in Paris, freshly arrived from Charles de Gaulle airport and checked-in at our hotel near Bastille, Mr. FFID and I decided to head to Septime on rue de Charonne. We didn't have a hope of getting a table for lunch without a reservation (well, we were hoping a bit as we’re positive people).
The façade of Septime is painted in blue but isn’t particularly eye-catching so it’d be easy to miss out if you were just passing by.
We were greeted by a good-looking staff member the second we stepped into the restaurant and we got a table! It made my day and I didn’t even know at that time that I was in for such a treat.
The interior is simple, it’s a mix of industrial chic, with Nordic influence: bare walls, exposed electrics, wood and large windows.
The dining room isn’t very big, but it's bright and there is an open kitchen where you can look at the staff in the kitchen working their magic under the command of Bertrand. Watching them work, we noticed that everyone looked very young in this kitchen.
We went for the 3-course lunch menu priced at €28 per person, which wasn’t bad considering Septime was awarded a Michelin star just a few months before our visit.
We both went for the same starter: a beef tartar that was delightfully presented. The tartar was made with Bazadais beef that came with a flavoursome red wine jelly, pieces of blood orange and radishes, topped with salad leaves. It was so light and delicate but wonderfully tasty, it really aroused our appetites.
I never order fish but the hake was so tempting and it didn’t disappoint. It was a beautiful piece of fish, so fresh and fleshy, cooked to perfection and well complemented with spinach, cauliflower and delicious eggs mimosa scattered on top.
Mr. FFID's main dish was by far the best duck dish we’ve ever tasted. The duck breast was absolutely divine, the skin was crispy and the meat was very tender, pink and juicy.
The meat was plated with chicory and exquisite Paris mushroom as well as sensational shiitake mushrooms. The whole dish was just superb, packed full of flavour s well as being an interesting mix of textures.
To finish off this superb meal we shared the cheese course, two pieces of cheese that unfortunately, I didn’t write the name down of.
I still remember the dessert though: caramelized oranges, pepper ice cream, lemon curd and ‘sablé Breton’(biscuit). Again, lots of different textures, all the components were perfectly executed, you just didn’t want this dish to end.
Throughout the meal the staff were constantly filling up our basket of the most beautiful warm and fresh rustic bread.
We absolutely loved our experience at Septime, the cuisine was inventive, made with seasonal, top quality ingredients and elegantly presented. The staff were attentive, friendly and they all seemed to speak very good English. This was fine dining food at affordable prices, without the arrogance.
Mr. FFID and I left with the exact same thought: ‘Definitely our best meal of the year so far!’.
Septime is an address not to be missed while in Paris but it’s also extremely popular so I’d recommend you book in advance. If you can’t make it to Paris, Forest Avenue would be the closest Dublin has to offer in terms of food and also decor.
80 rue de Charonne