|Unmarked restaurant, hopefully they'll get a sign soon|
Address: 54 rue de Seine, 75006
Nearest transport: Mabillon (10)
Est ouvert tous les jours: du lundi au samedi: 12:30-14:30 déjeuner, 14:30-19h diner et brunch. Dimanche: brunch de 12h30 à 16h puis supper à partir de 19h "pièce du boucher"justqu'`a 22h
Telephone: 01 43 54 34 50
Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
3.5 - Star..................................................€ (Prix-fixe menu)...............................................2 - Bell
Typically every month we meet up with a good friend to explore or retry a new restaurants. So, on May 1, we decided to try Semilla. Semilla has only been open for a month, and is the new restaurant venture of Miami born Juan Sanchez and New Zealander Drew Harre. I've been to their restaurant Fish La Boissonnerie and liked it immensely and was extremely excited to try this new restaurant close to their restaurant Fish La Boissonnerie.
|Interior of restaurant|
The restaurant is not marked. We took a guess and figured that the unmarked restaurant had to be Semilla; fortunately, we were right. It's a quite spacious restaurant. It almost felt like you were in a loft because of all the exposed piping and air-conditioning vent. I liked it, it had a lot of character.
|Water dispensing machine|
We were hoping to be able to eat earlier, so we met at noon. We were the first one in the restaurant. We asked if we could have a menu. The maitre'd said, "absolutely not, we would have to wait until 12:30" exactly, no less, no more. All part of the rigid french experience (but in fairness, the menus are printed each day and were only brought to the restaurant at 12:30). So, while we waited they asked if we wanted water, flat or with gas. They had their own dispenser that makes sparkling water free of charge, so we opted for that, very green.
|Chef's in the open kitchen|
The Kitchen is quite open and exposed. I love that you can see them preparing the food and checking to see that they're not using pre-packaged food "a la Metro" (a sort of Costco of prepared foods for restaurants). Fortunately, we did not see any.
As we waited, we saw at least 10-young chefs preparing their lunch. In France, the Chefs prepare and eat their lunch before opening the restaurant to the public. I was amazed how fast they ate, maybe 15-minutes tops.
Finally 12:30 pm arrived. We got our menu which was freshly printed on a sheet of paper. What struck me first and foremost was the price, 19 euros for the formule lunch which consisted of an entrée (the 1 and only 1 entrée contained 3 items, so no choice, an interesting concept), and a plat. Desserts were extra at 8 euros, so for all 3-courses 27 euros, with cheese there is a supplementary cost of 2 euros extra. Not bad.
Within 15-minutes the restaurant quickly started packing in. It was a holiday (May 1), but people were coming. And, what I found even more interesting, was the number of couples who brought babies in their strollers.
Next we had the Involtini aubergines, chèvres frais, basilic. The only "lacto-vegetarian" dish on the menu. It was good. The eggplant had a nice taste and the chèvre wasn't overwhelming. I liked it, but my friend thought it was just average, saved only by the wilted basil it was resting on.
sous vide. It was extremely moist, but absolutely tasteless. As for the confit'd leg, I was expecting that it would at least have a little more flavor, but it too was bland. I mixed some of the greens (Italian flat parsley and dill) and put a piece on each bite, it made a world of difference. It gave it some depth. We all agreed, although this dish was cooked well, it lacked flavor.
The other dessert was the Soupe d'agrumes, glace Pamplemouse which was like a simple fresh fruit cocktail with only citrus (mostly grapefruit) which my citrus loving friend enjoyed.
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.
For the 3 of we paid 123€ with 2-glasses of sancere and a bottle of
Gueule de Loup.