Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A New Kind of French

There is a new food movement going on in Paris. Foreigners are taking over and this American couple are killing it. Originally from Portland, if I remember correctly, they have worked in food for years and settled in Paris. They have been doing a private supper club and finally have opened their own restaurant, Verjus.

Since we didn't make a reservation, we ended up showing up at the bar. The entrance is in a small alley behind Rue Richelieu, the main restaurant entrance. The kitchen was about to close but they were so kind and gave us a very thorough sampling of the menu at the bar. Laura, one of the two patrons, was so sweet. She navigated us through the menu and gave us great suggestions. We loved every single thing. I was shocked how delicious it was. The dishes are all small plates but surprisingly filling and most satisfying.

We started with this insane little gyoza-like dish (which they called ravioli) filled with a celery filling. There were these little balls of veals that were so juicy and delicious.  The pork belly was also insane. Pork belly is often great in itself but they definitely took this one to the next level. It just melted in our mouths. The grilled broccoli was also really special, with little chunks of mochi on top, the combination of crispy and chewy was amazing. They are really playing with unusual combinations of flavours and textures. I would have to say that this was probably the best meal I had in Paris. I really look forward to going back to experience the full tasting menu.

52 rue de Richelieu (wine bar – 47 rue Montpensier)
75001 Paris

The Good Seed

This was meant to be "the dinner" with famed French food critic Francois Simon. Unfortunately it did not happen but we were still able to get a lovely table at Semilla. Three fabulous New York girls enjoyed a very fabulous meal. We loved it.

It was definitely one of my favourite meals this trip in Paris. The space is modern yet cozy and the kitchen is nice and open. There are two bar stool seats that over look the kitchen. I think that would be my ideal date, where you get to watch them make all the food they are making you.

The food was great. The menu is all small plates, à la Spanish tapas style (which apparently the french don't get) so the server was delighted that we were open to sharing. As it's meant to be done with tapas.

We tried a good portion of the entire menu. Everything was solid. My favourites were the fried langoustine skewers with a curry dipping sauce and the ceviche. Almost everything we ordered was seafood so it was fresh and light. The flavours were delicious, all in all I was really impressed. The desserts were really special too, simple yet bursting with flavour. Semilla get a big thumbs up from me.

54 rue de Seine
Paris 75006