I’m smitten by contemporary bistrot Semilla, where 27 year-old chef Matthieu Roche coaxes high quality, inventive cuisine from a team of even younger chefs in an animated, open kitchen.
The generous midday 2 course 24€ formule starts with an appetizer consisting of three dishes. This is often a soup, something crunchy, and a third surprise. My plate, pictured above, was courgette (zucchini) three ways: a soup spiced with mint, a crumble with parmesan, and a salad with chick peas and dill. I have never tasted chick peas so plump, creamy and crisp.
The formule offers a fish, veggie and meat option. I chose the sea bass, crisp and moist, topped with pickled onions, accompanied by chestnut-scented vitelotte (blue) potatoes and brown butter. Roche favors lesser known wines; the house white wine from Domaine de Cressance, near the Pont de Gard, was perfect.
I had planned to stop at two courses, but was so happy that I acquiesced to a hazelnut financier with rhubarb, accompanied by a sorbet rhubarbe poivrée. A shaving of raw rhubarb that garnished the plate took me back to my childhood.
I had come to the restaurant on a friend’s recommendation, and I couldn’t have been happier with the food. Service was well paced and friendly; with its marble topped tables and semi-industrial vibe, ambiance was stellar. From start to finish, Semilla exceeded my expectations, and proved to be an excellent value.
No website, reservations recommended. 54 Rue de Seine, 6th, 01 43 54 34 50