Friday, November 18, 2005

Le Sept Quinze

The Parisian Bistro brought Bang up to Date.
Le Sept Quinze, 29, Avenue de Lowendal, Arrondissement 15, Paris

"La Chef" - the female chef - at Le Sept Quinze presents a quirky modern twist on classic French cooking, using the freshest ingredients in a lively, genial Bistro setting. Read on...

photograph picture the cote de veau special at Le Sept Quinze, Bistro Restaurant, Paris

photograph picture of the Daily Specials Blackboard at Le Sept Quinze restaurant in Paris
Even before I had bemoaned the averageness of some of our European meals on this trip, a Parisian friend had arranged to meet us for lunch near her place of work, where the 15th and 7th Arrondissements meet. "There's a place I want you to try", she said, " I think you will like it". She was adamant we should reconnaitre at the very un-French lunch hour time of 12.30. We begrudgingly obeyed, and were first to arrive as the rather ordinary-looking little place opened its doors. No sooner had we sat down at the bar with an golden, antique-coloured apperitif of Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, that the whole room quickly started to fill. Our friend bought several work colleagues along with her who apparently all find the opportunity of a lunch at Le Sept Quinze difficult to pass up.

Daily Specials: Click to enlarge/Clicquez pour elargir

photograph picture of two knives fighting over a rabbit pate at Le Sept Quinze, Bistro Restaurant, Paris

Terrine de Lapin aux fruits sec et noisettes. A battle was waged over the the two plates of Rabbit Pâte that someone in the know immediately demanded to keep us orally occupied whist we perused the Specials Board and the Menu. The succulent, rich meat, rilette-like in texture, was dotted with crunchy hazelnuts and juicy apricots and prunes. Good Start.

photograph picture of Cochon de Lait caramélisé at Le Sept Quinze, Bistro Restaurant, Paris

Cochon de Lait caramélisé, compote de coings au piment d'espelette. Caramelized piglet, with compote of quince and piment d'Espelette. Everyone wanted this dish, but there was only one portion left. Perhaps, because I am English, they felt sorry for me, and all insisted I should be the lucky one. The sticky, fatty, sweet pieces of pork, offset by the sharp quince and the spicy pepper was superb. But, naturellement, I had to share and much swapping of entrees (as the first course is called in France) ensued. The glistening slivers of house-cured gravadlax were as delectable as any I have ever tasted. A salad of fresh artichoke, grapefruit and toasted almonds was bright and zinging with flavour.

photograph picture of St Jacques scallops at Le Sept Quinze, Bistro Restaurant, Paris
St. Jacques étuvées aux herbes, croûton au sechuan. Scallops steamed with herbs and Szechuan croutons. Heavenly little egg white-like, fluffy little perfect pillows of scallop which had been so gently prepared, they just melted in my mouth. As an added bonus, they even included the delicious corals. Amongst the herbs, tarragon most dominated the flavour. The unusual sage-looking green leaves accompanying were actually some sort of incredible-textured "acquatic plant", that almost dissolved on hitting the tongue. We could garner no further information on this vegetable from the staff. Does anyone know anything more about what it might be? (Click picture for enlarged view). I could not discern any Szechuan in the too-oily, over-cooked croutons that didn't add anything to the otherwise delightful dish.

photograph picture of Croustade de fillet de boeuf, tapenade at Le Sept Quinze, Bistro Restaurant, Paris
Croustade de fillet de boeuf, tapenade Crusted fillet of beef with tapenade. Fred's main choice made a welcome change from the more usual hefty, fatty French Bistro steak choices. A tender piece of meat was wrapped in a crusty pastry coating. Fred was very much taken with this dish, especially the mashed potato side that was provided alongside all the main dishes.

photograph picture Petite pot de Chocolat, nougatine au sésame Parisphotograph picture Poire Confit au beurre salé, sablé aux amandes, sorbet cardamome Paris
Petite pot de Chocolat, nougatine au sésame & Poire Confit au beurre salé, sablé aux amandes, sorbet cardamome. I found the desserts to be the weakest element of this otherwise very satisfying lunch. The chocolate mousse had an overwhelming sense of alcohol which was stronger than the amaretto which provided the spirit. The caramelized sesames saved the day. The dessert du jour was equally hijacked, this time by the intensity of the cardamom in the icecream. No worries, by this point we had imbibed several bottles of red wine, and I was just grateful it wasn't me who had to go back to work for the afternoon...

PS. Merci a Valerie pour le recommendation. This review was a first impression

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Le Sept Quinze


  • At 18/11/05 11:53, Blogger Monkey Gland said…

    I'm convinced, I'll be in Paris in a couple of week and I'm hitting this place with knife and fork in hand.

  • At 18/11/05 13:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooh, Sam, I'm going to have to check it out - sounds wonderful! I completely agree with you about how mediocre a lot of Paris restaurants can be. You see the same half dozen dishes everywhere...

    I know it sounds pretentious to complain but honestly if you live here for a few years, you are so happy to hear about someplace original like this!

  • At 18/11/05 13:30, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oops that last comment was me - meant to select "other", not "anon"!

  • At 18/11/05 17:08, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Sounds like you ette well!

  • At 18/11/05 18:08, Blogger Molly said…

    Sam, I walked by this place several times when I was living with a French host family in the 15th a few years ago, and now I'm kicking myself for not going in! Of course, I was mainly vegetarian at the time, and a lot of its deliciousness would have been lost on me, so it's just as well...but ahh, what might have been! That terrine de lapin looks outrageously good, as do your scallops. It's officially on my must-do list for next time. Thank you!

  • At 19/11/05 15:25, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    Seems to me the "weird" salad you mention is "ficoïde glaciale" (this kind of salad has an oyster taste or aftertaste, was it the case? I don't like it too much myself because of this peculiar taste).
    Apparently, the English translation for ficoïde glaciale is "crystalline" or "ice plant".

    a definition:
    "Plante semi-désertique sécrétant une substance à la surface de ses feuilles qui ressemble à du givre, d'où son nom".

    Ce resto à paris a l'air super, les photos donnent plus qu'envie. Dommage que j'habite Barcelone :))

  • At 20/11/05 11:11, Blogger Sam said…

    Monkey Gland - can't wait to hear you report back. I hope it is as good for you.

    Meg - I hope you like it. It was quite refreshing to me after all those samey places. It doesn't sound at all pretentious to me to feel that way. It's a fact!

    CookieC Funny lady.

    Molly - I hope you aren't kicking yourself too hard now. But being a veggie in France is a toughie (I tried it, but at the time I had no money either, so being a veggie probably helped my diet of largely bread and butter)

    Stéphanie - thank you so much for the information. I am going to check it out though I dont recall an oyster after taste. I really liked it but did notice some diners on other tables were leaving it all on their plates.

  • At 22/11/05 12:05, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    tu t'es éclatée I hope...
    gourmande !
    Que de bonnes choses !
    Good things !
    See you soon


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