Septime is arguably one of the best tables in Paris right now as far as we're concerned - and we're certainly not the only ones to think that: the three-year-old restaurant also features on the World's Best Restaurant list (this year at number 52), won cult restaurant guide Le Fooding's "Fooding d'Honneur" in 2012, and has now received accolade of all accolades - its first (of many?) Michelin star. Chef Bertrand Grébaut concocts fresh flavour combinations with seasonal ingredients - for example, tender bonito with tart rhubarb and aniseed notes of fennel - beautifully and simply presented (there's nary a fancy coulis-squiggle in sight), with the colours and textures of superlative raw ingredients taking centre stage. Knowledgable, non-pretientious sommeliers are on hand to explain the extensive wine list, which includes interesting offerings such as orange wine (referring to its tannic robe) as well as excellent reds and whites, by the glass or bottle. The atmosphere is - in keeping with the food - devoid of all pomp and circumstance, with a pared-back, light-filled decor featuring wood, glass and grey metals a-plenty and not a single starched white table cloth to be seen. Lunch comes in at an unbelievably reasonable €30 for three courses (with two choices for each course), or €55 for a five-course no-choice menu at lunch and €60 at dinner. So what's the catch? With all these selling points, it's not easy to get a table. Log on to their website three weeks in advance for your best chances at scoring a reservation and persevere. Also keep in mind that Grébin's new restaurant next door, the seafood sharing plate Clamato, is for walk-ins only and the the equally charming Septime La Cave is just around the corner for wine, cheese and aperitif fodder - so if you have no luck getting a table at the mothership, you can at least get a glimpse of the greatness that is Septime.
80 rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
Tel: +33 1 43 67 38 29
all photos copyright Kim Laidlaw / Unlock Paris