As Septime is one of the few restos that does internet reservations, I went ahead and booked it for lunch. And so glad I did.
We had a wonderful lunch at Septime. Great corner table, nice room with good acoustics and a really fine waitstaff. We choose the three course lunch as the five course was not possible dining with a vegetarian.
We had the egg in mushroom broth and blood sausage in celery for starters. The blood sausage was excellent and the celery puree served with it was a revelation. Who knew celery could taste that good? the egg and broth was very good, with an excellent mushroom broth. I had the hake with shallot sauce that was light, sweet and tender. The assortment of vegetables served with it were especially well done - and I really liked the cabbage with a slight char to it. My dining partner had the breast of duck with corn. The duck was done perfectly and the corn was good, but coming from corn country, it was not great. I don't believe it detracted in anyway, nonetheless. Our vegetarian was served a plate of perfectly cooked vegetables with the same shallot sauce, that she declared were the best veggies she had ever eaten. High praise from a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables (don't ask).
Dessert, a chocolate mousse with sour apple puree was probably the low point. It was good - but nothing outstanding. If I had not taken a picture and made notes, I would not have remembered it.
The room was filled with a nice mix of what appeared to be locals and tourists. With cameras. Taking pictures of their food.
A high point in our week for sure.
There has been much discussion here about the difficulty getting into Septime (as there has about Spring, Frenchie, etc.)
So, I have a solution (all of you who want to keep these places secret, please cover your eyes and ears).
Bertrand Grébaut opened a third place on Charonne, dedicated to seafood a few weeks ago and because I'm a lunch-only guy I put it on my famous "dinner-only-wait-til-they-come-to-their-senses" list. But yesterday a dear dining friend said they are open for lunch weekends - with no f****ng BRUNCH.
No reservations, lots of stools at the counter/bar, while I was there for a Sunday lunch they only turned one couple away.
And the food is simple (not as in simpleton but as in identifiable seafood with clear, clean, fresh tastes), from good products, without frou-frou frills, in moderately small plates.
In short, food-frenzied-folk, you could do worse. (Plus my bill was 76 E.)
re: John Talbott
As far as getting into Septime and Spring and Frenchie is concerned, I have another take: Don't sweat it. On a recent trip to Paris we ate at Hugo Desnoyer, reserved well in advance, and at Clandestino, which was perilously empty on the evening we were there. Both meals were excellent, both restaurants provided distinctive experiences. The cooking at Clandestino was some of the most refined, and simple, that I have ever tasted. The spicing of the dishes was sublime.
"Hugo Desnoyer, ....Clandestino"
Right now Hugo D. is #1 on my 2013 list and Clandestino not far behind in 2012, actually after Masa, L'Escargot, Flora, Pirouette, Vivant, and Pierre Sang etc etc, So are these places now chopped liver?
As many of us here (Parnassien being the champ), keep saying, you don't need to just go to the "Top 10", there are many other wonderful opportunities, even in - gasp - Boulogne-Billancourt or Levallois-Perret.
re: John Talbott
Yeah, this is good news, for all the reasons you stated. I hate brunch, I just don't get it. It is often difficult to find a normal lunch on the weekends, if places are even open then. BTW, I never found it difficult to reserve with Septime, maybe I was lucky, but I just kept watching for open days on their website. They are fussy about reconfirming, however. I think our next stay will be in the 11th - lots of good eating in this hood.
"I hate brunch"
Of course. People who truly appreciate food hate brunch. Brunch is "do" food, as in "this'll do".
And when you "do" brunch, all you can hope for is a good bloody mary to enhance good company. Food is not the issue. In some good burnch places (like "military intelligence"), one should eat before going.