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Apr 1, 2014 08:00 AM

Septime v. Saturne

We are finalizing our itinerary for Paris later this month. We have dinner reservations for Frenchie and Le Cinq on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

I planned to reserve CLAJ for Thursday, but, unfortunately, they are closed. Having researched options on this board, I am now considering Septime or Saturne for Thursday. Thoughts?


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  1. All depends on your style; both are terrific.

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      We typically air on the more casual side of things and my wife is a less experimental eater than myself.

      1. re: dawsoneats

        Humm; I think Septime is more casual but that may be because I'm cranky.

        1. re: John Talbott

          No, I agree. I think that Septime also offers more options to the less experimental eater.

    2. l agree completely with both John and Margaret but due to constantly tepid soup at Septime and the comte and Du Pain et des Idees bread, my choice is always Saturne.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        If making the decision for myself and not for the OP, I agree.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I may have slight preference for Saturne.
          It is not really experimental. It is inventive without being overly challenging, really.
          It is not stuffy at all. Granted, not completely casual, which is just as well. I'd just as soon not see visitors who look as though they were taking out the trash and then suddenly decided to fly to Paris to dine there.
          And I have said before: my favorite seats are at the bar, with a great view of the kitchen. The room din is much lower there, the kitchen action fun to watch, and the service much better since the waitstaff cannot NOT notice one.

          1. re: Parigi

            "It is not really experimental. It is inventive without being overly challenging, really."

            The issue, as I see it, is that CH has a wide variety of folks who

            1. live here,

            2. have a flat and are here a lot and
            3. come every 2-5 years.

            We also have contributors/posters who

            - eat out twice a day (Sorry Parnassien but you are the poster boy here and bless you and your body for that),

            - once a day but at lunch (Confession: Me) and those who
            - eat out only from time to time while cooking up great stuff at home (Randy de Paris, Parigi, Pti).

            And on yet, another orthogonal axis, there are those who

            - love classic French places serving French-French food (I just got a request for such from a very old friend specifying such),
            - those who want to explore and

            - those who desire something outside the inner snail.

            So it's hard for an ancient old-boy like me to know whether Septime or Saturne will meet someone's fantasy/expectation.

            Or is this all just pilpul?

            They are both very fine places.

            1. re: John Talbott

              If they ask our opinion, they want our opinion, I assume.

              1. re: John Talbott

                Thank you for all your recommendations. Paris can be overwhelming and reading your posts on here and your blog have been super helpful.

              2. re: Parigi

                I would hesitate to recommend Saturne to someone who doesn't like experimental food. I agree there are degrees but my meal at Saturne definitely had some dishes with some interesting flavour combinations, not all worked.

            2. It is a tough question but all in all I find Saturne more hit-and-miss than Septime. At times, the chef just forgets to add seasoning to everything. Service is stuffier and not so nice. Wine list is longer but less fun. I do love both places, but I rather choose to go to Septime.

              1. Dawson, you're the Paris virgin on your honeymoon, right ?

                I'm averse to either/ or choices because my answer is usually both/ and. But when faced with a dilemma like yours, I'd just move on to an entirely different choice that more easily pleases the bride. What about Les Climats in the 7th ? Or even Ober-Salé in the 11th for a less rarified sample of real Paris.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Parnassien

                  Yes, first timer. She will defer to me on options for food and both Septime and Saturne were on my "short-list" for the trip.

                  That said, I'll check out both Les Climets and Ober-Sale but would hate to miss the opportunity to dine at Septime or Saturne. Hopefully, we'll be able to do both!

                2. We were at both in April last year, and far preferred Septime. We have no desire to return to Saturne.
                  Maybe it was just an off-night at Saturne but we ordered the tasting menu there (5 courses IIRC) and it turned out they’d given us the previous days menu, so several dishes were different. Service was ‘Parisian’. At Septime the best dishes were superb, although the meal was more variable. Wine at Septime was far superior – we had a Cremant de Bourgogne that had been aged on its lees for about 7 years. Went perfectly with the food.
                  But the clincher is that, after Septime, we strolled the neighbourhood and discovered the eclairs from 'l'eclair de genie' – they were a taste (and visual) sensation that we would now never miss on a visit to Paris.
                  So choose Septime and top it off with a few eclairs – you won’t be able to stop at one!

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: estufarian

                    Estufarian, where did you find L'Eclair de Genie? Google sent me to the Marais rather than Septime's hood. Where did I go wrong?

                    1. re: mangeur

                      Indeed the half-hour walk is not insurmountable, but I would call it a neighborhood walk.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        I'll have to check back - I recall we were heading from Septime to a metro stop (south, in general and not the closest one) - and we just stumbled over it.
                        Unfortunately we just moved at the weekend and my computer/internet (and phone) at home is MIA! So don't have my normal files at hand. Using borrowed and Wi-Fi as time permits.
                        But WILL respond - just can't say how soon.

                        1. re: estufarian

                          "I recall we were heading from Septime to a metro stop (south, in general and not the closest one) "
                          L'Eclair de Génie is a 30-minute walk west of Septîme. There are about 5 metro stops in between. But why not. Always nice to walk off a lovely meal. However, I would not tell visitors that St Paul is the metro stop for Septîme. :)

                          1. re: Parigi

                            I now have internet available again - but apparently my memory is still MIA.
                            I agree that it couldn't have been after my lunch at Septime. Checked Googlemaps and the picture of 14 rue Pavée is definitely NOT the place I visited. However, my original post on the discovery of 'Génie' appears to be the first mention on Chowhound, so I know I got the name right (I retained their brochure). BUT I said it was "just around the corner from Meert" - which still places it in the Marais (if my geography is correct).


                            Sadly, as part of the move, I just threw out the brochure I picked up there (hence why it was still front of mind), so can't update my memory.

                            So to summarize - despite my failing memory, I did enjoy my meal at Septime more than Saturne.
                            And L'Eclair de Génie is well worth a detour!

                            1. re: estufarian

                              Let's work backwards. You arrived at l'Eclair de Génie after a short walk from a restaurant to the north. Were you at Café des Musées ?

                              1. re: Parigi

                                Tried that already - I now think it has to have been a different day - hence could have (possibly) been walking from (or to) Meert - although looking at a map it still doesn't match my (limited) recall.
                                The L'Eclair de Génie store was very bright - I'm 'certain' it faced south (hence the brightness) and was very 'modern' in appearance. I also recall two E-W streets coming together (apex of triangle) right about there, so the street was wider.
                                Absolutely doesn't match the Google picture though. Maybe possible it was a 'temporary' location (or satellite).

                                I'll just have to go back on my next trip! And buy an éclair to keep my strength up.

                                1. re: estufarian

                                  Long delay here, but as I was unpacking a box, I did find my brochure.
                                  I've retraced my route (thanks Googlemaps) and indeed I was at 14 rue Pavee (although the storefront has certainly been 'reconditioned' since the Google Streetview was taken). It's now all glass - although conceivably the shutters may still exist and be folded back.
                                  I traced my actual route (from Meert) - was heading towards metro Saint-Paul, when I stumbled over the serendipitous find. Clearly the non-parallel Paris streets got me 'turned round' as the 'apex of triangle' was the conjunction of Rue Pavée and Rue Malheur - which are sort of N-S (not E-W).
                                  Sadly, no time to return this year, but I now have peace of mind.

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    Sorriest, what are you talking about?
                                    Or, in short, where were you?

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      The mail of April 3rd at 2:46

                        2. re: mangeur

                          L'Eclair de Génie is on rue Pavée, métro Saint-Paul, and I highly recommend it.

                          Careful, by August it will have moved towards Bourse, making Parigi a lucky camper once again.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            O man, the Bourse food fengshui is looking better and better ! Lalalalalalala.

                              1. re: Parigi

                                And to draw on another thread should we refer to the area as NoBo, SoBo, WeBo or EaBo?

                                1. re: jock

                                  Bourlocks, or Bourshit, depending on your demographics.