A Paris evening... Semilla and Ballroom Bar

Round the corner from La Pallette is the Rue de Seine which has a good number of fantastic restaurants. One being a fish bar called Boissonnerie which looks delightful...

Opposite and owned by the same people is Semilla which was where I booked in a few weeks before. This modern, simple bistro has a gorgeous open kitchen and a wonderful atmosphere. 

(Taken early at 7pm) 
We nestled in and decided to splash out on booze and get stuck in for a really enjoyable evening. The menu reads fantastically; fresh, varied and split into large and small plates with the option for a tapas-style meal. 

To start I had mackerel with beetroot and watercress (c'est tout). This was incredibly zingy, fresh and light. The fish was hardly cooked at all which made it really enjoyable to eat and weirdly less 'fishy' and the beets complimented this perfectly and also added a gorgeous amount of autumnal colours. A really lovely simple dish to start with using clever complimentry flavours.

Miss HH had the scallop carpaccio, mango and vanilla oil. Another well put together refreshing dish.

Mr D's was the winner around the table - jealous much?!  I loved my starter however his Snail Arancini, pickled girolles and cepes was simply out of this world!

Mr C had Langoustines tartare, consome and cauliflower cream. An interesting texture, full of flavour and another winner. 

For our mains we all went a little adventurous. Two of the table went for the crispy pigs head, mushroom cream, shoots and sherry jus. I was lucky to get a bite of these as they were seriously good and close to being gobbled up rapidly. Really succulent meat coated in a thin crisp breadcrumb, it was like an extravagant croquette. One I could imagine catching on at other restaurants - a clever and tasty way of using normally discarded cuts.  

Mr D chose the hog, served with squash and confit of onions which was super. The fat was sweet and tender and the whole dish was delicious and the sauces were close to being licked off the plate!

I chose the slow roasted lamb shoulder, heliantis (artichoke), chestnuts and salad. A perfect winter warmer. The lamb was some of the best I have eaten. Perfectly pink juicy lamb placed in the pan and served with all it's juices. The pellets of heliantis gave a sweet nuttiness to the hearty meal and had been cooked again in the pan with the lamb juice - mouth watering yet?! I was pleased I went slightly off piste as the fish dishes sounded divine and I could have easily gone for one of these. But on this blustery Parisian evening this was perfect.  

Puds were next up and we were told that Semllia does not go halves on sweet treats by two gentlemen to my right. One chap happened to be friends with the owner, the other, a food writer from The Daily Meal, they ordered the shoulder of lamb to share, and with leftovers offered it to us to take away, claiming this was 'the best they'd ever eaten' and believe me, it was mind blowingly good!! We ordered three three different puds:

Cremeux chocolat/pistache - a smooth chocolate pistachio mousse...just look at how beautiful this is. Not sickly in any way this caramelly, choco delight was my favourite across the three scraping my finger across the plate to get every last bit up.

2 of us had the Apple crumble which was deconstructed with a toasted hazelnut topping and a yoghurt/citron ice cream dolloped on top.

The rogue of the desserts came in the form of a red pepper sorbet with chocolate and a chocolate and hazelnut 'crunch'. The sorbet flavour was so spot on and densely red peppery but with the consistency of sorbet! innovative, impressive to look at and one of those dishes that makes you go 'wow'!!  

Semilla is an incredible little bistro I'm slightly jealous that London doesn't have one. But then again it wouldn't have made this find so special. Our bill €310 so definitely a treat evening although this is for four people and we went for decent wines, cheese and dessert wine (not photographed I think I was a little fuzzy by now)- it is a treat after all...

Make sure you hop in a cab and head to Ballroom Bar. A small but impressive space which is very, very cool - so much so it has won a spot in the world's best 50. The cocktails are incredibly good. If like us you'll have too much fun, lose track of the night and get far too carried away so be sure to take your credit cards with you... you'll most certainly be waking up with an 'oh dear' when looking at receipts!! 

Photo credit here


Address:4 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
Phone:+33 1 43 54 34 50
Be sure to book a few weeks in advance


Address: 58, rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, Paris 75001
Phone: +33 9 54 37 13 65 
Metro: Les Halles, Etienne Marcel

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