restaurant review #146 – Gentle Gourmet is a gastronomic vegan restaurant in the center of Paris. It is located on the East side of town, in between de Gare de Lyon and the Bastille.
We had made a reservation a couple of weeks before going to Paris, as we surely did not want to miss out on the opportunity of dining at Gentle Gourmet!
There’s a small terrace on the pavement in front of the restaurant, but because it was a really hot evening, and there was a lot of traffic passing by (quite a busy raod) we decided to dine inside, in the veranda of the restaurant.
We were warmly welcomed and were offered the menus. It was not easy to choose! So many options (and everything vegan), and all the options sounded very promising!
We were served a small appetizer: a glass with melon and ccumber juice. Nice! Although some more hearthy nibbles would also have been nice.
As a starter, we had the Sea inspiration dish (13€) and the Asparagus in four ways (15,50€).
The Sea inspiration was really refreshing (especially after such a hot day!), but a bit monotone in flavour. The nori and sea ‘caviar’ were most dominant in flavour. I was a bit disappointed with the asparagus dish, as the whole asparaguses were still almost raw. The small mousse dots tasted great, but the nearly raw asparaguses were a bit of a bummer, I like them more when they melt like butter 😉
These were our main dishes: Le Verdoyant (Lush Green, 26€) with lacqued seitan and cherry sauce. The seitan was very nice, in taste and texture it strongly resembled the grilled seitan from Lima, which is our favourite.
The other dish was Le Nanami (23€) with smoked tofu and bigarade orange sauce. The tofu was very spicey, but a bit dry, which the sauce couldn’t totally make up for.
Both dishes were again lovely presented.
We were rather stuffed, but as we do not often have the opportunity to choose from such an extensive vegan dessert menu, we really did not want to miss out! It was difficult to choose!
We had these desserts: La Renaissance, 13,50€: white chocolate with raspberry cake and rhubarb mousse, berries and rhubarb sauce. And l‘original (12,50€) black chocolate and buckwheat cake, with chocolate mousse, fruity aspics, berries and cacao nibs.
We surely did not regret going for dessert! These were absolutely lovely. Very refined, rich in flavour. Delicious!
We had a nice dinner at Gentle Gourmet. A great variety of dishes on the menu to choose from. Lovely presentation. And we also loved the fact that they use products like seitan and tofu, which many non-vegan (traditional) gastronomic restaurants eschew (probably because many chefs are not familiar enough with these products?).
One issue which did leave us a bit confused was when we asked the waitress about the wine selection, and whether all wines on the list are vegan? She clearly had no idea what we were on about and stumbled ‘but all wines are always vegan no?‘. After which we explained that some wines are filtered with animal products, like isinglass, and there is now an increasing number of wines that carry a vegan label.
I ordered a glass of Montagny white wine (10€), which I found on this site to be vegan friendly.
Later in the evening, we heard a British woman at a table not far from us, repeat the same question about the wine: is it vegan? To which the waitress now casually replied ‘oh, yes, they are all vegan’. I feel now that I should have checked back with her to see whether she had gotten confirmation from the sommelier that all wines on the list are indeed vegan, or whether she was just making this up on the spot.
Anyway, a clear indication on the wine list of which ones are vegan, as we have seen in all vegan (friendly) restaurants that we have visited in the UK, would be very clarifying (pun 😉
Although it’s a gastronomic restaurant, the atmosphere was rather casual. Tables are pretty close next to each other though, some more breathing space would be nice. Toilet is downstairs and was clean and tidy.
Staff was friendly and we did not have to wait long for dinner and in between courses.
Our 3 course dinner for two was 103 € (food only). So this was about 50€ for a 3-course dinner. Which is very good value for money!
We definitely want to visit Gentle Gourmet again on our next trip to Paris and look forward to new creations from the chef!
Gentle Gourmet, location
24 Boulevard de la Bastille,
75012 Paris, France