Semilla: A new kid on the block

Semilla Opening 3 15 12
Mushrooms Semilla 3 15 12

American Juan Sanchez and New Zealander Drew Harré have become favored food and wine fixtures in the Saint-Germain neighborhood (with restaurants Fish, Cosi, and wine shop La Dernière Goutte) and my good friends seem to have hit yet another all-bases-loaded home run with their newest endeavor, Semilla, a tapas, or small-plate style restaurant carefully designed for the way we want to eat today. A “soft” opening on Thursday produced winning dish after winning dish, with Meilleur Ouvrier de France chef Eric Trochon at the helm, dreaming up a mix of totally new and amazing to-the-point inventions, as well as soothing classics with a modern, updated edge. Here’s the idea: a nice mix of little and large tastes for vegetarians, meat eaters, lovers of the classics as well as the adventurous. Juan, Drew, and their crew have spent more than a year fine-tuning this lovely spot, updating the beams and brick décor into a clean white yet bistro-like space, with an all-stainless open kitchen. On the menu: paper-thin slices of delectable charcuterie from Corsica;  an amazing  starter of grapefruit, coconut cream and Asian herbs; a creamy velouté of mushrooms; a must-have plate of seared shitake mushrooms grilled-seared with just a touch of oil, salt, and pepper (photo); fabulous skate-wing topped with a peppy sauce vierge;  a state-of-the-art blanquette de veau; a rosy-rare côte de boeuf; a  dessert of winning citrus-based soupe d’agrumes. And more to come! The wine list is on its way, with always dependable and affordable selections from Juan the Magnificent. They are still in test mode, so lunch only this Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be brunch, then steaks and stuff for dinner. Coming Monday, it’s 7/7. To be continued…………..(By the way, Semilla is Spanish for “seed.”)

SEMILLA, 54 rue de Seine, Paris 6. Tel: +33 1 43 54 34 50.Métro: Saint-Germain des Prés or Mabillon. Open: Daily.

Lunch: 19€  unique menu. Open between lunch & dinner for charcuterie and drinks.

Dinner: A la carte 35-55 €