Review: Gentle Gourmet Cafe — Paris, France
July 12, 2012 2 Comments
Did I say I was going to get better about my posting frequency? Because, clearly, that was a lie. A busy few work weeks coupled with an equally busy social calendar has resulted in some serious blogging deficencies. And it’s particularly tragic because I have a slough of recipe ideas running through my head burning my brains with the desire to send me to the kitchen, but no time to dive into food experiments. Such an unfortunate conflict that perhaps others can identify with? So, for now, I will leave you with this review of a gourmet vegan restaurant we dined at in Paris a few weeks back.
It’s called Gentle Gourmet Cafe and it’s entirely vegan. Yes, in the land of butter and cream it’s actually possible to find a restaurant that serves neither of those. As the name suggests, it’s a gourmet restaurant serving exemplary food creations. Every dish we tried was stellar and my only regret is that we weren’t able to go there multiple times to try more of their creative, fresh, and incredibly tasty food.
As an appetizer, I started with this lovely cold cucumber avocado soup. It was light and refreshing just like cucumber avocado soup should be. To be honest, though, you’d have to be a pretty terrible cook to mess up this dish as I’ve made my own version of it at home and as long as you know how to plug in your blender you can pretty much nail it. However, I give them major presentation points as the sliced radishes, edible flower, and chili flakes were a beautiful visual touch and my tastebuds were not disappointed.
For my entree, I had a raw lasagne. I ordered it on the waitress’s suggestion, but I was hesitant because my past raw “noodle” experiences have been a major letdown. But not this dish! I LOVED this dish. I loved it so much I would strip my clothes and swim in a huge vat of it with my mouth wide open so that I could consume it in quantities in far excess of this dainty serving. What I most loved about it was the “ricotta” filling that tasted so strikingly similar to actual ricotta, yet the cashew base left me feeling so light in the tummy. The zuchini and tomato layers were also amazing along with the well-dressed greens on top. An all-around fantastic dish!
Every table had these pretty flowers that matched the rest of the restaurant’s decor. Actually, that’s another notable part of this restaurant. The ambiance and decor are beautiful and have an upscale vibe so if you’re looking for a “nice” dinner in Paris this is where to go.
All lightness that I felt in my belly was gone after these fries were served. You may be surprised to learn that I actually love fries. I really do! With one exception. They have to be the thick, hearty steak fries version to win my affection. We decided to order them because they’re French, right? And we’re in France so they should be good. And, yep, no complaints from me on these tasty little deep-fried potato batons. My mouth saw nearly all of the fries on this plate, but don’t worry, I did manage to save a couple for Alex.
After the cooks got word from our waitress that Alex had a nut allergy they went above and beyond to make sure that he was served a dish that not only had zero nuts in it, but also had no chance of any cross-contamination. We tried reassuring them that his allergy was not that severe and they shouldn’t worry about such insignificant quantities, but they couldn’t shake themselves of past anaphylactic shock experiences and were insistent on creating an off-the-menu salad for him. And this is what they came up with—the veggies on the bottom were briefly blanched and then bathed in an olive oil-based marinade. The mixed greens had a tasty dressing and the avocado with marinated cherry tomatoes were all a lovely combination. Overall, it was a very well-prepared salad.
Here is Gentle Gourmet Cafe from the curb. We sat near the windows, but the seating actually goes quite deep into the building. I love the very Parisian black/grey, pink and white color scheme.
As a side note, after lunch we spent hours crawling the city trying to find vegan croissants only to find that the one place noted online was closed that day! However, after doing a bit more research, it appears that Gentle Gourmet Cafe actually serves amazing vegan croissants. UGH! I can only imagine how perfect their croissants would be considering how fantastic the rest of their food was. Such a missed opportunity.
Overall we had an amazing dining experience here and I really wish that we could have sampled more items from their menu. So, please, everyone who visits Paris go there and order everything on the menu so that this restaurant can survive and I can go there the next time I’m in Paris!!