Drinking wine in France is rapidly declining in popularity. That’s right, the country stereotyped as having a wine bottle in one hand and a baguette in the other is seeing significant declines in wine consumption. Only 17% of the adult population is consuming wine on a daily basis, whereas in 1980 that figure was over 50%!
Although we don’t drink wine on a daily basis, we almost always have a glass when we go out to a restaurant. Given this trend, however, it should have been no surprise then that when arrived at Gentle Gourmet we found out that they don’t serve any alcohol. (You can, however, bring your own bottle to drink.)
After a hard day at work, we were both kind of looking forward to some delicious French wine, but the alternative wasn’t bad either. To start our meal just steps away from the Bastille, we ordered some organic lemonade made with agave syrup. A huge fan of agave syrup, I quickly forgot about the lack of wine.
Next up we were offered, free of charge, a maki appetizer filled with avocado and carrot:
I have to admit that I would have preferred a little more wasabi, or flavor, in the maki, but its kind of hard to complain about a free appetizer. Anyway, next up was the main course, which was super exciting. Alexei went for the Portobello burger and I had a fricassée of portobellos, so it was a very mushroom evening. Although I was tempted to try the lasagna made with zucchini and cashews, I decided to skip the tomatoes because of my recent stomach problems
Both of our main dishes were extra delicious. Alexei loved the vegan mayonnaise on his burger and I only wish there was more of my fricassee, even though in the end it was the perfect amount. The potatoes, unfortunately, were kind of bland in both dishes and Alexei’s were somewhat dry.
My favorite course was up next — dessert! No meal is complete without it…
My “tarte tatin” with rhubarb was mediocre, but maybe I just had a hard time getting over that it was served with a spoon. (“Um, that’s not going to work”). It was impossible to eat so I stole a knife from the empty table next to us. Alexei’s “sorbet fraise” with chantilly, however, was magnificent and I had instant food jealousy upon tasting it.
Overall it was a mix of fantastic and mediocre food, so it averaged out at “good.” Overall, I would give it 3/5 stars. I should mention that there were not many other dinner guests and those that were there were not French. Unfortunately, the vegan food trend has not caught on in Paris, but I was still surprised to see a lack of guests, as almost all the other vegan/vegetarian restaurants I have reviewed here have been full. Perhaps it was the prices…
Maki appetizer: Free
Fricassée portobellos: €17.00
Burger Portobello: €14.00
2 x Limonade Elixia: €7.00 (€3.50 ea.)
Tarte tatin: €9.00
Sorbet fraise: €9.00