Géosmine, Paris 11

My review of lunch at Géosmine is now up.


Really enjoying your reviews. This spot was featured in a recent NYT article, and so is probably going to become very popular with Americans in the coming year, or at least until the next NYT piece comes out. I am glad to hear that the crowds will be treated to good food.

Separately, am I accurately sensing from the tone of your review that you are more impressed by the food at Geosmine than by the fare at some of the other places you’ve reviewed recently, like Hectar, ChoCho, Sadarnac and Eunoe? Or are the comparisons impossible given the many ineffable variables involved in each experience?

I just wondered because your words seemed particularly effusive here.

Thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying them.

I didn’t notice any non-French the day we were at Géosmine for lunch and the downstairs was more or less full. I think the days when the NY Times could flood a Paris restaurant are done, at least for those that are outside arrondissements 1-8, where the great bulk of tourists spend ALL their time (as I did, too, at one time). A year or two ago, Aux Bons Crus, also in the 11th, was written up in the Times. We go there on the spur of the moment sometimes because it’s close by, the food is decent and inexpensive and the wine list is good (and it’s open 7/7), yet I don’t notice any more Americans now than before it was in the article.

I think Géosmine is aiming for a higher level of cuisine than the other places you mention. The latter are are bistrots, albeit very good ones. They may, or may not, evolve in the same direction as Géosmine, but for the moment they are not a restaurant gastronomique, which is what I would call Géosmine (in fact, the blurb on the chef on the Géosmine website talks about his wanting to express his “instinctive vision of gastronomy”). Jeanne-Aimée started as a bistrot but is evolving in that direction, too, and in fact now describes itself on its website as a restaurant gastronomique (and that, I suppose, may be why it changed the format).


I too am enjoying your reviews very much (though, as a committed dessert-eater, often wish you weren’t too full for dessert).

Thank you.

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Ha, in that case, long live the typical tourist impulse to never stray too far from where the other tourists are. The rest of us get to boast about visiting places beyond those familiar boundaries then, though with the proliferation of Uber am baffled by why so many are so reluctant to take a 15-20 min cab ride. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me.

Anyway, interesting thoughts on how Geosmine is distinct from some of the other spots you’ve reviewed. In your view, what elevates a restaurant from a bistro to a restaurant gastronomique? Is it more inventive and experimental cooking? Is it service? Or is it some combination of both? And can a spot serving ‘trad’ dishes be a restaurant gastronomique, or is phrase strictly reserved for ‘modern’ restaurants? And do you make a distinction between someplace like Jeanne Aimee (which looks relatively casual) and, say, Guy Savoy (which looks more formal) in the restaurant gastronomique category?

An interesting point on the difference between bistrot and restaurant gastronomique. I think @Carmenere is better-qualified than I to answer.

Well, that’s a tough one, @onzieme. It would take ages to answer it properly. However I think that in the case of Géosmine, we’re clearly in bistronomie territory. i.e. gastro food in a (modern) bistrot setting. As is the case of, as it seems to me, dozens of recently-opened restaurants all over Paris. As far as food is concerned, they lean more on the gastro side than on the bistro side. Bistro cooking is nothing else than the intersection of traditional French cuisine bourgeoise and cheap cuisine populaire as it existed until the early 00s and may be still experienced in some provincial places or at, for instance, Aux Bons Crus. Small, modern restaurants like Géosmine, Alliance, Jeanne-Aimée, and many more, would be more aptly described as “small independent gastros” (petits gastros indépendants, to use an expression I first heard from Sylvain Sendra of Fleur de Pavé).


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Are we back in the “trad” v. “modern” discussion here? :wink:

My report on my second visit to Géosmine is now up.


Excellent report. We enjoyed our lunch there last month. Keep your reviews coming.

Money aside. With only limited time-slot to slip in a more extensive ’ dinner ’ tasting menu experience. Would you pick a well recognized, established star like an ’ Alliance ’ ( possibly gunning for a 2*?..since comparing to say David Toutain, which took 8 years to get his second, Alliance is also approaching that time frame? ) OR go with an up-and-comer like Geosmine, Hemicycle or Akabeko?!..which no doubt will also be eyeing for that coveted first star?
After spending a whole week in Spain, I was thinking, may be the ’ Japanese/French ’ fusion of either Alliance or Akabeko might be more of a welcome…but then, the French theme cuisine offer by the other candidates might also be different enough to provide a sense of change?!
Any thoughts fellow foodies?!