Sat atop the city in the neighbourhood I lived while in Paris, known as a tourist trap full of creperies and overpriced bistros, is Seb’On – the best culinary experience I had while living in the city of light.
Since its opening, the restuarant has garnered a reputation for being one of the best restaurants in Montmartre. It is affordable, classic and a squeeze, given its size. The demand for a table was so high after a few months they had to stop taking reservations via Facebook or email. Best bet is to call months in advance if possible or chance your luck on the day by going in for the earliest sitting – the French eat very late.
Out front is one woman, out back is one man, and that’s it – a most formidable pair. They have established themselves as one of the city’s best bistros since opening in 2015, topping all sorts of charts and guide lists. The menu changes nightly and will contain a simple choice of 3 appetisers, entrées and desserts, and everything is guaranteed to be stunning. I had my first introduction to black pasta here, accompanied by big juicy gambas. Chef works with big, robust flavourings that will last long in your memory. The wine list glows also, with an array of choices from regional France, my favourite of those being vin rouge from the Languedoc area.
Perhaps one of the reasons for the restaurant’s startling popularity is its affordability in such a neighbourhood as Montmartre. The cobbled streets and proximity to the Sacre Coeur would poise the venue for sky-high fares, but this pair denies such extravagance and instead chooses to attract the masses by contradicting the neighbourhood’s costly name.
The broody lighting, rickety tables and elaborate Grecian outhouse for the restroom come together to create an ensemble of intimacy and old decadence that would attract even the snobbiest of Michelin critics an haute-gastronomists. These two are doing something unique in old-town Paris and are sure to remain on the restaurant scene for many years to come.
Priority 1: If you’re in the area on one of the days these guys are open – chance your arm. If they have a table, you won’t regret it.
Affordable considering the surroundings!
Seb’On: 62 Rue d’Orsel, 75018 Paris, France
Photo: Letterpress De Paris