CLOSED: The Gentle Gourmet

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 19 reviews )



21 rue Duret (at Ave de la Grande Armee, Ave Foch, near Arc de Triomphe), Paris, France, 75016

NOTICE SEPTEMBER 2011: The Owners are buying, renovating, and opening a restaurant in the center of Paris which should open March 1, 2012. All dinners at this location will stop as of October 2nd. Stayed tuned for updates on The Gentle Gourmet B&B, private dining experience, and cooking school.

Categories: Vegan, International, Organic, Western, Beer/Wine

19 Reviews

First Review by gr8vegan

a bit of a let down - Edit

Let me say first of all I had a nice stay at this place and the food they produced for breakfast was in astonomical tasty ammounts, however, this place needs a serious shake up.
Every single special detail they claim on their website was none existent, for example
'fresh flowers in your room' no, unless you count a dead orchid
'Organic bathrobes' nowhere to be see.
'Hairdryer' nope
'wifi' no reception
'dvd player, large collection of films' None, not even a player.
'Lush and L'occitan toiletries' we were given 2 packs of tissues and some cotten buds.
We were without toilet paper for 2 days because they didnt seem to think we needed any.
A small kitchen in the apparment was sufficient for basic needs but no recycling bins! Seems their interpretation of vegan doesnt extend past animals to the environtment.
The food although nice always had several hairs in it including cups and bowls which had short hairs in.
The supposed bistro and gourmet meals they say are available were not on offer and the recomendations we got for other eateries were frankly disgusting.They didnt seem remotely interested in their guests and seemed rushed off their feet with other business.
The shame is the people there are very nice and the place could be amazing. They really let themselves down here. It has such potential. This place costs a foutune to visit and I expected based on their claims a really first class luxury vegan retreat. Sadly that is not what we recieved. Very dissapointed and would certainly not return or recommend. They need to pay attention to this business and their customers more. Think hygiene and nice touches maybe to sweeten the experience, hair in the food leaves a bad taste.

Pros: vegan, location

Cons: cleanliness, false advertising, way too expensive

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Absolutely Wonderful! - Edit

In May we attended the cooking class followed by gourmet meal. It all made for a very memorable evening in Paris. As mentioned by other reviewers, this is not a restaurant per se. It is a meal served in an apt/B&B. Meals are served in a separate dining room off from the kitchen. There is one dining table and you are joined by other diners.

The hosts were outstanding and extremely knowledgeable. I greatly admire this family for what they are doing to promote veganism in Paris. Oh, and the was incredible. There was plenty of it along with great wine. The hosts are quite accommodating of individual needs and preferences too. The only potential downside is that there is the potential for dinner companions whose company you may enjoy less than others. However, this is BY FAR the best vegan meal you will experience in Paris. We would gladly return and hopefully stay at the B&B next time we are in Paris.

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Vegan delight; superior B&B; consummate hosts - Edit

We just stayed a full week at this magnificent B&B. The accommodations and food are excellent. We - there were four adults - stayed in the (new) "full B&B" which is a stand-alone two-bedroom apartment in the building adjacent to the B&B where breakfasts are served. One option offered (which we took) is full use of the apartment - including the kitchen. This is a great way to be able to prepare food specific to your tastes, allergies or preference. (There are several markets minutes away.) The location is excellent and we took the Metro and walked everywhere we went. Paul even took us on a tour to show us the location of the nearest station and how to get tickets.

The food served was terrific and - as mentioned in another review - abundant. Everything is fresh and prepared with care and thoughtfulness. You'll want more than you can eat and you'll need all that energy as you tour the city. Deborah is the consummate chef. She is creative - especially taking food allergies into account - and a delightful hostess. In fact, all the Gentle Gourmet(s) - Deborah, Paul, Caroline and Alexander - are warm and gracious. Plus, they are very knowledgeable with regard to the city and the surrounding area. They will gladly help you find other vegan (rare, in Paris) and vegetarian places to eat. But you MUST eat with them at least one night. To do so, you'll need to book ahead of time. We ate on a Bistro night and were delighted to meet fellow vegetarians. And the menu was a delightful surprise as well.

I highly recommend the Gentle Gourmet B&B. We will stay there whenever return to the City of Lights.

Pros: Exquisite breakfasts, Magnificent comfort, Delightful hosts

Cons: None, None, None

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Vegan Oasis in Paris! - Edit

My husband and I just got back from a one week stay in May 2011 with The Gentle Gourmet. Coming to Paris for the first time from the West Coast of Canada, we were jet-lagged and slightly disorientated; however, the second we pulled up to The Gentle Gourmet, Paul our host, greeted us and led us to the apartment (great timing!). We continued to experience the utmost care and attention to detail during our stay.

The food was fantastic! Waking up to an abundant vegan breakfast is essential for your long Paris sightseeing days and is one less thing you have to worry about. We also had the pleasure of having brunch, a gourmet dinner, and several picnics during our stay which were all fantastic and delicious! Some of our best memories were of picnicing in Versailles and in Giverny near Monet's House.

We also stayed in both the original b&b and their new 2 bedroom b&b. Both are great, but next time we come we'll definitely book the 2 bedroom b&b because it's super lush and private with more room.

We had such a fantastic time staying here and I recommend it without a hesitation. The location is superb and your hosts, Deborah, Paul, Caroline, and Alexander go above and beyond to make sure your stay is enjoyable and memorable! Can't wait to come again!

Pros: amazing food, super friendly hosts, great location

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Mixed - Edit

Not easy to find as in an apartment block so had to phone at the gate. Bistro meal was not gourmet as it consisted of vegetable soup, small portions of gluten (can be bought in a can) potato and mushrooms, followed by cooked fruit and ice cream. I had to remind the hostess that my companion needed gluten free so was given tofu instead. So, the meal did not live up to our expectations. However, we enjoyed the evening as the hosts are friendly and the wine was good.

Pros: clean, friendly

Cons: small portions, not gourmet

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agentlegourmet 16 Mar 2011 - If someone books for a bistrot night, the dinner is therefore a very fresh, mostly organic (never canned or processed!) casual and friendly bistrot meal and not a gourmet meal. As we offer three nights per week a gourmet meal, those who wish that type of cuisine need to book accordingly.
In Paris we are the only establishment that provides at no extra cost, except to ourselves in view of the sometimes massive work involved in case of severe allergies , meals for all types of speciql dietary needs. We provide this purely as a symbol of solidarity with those who have a hard time getting appropriate food because of allergies.
In actuality, we confirmed with the person rather than having been reminded:-) about gluten)free which is a subtle difference.
As to getting here; directions are clearly marked on our website next to the address. We are a private b&b and therefore obligatorily do not have a sign on the gate. Everyone rings and very often one of us waits outside at the gate , even in the rain, to welcome people in.

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Best in Paris - Edit

The Gentle Gourmet is by far the best place to eat in Paris for both vegetarians and vegans; the latter are well served since all the food is vegan. It is essential, of course, to book in advance. It is also essential to realise that this is not a restaurant; in effect, one goes on a dinner party blind date, where both the food and the comapany are unknown beforehand. In our case, both were excellent and, in fact, the element of surprise about the food was a definite plus. It is possible to say in adavance if there are things you do not like or are allergic to.
In our case, the owners joined us for drinks but not for dinner. But they were lovely to talk to; they have just established a French Vegan Society and were in the process of organising a Vegan Fair.

In summary, provided you are happy to dine with other people, this is an absolutely wonderful experience. Do not miss it!

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Gets booked up very early! - Edit

Didn't actually go here but wanted to warn others to book far in advance - they were booked up 3 days in advance while we were in Paris. Looks amazing though from the reviews can't wait til next time!

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Tres magnifique! - Edit

We actually changed our trip from June to July to stay at the Gentle Gourmet and it was well worth every minute, including the record breaking heat wave Paris was having. From the moment we arrived Alex, Caroline and Deborah were attentive to our needs: taking us to the Metro station to help buy passes; driving us to the train station for our visit to Versailles; making dinner reservations for us; asking us what we wanted for our breakfasts, each and every one of which was excellent. We ordered a picnic lunch for our trip to Versailles and it was phenomenal, and we had dinner one night at the B&B, which was gourmet and superb. The bedroom and bathroom were comfortable and spotlessly clean. The location near the L'Arc de Triomphe and metro stops was very convenient. But there is much more to the Gentle Gourmet than this. Deborah and her children are on the forefront of the vegan movement in Paris. They are the planners and promoters of Paris Vegan Day and are all committed to and active in working for animal and human rights. It was a pleasure and honor to get to know them as well as to meet some of their dinner guests, who were pretty like-minded people and share our values. We will definitely be back!

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Fantastic! - Edit

My partner and I went here this past weekend for a belated birthday dinner, and we were certainly in for a treat. First of all, the food was fantastic--we had a lovely four-course meal, accompanied by some very nice vegan wine. (Our meal was actually five courses, if you count the special birthday cupcakes they gave everyone.) Over the course of all these courses, we had two kinds of delicious mango cups, olive tapenade with bread, stuffed zucchini boxes, a salad, fried gnocchi, basil-stuffed tofu, green beans, lemon "meringue" ice cream with rhubarb compote and fresh strawberries, and poppy-seed cupcakes. Everything was wonderful.

Moreover, we had delightful company--the other guests were very fun to get to know, our host for the evening was very friendly, and the owner was welcoming and charming. If you're looking for a special occasion dinner with a fun communal atmosphere, this is the perfect place!

Pros: Amazing food, Lovely space, Friendly owner and staff

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Excellent! - Edit

We had the bistrot meal and were very happy with the whole experience. The interior was beautiful and both the owner family and the other guests were friendly and good company. The food was absolutely delicious, a dinner to remember! It was also insipiring to hear about vegan living and projects in Paris. We were budjet-travelling so it was on the expensive side for us, but definitely worth every penny (especially considering the general price niveau in Paris). Warm recommendations!

Pros: Great food, Pleasant company, Good location

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A must for vegs in Paris - Edit

I completely agree with previous reviews that describe this as the best vegan experience in Paris. Such a treat!

We had dinner on a Friday and thoroughly enjoyed our evening: the food (mediterranean salad, cauliflower steak and warm apple tarts with rosemary ice cream) was delicious and the company was very pleasant. It really felt like dinner at a friend's thanks to Deborah, Alexandre and Caroline.

The family is also busy with several projects to promote veganism in Paris and for this I am thankful and wish them best of luck.

I definitely intend to return often (and maybe give those cooking lessons a try...) Actually even though I live in Paris I feel tempted to spend the night at the B&B!

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A lovely experience... - Edit

This place was a little bit hard to find (it is in an apartment block) - and we were scared we had gone to the wrong place at the beginning... but it was fabulous.

This is definitely not a regular restaurant - its a bed and breakfast where you will sit with other guests (diners) and the hosts, and be able to talk through your meal with your hosts and the other guests.

The decor of the flat was lovely. My girlfriend and I were the only two guests.

We ordered the Bistro meal (30EUR for 3 courses + coffee and wine).

When we were arrived we were given white organic wine with cassis (a classic french aperitif).

Our meal was then as follows:

-Stater: chick peas, rocket, cranberries, red squash, with balsamic sauce
-Main: yuka mash, bruseel sprots, glazed carrots, braised seitan in jus, shallots
-Dessert: brown sugar icecream, dessicated coconut, baked apple with cinammon, calvados
-Tea/Coffee: bon nuit tea

The wine kept flowing throughout the meal.

We had an excellent conversation with the son (alex) and daughter (Caroline) of the owner/chef (Deborah) about the food, about being vegetarian / vegan in france, and a whole load of other interesting topics (including deborah's book writing projects).

Overall an excellent experience. We will definitely be going back next time we go to Paris! Cannot wait to try the 50 EUR Gourmet meal next time!

Pros: Great Food, Great Fun, Great company

Cons: Hard to find, Need to book 24 hours in advance

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Wonderful dinner - Edit

In addition to being a B&B, the Gentle Gourmet is also a wonderful spot to have dinner. The food is scrumptious, and the family who runs the Gentle Gourmet is such a pleasure to interact with. One reviewer has commented that it is pricey, but given that dinner consists of four (incredible) courses and wine, I think it's a steal. I am not even vegan, but I would say this is the best meal I've had in Paris.

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  Contributions +14

Enjoyable Stay - Edit

I am a bit late writing this review, as we were there at the end of September 2009. We had a really nice stay at the gentle gourmet. Deborah, Alex and Caroline were very accomodating and helpful with suggestions about places to see, where to eat etc.

The appartment is very comfortable, bright and spacious. The bedroom was also very well laid out and comfortable. Guests have their own bathroom, which is very convenient.

I really enjoyed the french toast we had for breakfast on the second day and on the first evening we chose to have dinner there. I would really recommend this, there aren't many places in France for vegans, and this was definitely the best dinner we had while we were there.

The central location was also very handy.

There were a few times we stayed up late chatting with Deborah and Alex, and that was really nice - they made us feel very at home. Highly recommended :-)

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dinner - Edit

we enjoyed a fabulous dinner and stimulating conversation. we were joined by four non-vegetarian family members and they were thrilled with the food as well. deborah, our hostess, was most gracious. the other guests were quite pleasant. we will most certainly dine there again, the next time we are in paris.

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jana s 03 Nov 2009 - i would like to add this was the least expensive dinner we had in paris. with the beverages included we started with kir, two kinds of wine with dinner, and some family members enjoyed after-dinner drinks as well. this dinner was a total bargain as well as exceptionally tasty.  

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like a friendly dinner party - excellent - Edit

we went for an evening meal, and although we were the only guests that night, we were given a friendly welcome, and excellent food and wine.

over the course (indeed, four courses) of the evening, we chatted about many subjects, and our hosts were extremely personable and good company.

we came away feeling we had enjoyed an intimate dinner party with fab food, and we would certainly repeat the experience when we visit paris again.

Pros: fab food, great company, luxurious surroundings

Cons: fixed menu for evening, a tad expensive

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Worth Every Penny - Edit

We were thrilled with our experience at the Gentle Gourmet. It was less like eating at a restaurant and more like having dinner with good friends - only your good friends happen to be gourmet chefs.

The foods was all very fresh tasting, made of local/organic ingredients. The staff was very good company during the meal and were accomodating.

There are multiple food courses and multiple drink courses. Unlike in many European restaurants, you will not go home hungry. Definitely the best dining experience of our two-week tour of Europe.

Pros: Delicious Food, Great Service, Organic Ingredients

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A new vegan haven in Paris - Edit

Being locals, we visited The Gentle Gourmet for Saturday Brunch. The location is easy to find, off the Arc de Triomphe. Upon arrival we were greeted by the family and met the other guests. We spent a few minutes in the living room to chat before moving to the dining room area where the table was set. That's were the food experience began, and what an experience! Everything was delicious, fresh, well presented, and cooked with love and passion. Deborah and Alexandre joined us at the table. We shared cantaloupe, home made apricot jam with thyme, hummus, soy yoghurt, a variety of breads, season tomatoes, red wine sauce, French toast, baklava and a yummie mixed veggies tofu casserole served of course with tea, coffee and juices. Awsome is the best word to describe our experience. We wish them all the best in their new adventure. As vegan who live in Paris we are delighted to have found a new haven and made new vegan friends.
JP + P

Pros: Food, Welcome

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Best Vegan experience of our lives! - Edit

This is a must do for vegan's traveling through Paris. It was our first B&B experience and we really had no idea what to expect and were completely delighted with every moment and wished we'd found it earlier so we could have stayed there the whole time! Its a very light and comfortable place that is impeccably neat and clean. The family that runs it is simply amazing. We were greeted at the gate by Alex the son who collected our luggage and showed us up to the B&B which is a large apartment set off a nice street near a metro station and the Arc de Triomphe. We were greeted by Deborah who showed us our fresh and comfortable room complete with a snack plate and water. We arrived fairly close to dinner and went for the dinner option as well, which is a must do at least one of the nights you are there. Caroline and Deborah created a masterful meal. We started in the living room with Artichoke spread orderves & a melon soup along with a special wine concoction. It was absolutely amazing to connect with everyone and learn more about vegan life in Paris over drinks and dinner. They also give guided tours and/or pack vegan lunches for you to take on your day trips, to Versailles for example (very good idea). Breakfast included a colossal spread of breads, fruit, juices, soy yogurt, and a tofu scramble! Pure heaven! The Gentle Gourmet just made Paris oh so more special! You can't miss this experience!

Pros: Everything!, Staff/Family, Food/Room/Conversation

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