I used to worry about dining solo. But ever since I've gotten past my misplaced social anxieties, I've found I enjoy making a dining experience all about me (or, as The Age calls it... ugh... masturdating). With another night alone in the city of lights, I googled a place to eat and found Le Grenier de Notre-Dame. LGdeND is renowned as the first vegan macrobiotic restaurant in Paris. It's been around for almost 40 years now, and as the name suggests, it's located near the Notre Dame.
Everything on the menu is vegetarian/vegan. While there are certainly lots of options, I confess, it all sort of looked the same to me. In making my choices for dinner, I excluded anything that had too much wheat (seitan), soy (tofu) or lentils. The trials of travelling meant I was bloated and I wanted something that was in line with the saying "my body is a temple" (or rather, "my body is the Notre Dame").
Going for a three course meal, I chose the vegetarian pate for an entree. This was a chickpea based pate and while it had a creamy-ish texture I'd say it was more of a firm paste. It was seasoned with onions, mushrooms, garlic and cumin. It came with salad that had a vegan mayo dressing and bread.
I forget what my main dish was called. But whatever it was I regretted choosing it when I saw the other dishes the diners around me had ordered. Going clockwise and starting from the bottom of the plate, there was a pile of black eyed beans that were cooked in stock, braised root veg (zucchini, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes), a few slices of tofu, a pile of salad (which was the same salad that was in my entree) and a mound of rice which had a tomato based sauce. The food was okay but it was nothing like the vegan food of Smith & Daughters back in Melbourne. The food filled me up and it was a hot meal but I couldn't get past how almost each component of the dish sort of tasted the same; plus, everything was kinda squishy or sloppy in texture.
I also ordered a slice of apple pie for dessert (which I forgot to take a photo off). That was fine but nothing exceptional. It was the best dish out of the three course meal.
The restaurant is deceptively small. The ground floor is tiny - very cosy. However, upstairs it's much more spacious and there is a magnificent plant (a crawling ivy?) that meanders along the length of the corkscrew stairs.
Verdict: we liked it
I'm glad I tried LGdeND however it's not for me. At least I got more than a few serves of veggies that day!
18 Rue de la Bûcherie
Telephone: +33 1 43 29 98 29