If Gargouille, a small, refined and intimate address in the 9th arrondissement, is located in the heart of the New Athens district, it is not only Greek cuisine that is in the spotlight here. Indeed, in this discreet canteen with sober decoration, it is an ocean – or rather a sea – of Mediterranean flavors that mingle in an atmosphere characteristic of this shared gastronomy. A small restaurant for friends, the address is a bit of a change of scenery, and also confusing. Seated at the table, only olive branches and an aligned selection of Mediterranean wines will remind us that we are indeed in a restaurant that smells of the South. From the start, it feels more like settling in a neighborhood Parisian bistro.
But when the dishes pass by, and the sublime colorful plates garnished with seasonal products make their way to our table, suddenly a completely different atmosphere emerges. At the same time when the smells of the plate in front of us tickle our nostrils and awaken our taste buds, we suddenly feel very far from Paris, in Greece, in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Egypt…
Gargouille, a fresh, friendly and sunny kitchen
At Gargouille, we went to discover the lunch menu, and in particular its appetizing formula dish + dessert at 25€. On the menu, a varied and colorful plate, an explosion of perfectly balanced spices and herbs, in a skilful play of composition around Levantine and Mediterranean gastronomy. Yoghurts and fresh herbs dance on our taste buds with saffron, homemade harissa, crispy textures and melt-in-your-mouth delicacies that combine brilliantly… A refreshing love of good food, which can be read on the plate with the greatest of ease. In the evening, the menu changes, and invites a little more sharing. Bricks, keftas, babaganoush (and a pita bread to die for) are just waiting to be invited to the table to create a delicious panorama of Mediterranean cuisine. As for the dishes, a sublime stuffed zucchini, a sea bream carpaccio or even a pork belly with dates will delight those who don’t like to share.
For dessert, Gargouille surprises with a mastery of sweet classics adapted in a Mediterranean version. The chocolate fondant is soaked in rose water for a light and unexpected combination, while a Levantine-style parfait with its granola enhances an exotic meal. You will understand, we recommend, several times even. Indeed, for the lunch menu, the menu changes every week!
Gargoyle, 7 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris. Open Monday through Friday.