[Paris, 18e] L'Arcane

I had dinner at L’Arcane after a walking tour of Montmartre, which is a beautiful part of the city. It was a short walk from Sacré-Cœur. They have three options for dinner - a menu surprise, a menu découverte, and a menu dégustation. They are all “blind” tasting menus, with the difference being the amount of entrées in each. I had the menu dégustation, which had 5 courses - three entrées, a plat, and a dessert.

Simple menu.

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Some good bread. Slices of bread along with a whole epi-like roll.


Amuse bouche - a couple of langoustine tail pieces, with peas and a mint foam. Delicious little lobster/crawfish-like langoustines, with an interesting fresh taste from the mint foam.

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First entrée was tempura fried frog legs with wild garlic and some sort of green vegetable puree on the bottom. The frog legs looked like little lollipops and I made the mistake of trying to bite one whole and crunched on a few bones. They were more like tiny fried chicken drumsticks. Pretty good. Tasted like frog.

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Second entrée was hake with crawfish and grapefruit ravioli, served with a sauce made with Sancerre wine. Skin-on hake was well cooked, as well as the crawfish. Nice buttery slightly acidic wine sauce. The grapefruit ravioli - basically ravioli stuffed with grapefruit bits - was quite interesting and added a sour citrus flavor to offset the buttery sauce and the seafood. Not sure it worked for me completely but it was definitely interesting.


Third entrée was a whole langoustine tail, with lovage and white turnip. Bathed in butter and on top of a creamy sauce. This was excellent - my favorite of the three entrées. Very fresh tasting langoustine, perfectly cooked. The lovage added a nice vegetal flavor. Crunchy turnip pieces.


The main course was Bresse chicken, dusted with some slightly spicy spices and served alongside a risotto and a morel sauce. This was great! The chicken consisted of a breast, a part of a wing, and also a medium rare (?) chicken oyster I think. Each chicken piece was very flavorful and with different textures. The breast piece was quite tender and flavorful, and the wing bit had a bit of fatty slightly crisped skin on. Most interesting was the piece of I believe the oyster of the chicken, which was medium rare and still a little pink inside. Did not get salmonella :+1: . The “risotto” was actually orzo, and had a creamy cheesy sauce with a few bits of morels in it. The morel sauce on the side was excellent, rich and creamy and with also a caramelized brandy-like taste. I wish I had gotten a picture of it mixed up, there was quite a generous amount of delicious morels in it. I’m glad they had the sauce separate from the chicken as I ended up eating them both mostly separately since the chicken was very tasty on its own.

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The pre-dessert was a rhubarb cheesecake with some sort of gelée. Rhubarb was underneath the cheesecake. Nice and a little refreshing. The sorbet was I think also made of rhubarb.


Dessert proper was a pear sorbet with earl grey cream and a hazelnut praline. A mix of the denser nutty chocolate encrusted praline on the left, and the light pear sorbet on the right.


Finally some mignardises to finish. A shortbread with lime, a pistachio madeleine, and a calamansi pâte de fruit.

Very good meal and friendly service.

3 Likes

We had many good meals in Paris last fall, but the standout was L’Arcane. I can’t wait to go back. But I do hope that the elevator at the metro station will be working!

We dined at l’Arcane yesterday. Arrived at 19:35, we were the first, the room filled up slowly starting from 20:00. Restaurant was small, with less than 20 seats with a closed kitchen. The price of the menu remained the same as the menu photographed by @Mr_Happy back in 2018 (upthread). We ordered the menu Découverte - 2 entrées, a main and a dessert.

Amuse bouche 1
Vegetal oyster - Oyster leaf (Mertensia maritima), lemon and shallots pearls
The lemon was quite sweet with slight acidity. Pleasant on the palate with the iodinated leaf.

Amuse bouche 2
Tiger shrimp, avocado and a citrus mayonnaise
The elastic texture of the shrimp was very interesting. My favourite of the night.

Entrée 1
Octopus with cauliflower purée, coquillage with smoked streak and sage, with citrus condiment (orange stripes)

This dish was paired with Spanish wine - Leirana Albarino Forjas del Salnes - Rias Baixas

Entrée 2
Sole with a Matcha sauce, grilled king oyster mushroom and radish pickles

Souveraine Roussette of Philippe Grisard

Main
Milk cochon, leek in several forms/tempura, celeriac and meat juice

Sided with Corsican Gnocchetti Sardi with same meat juice

Paired with a red bourgogne Sylvain Pataille 2016

Pre-dessert
Pear mousse with a coffee sorbet - my favourite for the dessert

Dessert
Crème brulée with agrumes

Paired with a Muscat de Rivesaltes of Domain de la Coume du Roy 2015

Mignardise - passion fruit tart, marshmallow, pineapple fruit pate with tarragon.

Lovely meal with several highlights, cooking was with great precision, especially the sole (I thought it was cooked sous-vide, but upon asking it was à la vapeur), thé shrimp, the cuisson nacré (pearly white) was perfectly mastered. The baby pig was very tendered. We like the citrus touch in most dishes. Dishes were creative and with emotions. Wine pairing was quite generous compared to other restaurant’s tiny portion.

Reservation, especially for dinner is necessary (about 2 weeks to 1 month wait). We saw 2 asian tourists being turned down without reservation. Service was attentive and friendly headed by the chef’s wife. Sure to return soon for cheaper lunch. Meal 202,50€ for 2, with 1 food and wine pairing and a bottle of bubble water.

L’Arcane
39 rue Lamarck
Paris 75018
www.restaurantlacane.com

5 Likes

It worths it, even if the elevator is out of service! :wink: Although I would prefer to walk up the hill from the 18e than the stairs in metro.

We were there again last November. The elevator was back in service!

How was your meal?

We loved it, but somehow the excitement of the first time wasn’t there. I can’t remember what we ate, but one of us was a little piggy and had the 5-course menu while all the others had 2 or 3 courses. But I did give the dessert to my wife. One young man in our group is a restaurant cook. He was also quite impressed. We’ll go again on our next visit to Paris.

Me too, the chefs are doing their job really well, especially the precise fish and seafood cooking. I think it’s one of the latest meal that gave me such a satisfaction, it hasn’t happened for a while, I can find some individual dish interesting, but difficult for a whole meal.

I didn’t know that everybody can choose a different number of courses, usually they impose the same for the whole table.

Yes, I really appreciate their flexibility.

Wine note is added here:

That’s why I start to write, true it takes time, at times need to verify and double check facts, but it acts like a record and I have learned new things. Most meals ate years ago, I don’t remember much anymore…

Well, it’s obviously a good idea. I remember if I liked a place or not. And I remember stand-out dishes, such as the grilled pecorino we had in Cagliari. That is a dish that I have had zero success in replicating.

At least a small notebook can be of great help, unless you like typing on the phone. Sometimes looking back at the photos, I noticed that my memory remembered things wrongly. Memory is good for general impression of a meal or an outstanding dish, I agree.

I don’t have a smart phone that takes good pictures of dishes. A small notebook would be possible, but when we’re out with friends, I prefer talking and laughing with our friends to jotting notes.

Haha, with friends, the maximum I can do is just to take photos, I usually got too distracted with food. Now if the aim is to meet up friends, I won’t be too demanding on food.

I think it’s Alexandre Gautier’s La Grenouillère, the chef forbids the use of phone in his place. He insists that eating out is to have a good time with people at your table than with someone on your phone.

1 Like

Café Francoeur is about 2 blocks away and visit each time I visit your city.
129 rue Caulaincourt, Paris , 18th…
I need to mark this down and perhaps the next time I visit I will remember to make a reservation, when I purchase my plane tickets!

Yeah, they are close, all on Montmartre. What do you like in Café Francœur?

@PHREDDY

Around Montmartre:
For bistro food, le Bistrot du Maquis is recommended, 69 Rue Caulaincourt.
If you like good chicken dish, you can try le Coq Rico, 98 Rue Lepic.
Another excellent place, a bit downslope is La Table d’Eugène - 18 Rue Eugène Sue.
If you are a fan of Franco-Japanese, there is Ken Kawasaki - 15, rue Caulaincourt
For good viennoiserie or pastries, you should try Maison Arnaud Larher - 53 Rue Caulaincourt.

Lots of good stuff, except it’s expensive on Montmartre.

1 Like

Le Coq Rico is heavily deprecated on Chowhound. I’ve never been, and don’t intend to go.
La Table d’Eugène is excellent, and I’d love to go back, but there are so many places to try. Ken Kawasaki is one I haven’t tried yet, but would like to.

Have you tried the tapas bar of the same chef of la Table d’Eugène, la Rallonge - 16 Rue Eugène Sue?

La Table d’Eugène, I’ve ate it at 3 or 4 times, all very good, when we still lived in Paris 18e.

I mentioned le Coq Rico as @Phreddy seem to like bistro / brasserie food. I saw they have a plat du jour at 15€ at lunch, I do want to try. I used to like the restaurants of Anton Westermann under chef Anthony Clémot, but that was a long time ago.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo