7.5 (that's right) Pirouette, 5, rue Mondetour in the 1st, 01.40.26.47.81, closed Sundays, (Metro: Etienne Marcel) has officially been open for 6 days and is in the most unlikely place for a good resto - smack North of Les Halles, in a totally redone space previously occupied by the Maghrébine tea salon Jetkiss aka Jektis aka Jekiss, oh who cares?
You go (if you come from Etienne Marcel) 1/2 block to the goofy sidewalk besides the entrance to the underground auto-passthru to Chatelet and see some sort of green/yellow monstrosity wall - oh no. But spreading out on the closed off Rue du Cigne are dozens of tables and it's a bit of paradise in this sea of dreck. The outside has maybe 40+ covers and inside the same counting upstairs & ground level and there are lots of wines in bins, sparkling mirrors and bars and black metal pipes - it says coool, really cool, and the music is the Supremes to the Stones.
My first was/were small pieces of smoked eel on top of confited potatoes (coulda fooled me into thinking it was sliced daikon) with thinly sliced Grannies and red onions with honey drippings. Outasight.
Then I had the perfectly undercooked/roasted langoustines on the bed of what was called a tartare of tomatoes (really just diced ones), cuke cubes, fried basil and a smoky crustacean fluff and sauce - goodness gracious!
Wasn't anything off John? Well sure, the bread and coffee and madeleine were not up to the quality of the food but these were made up by an amazingly friendly and happy staff (and yes I think I was "outed.")
For three courses (5E supplement for the divine langoustines), a half-bottle of wine and a coffee, the bill comes in at 52 E.
Go? No, don't go, run.
*What do I mean by "The (unexpected) exception that proves the rule?" Some folks on Chowhound recently refered to some of the restaurants some of us go to as "off the beaten track." Well, here, in Tourist Ground Zero, like with Montmartre's Clocher de Montmartre, one has a gem hidden in among the awful eateries, tattoo shops and tchochkes. It was such a totally unexpected experience I assumed it was because (1) I was "outed," (2) it was a "on" not a "normal" or "off" day, (3) it was the first week phenomenon, (4) it was the perfect Paris day, (5) it was so unexpected, (6) it was in such a dreadful spot, (7) I'd been brainwashed while I was sleeping, (8) I felt so refreshed after sleeping, (9) I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and family, and/or (10) I was suffering from temporary insanity/psychosis/mania/dementia or delerium.