Backstory: When people ask how I established the endpoints on my 0-10 rating scale I say something like "Well, 10 is perfect so no one can achieve that, but 9.9 was reached twice by the same man - Fredy Girardet - in Crissier Switzerland" (which has always been considered part of French and Michelin country). While no longer at his eponymous restaurant, it continued through several chefs to produce excellent meals, and now one of Girardet's culinary grand-children has moved to Paris and along with his charming wife, installed himself in the 18th and aren't we lucky.
8.4 L'Arcane, 39, rue Lamarck in the 18th, 01.46.06.86.00, open Thursday night, both meals Friday-Mondays (Metro: Lamarck-Caulincourt) has several "menus" running one 29 E for 2 dishes at lunch and at dinner 3 for 42, 4 for 56 and 5 for 69 E. After toing and froing my two friends and I settled on the 42 E one, which as you will see, turned out to be many more.
But before the food, one had to admire the tiny Jeff Koons balloon dogs on each table and the magnificent array of breads and hot rolls, my, oh my.
And then, the real fun began with a soft egg topped off with Jerusalem artichoke and bacon foam - Wow!; then a lovely piece of merlan surrounded by tiny almond-sized slices of mushrooms in their sauce Wow Wow!; and then veal (a bit over-cooked for me) with potatoes served both as fries and a puree - 3 Wows!
At this point Chef Magnin turned over the presentations to pastry chef Elise Guiroy who in turn spun out a Mont Blanc predessert (I think that's what my notes but not my camera has), tarte tatin and mignardises. These were just as Wow-ful as what came before.
Our bill, with all that, plus two bottles and a glass of wine (consumed while I, who was very early, sat and sipped and chatted with wife Sophie Keller) and 2 coffees was 198 E or 132 E a couple. dB's= 80.8
Go? OK so I've only been once but this place shows that mid way up Montmartre one can once again find superior food (I know, the Table d'Eugene and Sunset are at the bottom and the Bistro de la Galette at the top, but half-way up was a culinary dessert). So Go!