Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © MAP
If I had to make a list of the places in Paris that I do not like as much, I would certainly put the draughty neighbourhood of Les Halles on it. It surely must have been a great place full of poetry when the central food market was located here alongside Rue Montorgeuil. But the wholesalers have long gone and what’s left is a giant, ugly shopping mall surrounded by mainly awful restaurants and lots of crappy pizza & panini stands. But then there’s „Pirouette“.
And „Pirouette“ will make you fall in love with Les Halles. Whether you order that marvel of thick and fleshy asparagus or the egg cooked à la plancha, whether you go for the lamb and its intestines or the iberico pork crowned with a hat of mediterranean vegetables – you just can’t go wrong. Everything is excellent here and the guy who dresses the plates is a visual artist: You won’t find many restaurants in Paris where the dishes are so beautiful.
The chef’s name is Tomy (there’s no second „m“) Gousset who learned his skills by working with the best. He spent time at „Taillevent“, cooked with Yannick Alléno at the „Meurice“, joined Daniel Boulud in New York – and now he’s turning his excellent formation into a fresh, exciting, original cuisine of his own. Is it „neobistro“? Or just new French? I don’t care. It’s great, for sure. And we will hear more, much more from Mr. Gousset in the future.
His cuisine is strictly seasonal, of course, product-centered, but that’s what all young chefs in Paris do nowadays. In my view, Gousset is better than most because he takes risks, he doesn’t compromise, he has found his own culinary language. His dishes are not simply cross-over, they play masterfully with traditions and styles instead. You won’t find that look-how-cleverly-I-can-use-strange-spices-attitude. But you will ask yourself, while eating: Why is this so good? How can you treat a simple egg that way? What did he do with eggplants?
Go and find out the answers. Lunch menu costs 15, the three-course-dinner 35 Euros. And don’t tell the chef that these prices are far too low, given the quality.