27, rue du Dragon (6)
If you do not speak French you do not routinely watch French TV, so there is no reason to know Cyril Lignac, a dashing young TV chef with a small group of restaurants. This is the most modest in terms of size and ambition, what appears to be a former café with a beautiful white marble bar and a dozen or so tables for two in a well-decorated, updated wood panelled space in the 6th.
At the bar for lunch, friendly service and a nice formula menu of modern food. (But also at the bar for lunch – I learned after, when I checked out Cyril Lignac on the internet – was Cyril Lignac, when he wasn’t outside posing with customers for photos. This was confusing to me. Chefs are supposed to be in their kitchens, especially Michelin-starred chefs (See Le Quinzieme, 15th Arr.) with 3 kitchens!
From ten or so choices, fresh crab over avocado on toast, followed by pulled chicken tacos served with roast potatoes. The crab entrée was attractive and good. The pair of tacos not nearly as good as 100 U.S. alternatives, without sufficient originality to compensate. Probably a poor ordering choice.
3 course lunch 45€, expensive for the neighborhood. Skip dessert (or the main course) and 2 courses become 32€. With a glass of wine and a complimentary warm madeleine, 43.50€.
On a very busy Saturday night, every seat full; restaurant and bar for each of 2 seatings. Small, crowded, high-energy (noisy) space, about 60 seats total. All French. No tourists, except us.
3 course 48€ menu, 6 or so very good choices in each of 3 categories. Marinated dourade over chick-pea squares and quick fried filo wrapped shrimp over shredded romaine in dressing, roast cod and sautéed scallops in foam, with vegetables underneath, molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and brie with salad. All preceded by American-style cocktail menu.
Exceptional/surprisingly good and inventive dishes in much less than sedate atmosphere. Service quick, but intentionally hurried. No thought to finesse. And everyone seemed to love it.
In all, a terrific dinner.