We visited L’Arcane for the first time about 18 months ago and they hadn’t been open long (opened June 2016). On this re-visit pretty much every thing that bothered me about the place has been corrected and food remains outstanding. Get it on your list as soon as you can. The tables are still small but well spaced and the lighting is at a good level. Soft music is in the background and some decorative changes, like wide planked wood floors and nice artwork, have been made that are all for the better. They now have a well deserved one Michelin star rating. Chef Laurent Magnin is now married to Sophie Keller who runs the front of the house. They offer a tasting menu only with the option of 3, 4 or 5 different courses, but there are a couple of amuse bouche to add to it. There is no printed menu. Portion control was good and pacing on the slower side but nicely regular as opposed to having long gaps.
We started with a crispy cone filled with cinnamon, celery and smoked eel. It was totally crispy and delicate with great flavor and texture.
Bread is a box of small baguettes and slices of browner bread. Both had soft and doughy insides with a good crisp crust. The square box accompanying it was filled with tasty butter, which was hard to stop eating.
A vichyssoise, cold potato soup, was filled with potatoes, leeks, lots of herbs and fresh, sweet crab. The crab was from Brittany and wonderful. This dish was topped with a lacy crispy cracker that added a fun texture to the dish. I actually think I liked it better eaten separately from the soup – both were so good I hated to blend the flavors.
Roasted scallops were cooked perfectly and served in a champagne sauce alongside cauliflower on biscuit. They were both fantastic and the sauce divine.
Brill was served with grilled butternut squash, Japanese lime and curry emulsion. This was a yummy course. The squash was topped with really tiny croutons that added a fun crunch to the cockles and Vernis (large fleshy clams with red tongue) that were also on top. All the additions made the squash a dish in its own. It wasn’t fishy but full of textures and flavors. The fish was excellent, cooked perfectly and the curry sauce was spectacular. All was really good mixed together or on its own.
Lobster carbonara was next. The lobster was barely cooked and plated next to perfectly cooked pasta standing upright and all surrounded by another excellent sauce. A hint of anise or fennel was in the dish and an intense shellfish flavor made the dish lick-the-plate great.
Two types of venison were served rare as well as long cooked alongside vegetables, red cabbage ravioli and spaetzle. The spaetzle was light, crisped on the outside, tender on the inside and a star of the course. The venison was various cuts from roe deer and all were lovely with nice sauces. The many vegetable accompaniments were quite good too. This was an amazing course – usually the protein course is a least favorite but this one sang.
Pear with bergamot sorbet was mixed with green cardamom sweet foam. Small chunks of the sweet fruit were underneath. It was tasty, light and a good transition course.
Dessert was an apple puree with pomegranate alongside a caramel and soy sauce ice cream. In the center of the apple was a thick, sticky and sweet caramel. The thin slices of apple were on top of a soft buttery cookie. This had lots of apple flavor and the plate had the lively colors of Christmas, green and red.
Final sweets were orange blossom marshmallows, tangerine jellies and chocolate on shortbread. The marshmallows had a wonderfully strong orange flavor and the shortbread was buttery and crispy sandwiching some intense chocolate. Intense would also describe the flavor of the jellies. A yummy way to finish a fantastic meal.