I’ve been wanting to get back to Pirouette for a while now since I am a fan of its sister restaurant Zébulon and hadn’t yet tried out its latest chef, François-Xavier Ferrol. I was also scouting for restaurants with good terraces for the summer, and Pirouette was a candidate.
It was too chilly to eat outside that day, so I took a seat inside looking out through the big windows at the trees in the square outside, the next best thing to being out there. Although much of the restaurant’s interior is painted black, it is not grim thanks to big expanses of wood and racks of wine lining the walls.
I opted for the €26 lunch menu (no choices), starting with a luscious cold cauliflower soup topped with mint-flavored foam. It was fabulous, but I wished that the bare hint of mintiness were just a tiny bit stronger, and I wondered, not for the first time, why French chefs always feel they have to add something meaty to even such a delicious soup, perfectly seasoned and capable of standing on its own. The favored add-on used to be lardons, but now chorizo is the go-to unnecessary flavor enhancer. It’s the French bacon.
The main course that day was cod. It was cooked a tiny bit too much and was rather salty but had a great creamy, citrusy sauce. I was happy to discover another sauce, made with pimentos, under the vegetables, Together they did the trick.
About those vegetables: there were so many of them– radishes, turnips, carrots and arugula – that I almost had the impression that the chef had cleaned out the refrigerator to fill up the plate. There were also potatoes, which were a little tired, as if they’d been sitting around for a while, but the mushrooms added a nice earthy touch.
Dessert was a duo of sorbets: cassis (black currant) and peach-verbena with a gavotte, a paper-thin cookie. At the bottom of the bowl was a layer of golden gavotte flakes. The dessert came in a chipped ceramic bowl, which did not make a good impression. Neither did the dishcloth-style napkin, which was so small that it barely covered my knee.
Except for the soup, I felt that not a lot of trouble had been taken with the meal. Perhaps if I had ordered à la carte, the dishes would have been a bit more complex, but I don’t see any reason why a fixed-price lunch menu should be disrespected. And, at €26, it wasn’t even much of a bargain.
An excellent option on the same square is the restaurant AG, but unfortunately, its terrace is not as appealing as Pirouette’s.