Le Gaigne, 4th
Based on lots of recs and some good NYTimes feedback, we went to Le Gaigne last night. It did not disappoint. A small bistro-like setting, about 9 tables. The wife runs the front, waits on all the tables, and the husband cooks in the kitchen. This arrangement could never work in the US. We would have 2 buspeople, 3 waiters, and several helpers in the kitchen and still not be as efficient as Le Gaigne is.
They offer a wonder Menu Degustation for 39 Euro, which brings 5 courses of some good medium portions. The starter was a wonderful cold tomato preparation caled Gazpacho, but this one was more flavorful than most, with lots of chopped vegetables arranged in the center and the cold broth then poured on later. A ball of cooked nice cheese was served on the side. Next course was a grilled salmon with a puree of green vegetables. Then a nice brandade (fish) for the 3rd course which was stewed in beet juice to make it pink., accompanied by a lovely vegetable pancake. 4th was lamb cubes cooked nicely rare, with a potato/greens concoction, and the sweet was not that sweet, an apple crumble that was served artistically on the plate with a fruit sauce.
This was a very reasonable price for the quality of this food. This place is a definite find in the great and lively Marais, a lot quieter than most other quartiers because of it's small narrow streets. No wide thoroughfares here.
Le Gaigne is a winer.
As one of the "boosters," I'm glad to hear that your experience at this little purple place was similar to ours. And yes, madame runs the front room very efficiently. I hope you used the WC facilities (or at least the novel sink) -- if not, you'll have to go back!