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Jan 16, 2006 10:01 AM

Petite Abeille - Review

  • d

Had a quick dinner here on Saturday evening at the "New Jersey Strip Mall" location on 20th St. and 1st Ave.

From the outside, this place looks as inviting as the Duane Reade (or was it CVS) next door.

But we were quickly given a table, menus and placed a drink order. Danna had a strawberry milkshake (it was one of those rainy days ya know) and I ordered a Nostradamus Brown Ale. The beer was sweeter than the shake (heavy on the alcohol %) but very good despite a poor pour from the waiter. This is bad practice unless you are a bartender. The shake was perfectly thick and not too strawberryish, if you know what I mean. Just right.

Danna got a cheddar bacon cheeseburger and I ordered the Moules Jamaicaines (2 lbs of steamed mussels in a Jamaican curry sauce with apples) which was nothing short of delicious. The mussels were plump and medium in size which was just right, perfectly steamed and the Jamaican curry was excellent. Truly a great dish and very similar to that of Park Bistro's variety. The ones at Park Bistro might be slightly more complex but it's a real toss up as to which ones are better. The broth was remarkably delcious and in abundance. Much more so than you are likely to get elsewhere. I could have eaten an entire baguette - dipping into that broth.

The burger was very good as well but the biggest disappointment was the frites. Wow. These could have been a LOT better. They may have been too crispy for their own good -- and without any potatoey center.

We left a good percentage of our fries on the plate.

The place itself is very family oriented and indeed the number of children came close to equalling the number of adults this evening. The service was fine for what it was (we got our check and the receipt in record time
, which was nice).

A burger, a beer, a shake and more mussels than one needs to eat came to about $40. We went to the back of the restaurant afterwards and bought a jar of Nutella (we had run out) and two "sweet" waffles of which I topped with some hot carmelized bananas and the Nutella (slightly warmed) the following morning for breakfast. Yum!

It's a little out of the way for us, but if I am craving mussels...I will probably head back here...and will order a larger basket of bread for dunking.

Cute website


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  1. That is helpful...I live in Stuy-town and the GF and I love mussels. How did the burger compare to others in the area -- Molly's, Paul's, Cedar, etc.? I get the sense it's not a destination burger...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sugar

      I think its fair to say that it is not a destination burger...but it is very good. If one of you are in the mood for mussels, and the other isn't...the burger would be a great alternative.

    2. p

      If you go there for breakfast/brunch/lunch, try the eggs "en cocotte", a nice baked dish with eggs, pancetta, goat cheese and tomatoes.

      1. I go here very frequently, and think this review is spot on. It never fails to deliver. Also note, they have locations at 18th and 6th, Hudson St. (at Barrow?) and West Broadway (maybe around Duane?). At some point or another, one of these locations has been close to either my office or home, so I've managed to hit all of them over the years.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Guillermo

          The location in the WV is indeed on the corner of Hudson and Barrow - I eat here all the time. The food is delicious and the service is friendly. I love all the varieties of mussels but I really like the steak in particular. It has a nice "fresh off the grill" charred crust on it and the mushroom sauce that they serve with it is wonderful. The fries at this location are good, too - I rarely leave any on my plate. A perfect cozy neighborhood place to dine, IMO.

        2. Surprisingly good food and service. Very cozy "our place" kind of atmosphere. The waffles are deadly good. Unfortunately, though, they are no longer serving their delicious frisee salad..

          1. I was there on Mon eve (20th & 1st location) .. 1/2 price beers, had the Jamaican curry ones as well - delish - friend had the one w/creamy bacon & beer - also delish. We dipped fries to our hearts content in each others broth. The creme brulee for dessert was also very good - more brulee than creme (very sweet), which was just fine w/me!