Le Petit Marche in Brooklyn Heights
Anyone else try the new French restaurant on Henry Street? A friend of mine and I put our name in at Noodle Pudding last night and while we were waiting the estimated 45 minutes we decided to walk around and 2 doors down we noticed Le Petite Marche and decided to give it a shot. Very good space, service and food. The steak frites were excellent and the service was outstanding. They have been open since Tuesday and are filling up with customers and reservations. Henry Street is becoming quite the foodie destination. Anyone else happen across Le Petite?
Haven't been either but was at Noodle Pudding last night for NYE. When I walked past Le Petit Marche at 9:45 it looked packed. Definitely a good sign and hopeful (perhaps naively) that that area can turn the corner and someday become a mini restaurant row when the Food Maestro/Aficianada/Blue Pig spots eveventually change hands.
We tried Le Petit Marche on their second night (having walked past and seen them filled and bustling the night before), and I thought about posting a report here, but decided to wait a while and see if more enthusiastic postings came in first; our experience was disappointing-- it was all right, but no more.
The menu was very promising, I thought; there were lots of interesting items I was tempted to order. The leg of lamb I chose was the nicest part of the meal. A bit too bitterly charred for the extremely mild flavor of the meat, but perfectly cooked inside, and tender. Everything else was at best unobjectionable. Salmon tartare, mussels, green salad and creme brulee were the things we ordered; the salad (an uncut lettuce-- is this a new trend?) seemed to be dressed with pure vinegar. The roasted vegetables and couscous that came with the lamb were, respectively, cooked to the texture of slime with thick skins to chew through, and an unremarkable mass of unrelated flavors, especially with the mango chutney (I think it was) on top. The creme brulee wasn't delicate, in either crust or custard.
The staff was pleasant and the service good; the restaurant's appearance is cozy and almost a little silly in its attempt to look French, but that was fine (not so wonderful was the Edith Piaf music that played non-stop through our whole meal-- I mean, I like Piaf as much as the next Francophile, but after 45 minutes that voice can start to grate. I don't hold this against anyone; we could have asked for a change in music).
The steak frites delivered to the table behind us looked and smelled great and appeared to be well received. I hope that the chef here can find a way to inject more deliciousness into the dishes; I don't want to hold our one experience against the new enterprise. And then I have been feeling unsure about my right to judge them like this (what if the soft tomatoes and eggplant accompanying the lamb were supposed to be like that?) but last night we had dinner in Manhattan at Compass, and it was such a different level of experience-- such wonderful flavors and textures-- that I feel okay about sharing my view of Le Petit Marche on its second night. It was pedestrian, and may it find its legs.
I stand chastened. I do apologize for having come down so hard on a place that I have no wish to do any harm to, on the contrary. I'm glad that my posting is coming to be only one of many, and I will go back again, hoping to find myself happier with the food.
i tried Le Petit Marche for the first time 3/28/2007 and was suitably impressed. I was just walking by and looked in. It was crowded but they were able to seat me at 7:30pm. The food was just what i needed on a slightly chilled spring night. I had the Lyonainnes Salad for an appetizer and the Coq Au Vin for entree. Both were rich and delicous. The tables were cramped but it is too be expected in a busy restaurant. The service was mostly professional. I do not remember any music, Piaf or any one else. I would recommend it for either Francophiles or just Brooklynites.