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Jan 15, 2007 08:15 AM


We finally got over to LE PETIT MARCHE this weekend. We were planning on NOODLE PUDDING, but the wait was more than 30 minutes, so we walked down the street.

The welcome was very gracious and friendly, and set a really nice tone for the evening. The restaurant itself is warm, attractive, and inviting. A beautiful bar, rustic chandeliers,and an antique pressed tin ceiling make for a charming setting.

The crisp sourdough baguette could have used a warming in the oven, but it was tasty, served with a nice garlic spread.

The waitress asked us about water, and I asked what kind they had. Good thing I asked. A 1L bottle of fizzy was $7.00! We passed. A nice Cote du Rhone was fairly priced.

Our appetizer salads were fresh, and nicely presented. Greens with beets and brulee goat cheese ( glazed with a caramelized sugar crust like a creme brulee) and Salade Lyonnaise, with potatoes, green beans, and bacon in a very mustardy vinaigrette. Both were delicious and generous.

Main dishes were well prepared, very generousportions, and apart from being a little oversalted,they were very tasty. We had the Steak Frites, perfectly cooked to medium with frites that were excellent. Our other dish was the Pan Roasted Chicken served with wild mushrooms, and Cauliflower Gratin.

For dessert, we shared the outstanding Tarte Tatin, served with a homemade Cinnamon Gelato. One of the best Tarte Tatin I have had in the States. Generous portion enough for 2.

Excellent espresso ended the meal.

I found LE PETIT MARCHE to be a delightful addition to the neighborhood, which is sorely lacking in good restaurants, and French restaurants in particular. Good, solid, bourgeois cuisine, well prepared and nicely presented at fair prices makes for a happy dining experience. One that will be repeated very soon.

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  1. We were there for dinner last night and were similarly impressed. The place was completely full and service was excellent.

    My boyfriend had shrimp to start--garlicky and buttery and he loved it. I had salmon tartare, which was served with homemade potato chips and creme fraiche. The salmon was good but a little too citrusy. The owner (I think she was the owner anyway) came over to take our order. My boyfriend was planning on having the lobster ravioli, but the kitchen was out. He was deciding between a lobster and a cod special (both sounded excellent) but was convinced to get the lamb shank. The owner (?) said if he didn't like it she'd exchange it for fish, no charge. Her confidence in the lamb was impressive and justified. It was amazing -- meat fell off the bone and the sauce was rich and red wine=y. I had french onion soup and it was good but could have used some more salt.

    We didn't have time for dessert (we were heading to the movie theater down the street) but the menu was very tempting. My choice would have been the Tarte Tatin and with the above review I will definitely have it next time.

    We noticed that Aficionado and Food Maestro were empty...seems to prove that GOOD restaurants will do well in the neighborhood. Le Petit Marche is a welcome addition to Henry St.

    1. Good to hear my positive experience wasn't the exception to the rule. I encourage all Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo residents to pay this place a visit.

      (I posted a rather lengthy review in another thread -- I praised the food and laughed at the comical service we received -- but that review has mysteriously disappeared. Odd.)


      2 Replies
      1. re: Peter

        Peter, I would be interested to read your review of this restaurant. If you find it, please post it here.

        LE PETIT MARCHE has been crowded every time I walk by. Amazing hoiw word gets around so fast about what is good and what isn't. The other two are always empty.

        There is a rumor around that all three new restaurants are owned by the same people. This is not at all true.

        1. re: Fleur


          1. <<Peter, I would be interested to read your review of this restaurant. If you find it, please post it here.>>

          Thanks! I looked high and low -- the review is gone. Maybe I inadvertently said something verboten and the powers that be justifiably yanked it? If so, I wish they'd drop me a line to say so. Without doing so it just makes me think their software is flaky and erodes my confidence in posting.

          2. <<Amazing how word gets around so fast about what is good and what isn't.>>

          More likely, it's the simple old adage, "a crowd draws a crowd" -- and it's corollary. One sees a window full of people seemingly having a good time at Petit Marche and they assume it's good and head in.

          People see an empty room or a single table of lost-looking tourists desultorily picking at their food at Food Maestro and they stay away in droves. ;)


      2. I think I agree with the "crowd draws a crowd" theory, but also have to say that Food Maestro and Aficianado are two of the worst restaurant names ever. All I can think of is The Maestro on Seinfeld.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JennS

          Speaking of Seinfeld, that Food Maestro place reminds me more of the customer deprived Babu's Dream Cafe...It may be a good place to do some work since no one is around to distract you...
          I went to Petit Marche last Saturday night (1/20) at 6:15. Pretty early for dinner I thought, though the place was already about two-thirds full. Fortunately, we got the last table for two in the back, away from the cold windy door. We both ordered steak frites (as seemed to be the recommended choice on this board), medium rare. Arrived cooked as ordered with a nice charred crust. Frites nicely herb-seasoned, a bit limp, but decent and not greasy. Kind of tight seating in the back, though not any more constricting than Henry's End. Service was competent. The old Edith Piaf background audio was kind of cheesy. When we left at around 7:45, the place was completely seated, and we had to squeeze past a crowded bar area (presumably waiting for tables) and two more couples coming through the door. Obviously, they're doing quite well at the moment. I'd like to return and try some of the other dishes. I remember a couple of years ago there were lines out the door of El Cubanito for the first few weeks after it opened. I'm curious to see if this place turns out to be the real deal, or if it is just riding out a wave of just-opened hype.

          1. re: Psychobabble

            "When we left at around 7:45, the place was completely seated, and we had to squeeze past a crowded bar area (presumably waiting for tables) and two more couples coming through the door".

            We were either already at the bar when you were squeezing by, or one of the 2 couples coming in the door. We were seated 10-15 minutes later against the wall opposite the front of the bar & had a very nice meal. I thought the wines were weak but all of the food was very good. My frizee salad w/lardons & Ginny's caramelized goat cheese salad were both large and very tasty. My steak frites were as yours & I enjoyed it. Ginny's lamb shank was excellent. The special bread pudding dessert was 2 thin slices with ice cream but more than enough. I like this place & will be back. I hope their wines get better.

            1. re: Steve R

              I concur -- this place is off to a good start. I stopped in last Wednesday evening for a late solo dinner. My skate was perfectly done, and accompanied by a potato bacon hash that could have been crispier, but was pretty good. I agree that the wine list is quite weak and should be revamped. I was disappointed at the little bitty slices of bread pudding for desert (the 2 pieces together were only slightly bigger than a credit card, and about 1/4 inch thick). It was tasty though, I just wanted something to dig into on a blustery night. My criticisms are minor and I will certainly be back soon. My skate was really very good and quite a large portion. The lamb shank and the steak frites are on my short list of dishes to try.

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