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Calgary - Petite....

pants Jul 7, 2009 08:39 AM

...is my new fave!! went to check it out last night, totally feels like you are not in Calgary - very small (hence the name) only about 24 seats i think, exposed brick, open kitchen...

bigger wine list than food menu (yay!!) and again, what i love about Alberta, a whole list of wine I haven't tried before!! the whole menu sounds delicious and the most expensive entree is $25. I settled on the pork tenderloin w/creamy polenta, apple and truffle jus $22 - not a huge portion but enough and full of rich flavours and textures - i look forward to trying more things. My friend and i shared the white peach tartin for dessert - worth every calorie, go have some now!

lunch sounds good too.

the one fellow was previously the manager at bonterra(i knew i recognized him)

love it! can't wait to go back!!

http://www.petiterestaurant.ca/

  1. m
    marcopolo Jul 7, 2009 09:24 AM

    i noticed this the other day, but with the slew of poorly named 'cafes' that were in that space i didn't pay much attention. Nice to know there's something of value there. I worry that they'll have to work pretty hard to get word out...

    2 Replies
    1. re: marcopolo
      h
      hsk Jul 7, 2009 08:23 PM

      It was packed when I went last Thursday so I suspect the word is already out. The food was great, and very well priced, the ambience was nice and the service really good. My only beef is wine started at $50 a bottle ($45 on the menu but they were out of that one). I don't mind paying for great wines, but sometimes I just want passable stuff in the $30 range, not something that will blow me away. What we had was great but brought the bill up to more than the normal amount I like to spend for a casual dinner in the every few weeks category of favourite places. I'll definitely be back, but likely not often.

      1. re: hsk
        pants Jul 8, 2009 07:22 AM

        i agree, the wines were pretty expensive - we paid $35 for a 1/2 litre....a restaurant's cheapest bottle of wine should still be good and yes, something in the $30 range would be appreciated.

    2. AriaDream Jul 7, 2009 11:34 PM

      This looks very interesting, but if you don't mind me asking what's the parking situation like there? Looks like it's almost in the core.

      3 Replies
      1. re: AriaDream
        worldwidestuff Jul 8, 2009 04:47 AM

        I very rudely parked in the Community Natural Foods parking lot for the evening....right across the street.
        The side streets around there are usually empty after rush hour.. Chintz' parking lot is an easy walk too. Not that I am advocating using their valuable parking space without visiting the store.

        1. re: AriaDream
          pants Jul 8, 2009 07:21 AM

          after six you can park on the street anyways for free.

          1. re: AriaDream
            John Manzo Jul 8, 2009 08:59 AM

            Tons of street parking on 10-11-12, free after 6.

          2. a
            alley Jul 22, 2009 07:43 PM

            Finally tried Petite tonight. Got there early, little after 6, a spot at the bar basically right in the kitchen - I had the bar to myself, although there are technically 4 spaces there, but it is quite cozy, so you would want to know, or want to get to know, your neighbours at the bar very well. Recommended for the intimate experience, opportunity to talk to the chef (when not too busy) and watch the action. The room is small and intimate, there is no wasted space: if you end up sitting on one of the benches you are basically sitting on storage for the kitchen or the wine cellar. The restaurant was fully booked by 7:30, and the charming, small patio was packed much earlier than that.

            I had the charcuterie board, one of the best I have tried (at par with Nota Bene in Toronto), including some specials made in house, amazing duck pate and duck procsciutto. Then a superb halibut dish with artichokes and THE BEST gnocchi I have had in Calgary. Excellent wine pairings. For dessert the pecan tart: it was good, not up to the standard of the other dishes, but it was elevated by an excellent wine pairing with a lovely madeira.

            Highly recommend a spot at the bar if there is 1 or 2 or 3 so you can watch the show. Excellent food, excellent service, although the restaurant does get busy, best to try it on a weeknight I think. I need to try it again with friends, but I think I might have found a new favourite restaurant in Calgary.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alley
              John Manzo Jul 22, 2009 10:12 PM

              How excellent to see a characterful space meets its potential- thanks for the review!

            2. alau2 Jul 24, 2009 08:28 AM

              I have a set of photos up on Flickr from two dinners at Petite. Loved the food and atmosphere; my only quibble is I wish the portions were a wee bit more filling. May just be a matter of more sides/carbs.

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreela...

              1. m
                miss.foodie Jul 25, 2009 01:20 PM

                I tried Petite for the first time last night. I really wanted to like it... however, I was a little disappointed by the overall experience. It was a very warm night last night and unfortunately we didn't get a table on the patio. Instead we got a table by the kitchen. The restaurant was packed full and very busy and they didn't have air conditioning. As a result, it was a little too warm for comfort, esp being by the open kitchen. I was actually feeling the heat from the kitchen The food itself was fairly decent. I really enjoyed the charcuterie. The duck pate and some of the other meat were very impressive... it was some of the best I've ever had, esp here in Calgary. The accompanying condiments and mustards were top notch as well. I'd definitely order the charcuterie again. For the main course, I had the halibut. It was cooked to perfection. The flavours were good and solid (although I wouldn't rank it as the most memorable halibut I've ever had, I would order it again). One of my dining companions had the pork tenderloin. I was impressed that it was melt-in-you-mouth tender... texture-wise, probably the most tender pork tenderloin I've ever had at a restaurant in Calgary. Again, the flavours were good and solid (but not WOW). I was happy with the wine selections our server recommended. They paired nicely with the food. The overall service was good, although spotty at times... There were only 2 guys on the floor last night and the whole place was packed.. I'm not sure if that's the norm or they were short staffed last night. It just seemed like these 2 guys were constantly in a rush trying to keep things under control... so they were "forgetful" sometimes because they were multi-tasking so much. We didn't try dessert last night (I really wanted to try the panna cotta as it looked really good) and opted to go elsewhere for gelato instead to cool off as the heat was getting to us.

                Overall, I would go back to Petite.. but will wait till when the weather gets a bit cooler or if I could make sure I get a table on the patio.

                1 Reply
                1. re: miss.foodie
                  John Manzo Jul 27, 2009 08:51 AM

                  I haven't been yet, but I have to say in their defense that (1) at their price points, your experience sounds VERY "wow"; and (2) they never, ever anticipated the level of success they've had. Remember that the cafes that used to be at this location were dead 90% of the time and the spot has almost zero visibility, but here they are packed to the gills.

                  But I do sympathise about the AC issue!

                2. pants Jul 27, 2009 07:24 AM

                  went back sunday for lunch - love it still! it was very quiet when we arrived (it was just noon) but a few other tables trickled in by the time we left.

                  i had the halibut cakes - delicious and a tasty sauce to go with, the SO had the special which was pasta with halibut, prawns, salmon and scallops with a rose sauce - he enjoyed every bite - we had to have the peach tartin, it wasn't quite as good as the first time, but still really, really enjoyable.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pants
                    s
                    slingshotz Jul 27, 2009 02:28 PM

                    We visited for lunch on a really hot day last week so we didn't want to sit outside and to me it seemed like the AC on as it was very refreshing in the restaurant. Maybe their AC died recently?

                    Quite satisfied with the lunch meal and their specialty organic beer from the US was quite nice and an interesting find. Dinner menu looks more interesting though.

                  2. c
                    cancowboy Jul 31, 2009 12:59 PM

                    From FFWD this week, someone's very bad experience at Petite.
                    http://www.ffwdweekly.com/article/new...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cancowboy
                      worldwidestuff Jul 31, 2009 04:48 PM

                      very entertaining. I just had to leave a comment.

                      1. re: cancowboy
                        m
                        miss.foodie Jul 31, 2009 05:19 PM

                        Glad to know I wasn't the only person encountering AC issues there.

                        1. re: cancowboy
                          i
                          ilikebigmactoo Aug 18, 2009 10:20 AM

                          Wow, that was a bitter letter.

                          My girlfriend and I was there on Saturday, and I have to say I have to disagree with most of that letter.

                          The service was good and the food was excellent, especially at the price point.

                          We had the charcuterie board. Again, it was excellent. Maybe because we were sitting at the bar and had the opportunity to interact with their head chef, he was able to spend a minute walking us through the board.

                          I had the free range chicken and my girlfriend had the pork tenderloin. Both excellent. Nothing fancy and the price wasn't bumped up with exotic ingredients either.

                          If I really have to find a fault, the peach tatin was ok. The pecan tart was amazing. I normally don't like tarts, and let alone pecan tarts, but it was superb.

                          I would definitely go back there as a great alternative to the boring restaurant (with cute girls I'll admit) like Earls and Joey Tomatoes.

                        2. m
                          misseats Aug 4, 2009 03:22 PM

                          I have just joined chowhound and was happy to see some reviews about Petite. I had tried it not too long ago and had a wonderful experience. The food, service and wine was excellent.

                          I found the team (kitchen and dining room) to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. For supper I had the beet salad and halibut - both were excellent. Of note - the halibut was cooked to perfection, at least to my liking. For dessert the pana cotta was yummee.

                          The comments about the temperature are valid as I have found the temperature to be quite warm. I did ask about this and was informed that there would be some screens put into the windows to allow a breeze to help out the overworked and mini AC unit.

                          1. a
                            armicho Sep 20, 2009 10:22 AM

                            We went as a group of 6 lastnight and had a wonderful time. The trout is amazing as is the pork tenderloin. I had the cod but it was not as savory as the trout and the pork - but still yummy... We also tried the beef tartar - yummy but I still reserve the spot for best beef tartar as the Living Room... Great service - great food and great ambience - we will most certainly be back!!!

                            1. h
                              hsk Sep 26, 2009 08:40 AM

                              I went again and it was very good but I thought better the first time. The charcuterie plate was MUCH smaller (quite frankly a ripoff for $18) and the prices of the mains were steep for the teeny portions (eg. 3 scallops for $24, 4oz tenderloin for $28). Delicious but not at all a good deal, whereas the first time I thought the prices were quite reasonable.

                              The website still has the old menu, I'm not sure when it changed.

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