P'tit Plateau question
Planning on heading there Friday night with the SO. Never been before, and very excited to finally try it.
This concern's been percolating the past few days. Having read about the two seatings, the somewhat brusque service and carswell's (? i think) caveat not to expect a three hour ordeal, I can't hep but wonder if LPP is in fact the right place to celebrate a special birthday meal.
Obviously, the lure great food and non-marked up wine is hard to deny, but those issues have been nagging at me. So I put it to you,oh knowing 'hounds - are any of my aforementioned concerns deal-breakers*? And if so, do you have any better suggestions?
*the deal being: a memorable, luxurious birthday dinner for a couple of dyed in the wool foodies.
Was at LPP for a friend's birthday dinner on a Friday evening last fall. We went to the second seating, enjoyed a full meal (salad, appetizers, main courses, dessert) and didn't feel rushed. We were probably seated at 20:45 and were among the last to leave a couple of hours later.
Service was friendly but, with everybody ordering at the same time and only two servers working the room, they don't have time to linger until the evening's end.
The food was as good as ever. It's southwestern French cooking and so has an earthy side but at the same time is quite refined and elegantly presented (except maybe for the confits and the cassoulet). The foie gras au torchon is great, especially for the price, and the house dessert featuring prunes, nuts, candied orange zest and Armagnac ice cream is not to be missed.
The stemware has been upgraded. They now have larger glasses for red wines and even carafes, though you may have to ask for them. While not as fancy as the glasses at, say, À l'os, the stemware is adequate for 95% of the reds brought to the restaurant. That said, the birthday dinner featured a fine 20-year-old Bordeaux and I'm glad we took along some Magnum stems that gave it lots of room to breathe and develop.
If you're looking for a more formal, upscale and relaxed setting where you can order a multi-course tasting menu and spend three or four hours eating it, you should probably consider Christophe, Le Bleu Raisin or, maybe, À l'os, though I don't think you'll eat better there than at Le P'tit Plateau.
Well, Le Petit plateau IS NOT a luxurious experience; it's good BYOW neighborhood bistro. Maybe O'Thym is better ?
and, any restaurant with 2 seatings, the first one is for people who don't want to stay late lingering at the table, the second seating is usually for people who do not want to be rushed out of their seat.
Can you give us an idea of a previous experience that fit the bill? Like are you talking Per Se level, or have you had other simpler experiences that have been fine too?
The service at LPP is brusque, but friendly in a neighbourhood bistro kind of way. They have always been very accommodating whenever I've been there, it just isn't super slick. It's comfortable. If you want a homey intimate experience, this could fit, but it isn't going to be super fancy and luxurious. I have issues with the wine glasses, which don't do great wine good service, so when I plan to drink a really fabulous bottle, I bring my own glasses. You aren't going to get slick wine service here.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool foodie, then I personally think the food is worth it. But again, it depends on what you want in terms of style of the food. The duck confit is wonderful. Lovely homemade smoked salmon is a treat. The dessert with prunes and Armagnac is unique and gorgeous. But the green salad isn't anything more exciting than that, the bread is simply a baguette (but I have to say,one of the more delectable baguettes I've had, I can't seem to not eat it there, and the butter has to be slathered on). The cutlery and plates are simple and rustic. The menu is elegant, but there isn't a lot of choice, and this isn't El Bulli, not even close.
So I share your concerns about the venue for this occasion. Personally, I'd happily go there for a birthday celebration for many reasons, but I'm not sure it is what you are looking for. Maybe Au Cinqiueme Peche would be a better fit? But it is not a BYOB.
Alas, I've never had anything level of Per Se (at least the mythical idea of it, which could well exist only in my head, behind a blue door...) and being students, nights at XO or Laloux are not exactly in our wheelhouse.
I guess the closest approximation would be a meal we had at Les Héritiers in December.
The food was fine - nothing mind blowing, yet well prepared and satisfying - but the ambiance and service was top notch. They graciously obliged us and brought out one dish at a time, turning two table d'hôtes into one eight-course tasting menu, which, supplemented by a couple of great bottles of wine, made for a long and lavish meal. That's more what I mean by 'luxurious'. Not so much pomp and fuss, but comfort and accommodation.
Of course, you used both terms to describe LPP, so I only wonder if that one-off way of eating (a way I'd highly recommend. Stretch that dollar!) would fly there.