Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Problems were small yet Cumulative

     Let me start this blog by saying. I love French food. This weekend my wife and I visited her French aunt and it put me in the mood for the cuisine of France. We went to Le Petit Café this weekend. The place has been in Dania Beach for over 10 years, and we have thought about trying it many times as we stared from across the street while at The Field Restaurant on Griffin Road. We walked in and our anticipation quickly started to diminish. The place is packed with tables, way too many for the space, especially because most were empty. They could have easily lost 30% of the seating and not missed a beat. The decorations on the wall were poor, the flowered drapes were ugly, and the fresh flowers on every table were actually a little too much.  A gigantic miss was the paper napkin folded into a fan at each place setting. Cloth isn't that expensive to wash, and the bread that came out was covered in a cloth napkin, so why couldn't I use one in my lap?

     Ok, so the place is not the most inviting but I can get past that. We looked at the menu and notice that the wine list is pretty slim. My opinion is that wine lists at a French restaurant should offer a range of the offerings of the various regions in France. The list was for the most part Red or White. That may be a little over simplified, but not much. Again not a huge “ding” but definitely noticeable. I went for a Kronenbourg beer, simple yet tasty. The aforementioned bread that did come out wrapped in the napkin was very sad. 4 cold slices of baguette with a mound of margarine appeared on our table.

     We ate our cold bread and decided on dinner. The decision was made to go for the homemade pate, and to split the special seafood cassoulet. The dinner came with a cup of vichyssoise, it was good, nothing special, but good. After having to remind the waiter about the pate we watched it immediately being retrieved from the refrigerator in the dining room already plated and garnished. It was ok, a little overdone, but tasty. It could have been accompanied by some good mustard, but it was good none-the-less. The cassoulet was not what I expected. The bay scallops, shrimp, and unidentifiable white fish came out over-done, and in an overly curried red sauce. I did notice some of the other patrons dishes that looked excellent, the one thing that I did see were the sizes were huge. The portions were easily twice what they should be, and the prices reflected that.

    Splitting the app and the entree was definitely the way to go. We were not overly full and could easily have a crepe. We saw a few savory crepes come from the kitchen and they all looked delicious. We decided to go for the traditional Crepe Suzette, and cups of café ole. The presentation of the crepe was perfect, it was flambéed table side and it had the perfect flavor, and texture.

    The bill came to about $80.00 with tip. A little high I think, for in theory dinner it was only dinner for one, at a strip mall French restaurant in Dania. There was nothing that really jumped out a being awful. All the issues were small yet cumulative. I probably won’t go back, I won’t recommend anyone to go there. I might try it again after dinner just for the desert and coffee, but probably not.

Le Petit Café on Urbanspoon

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