Life is returning to the Greater Daglan Area, after a typically grey and quiet-as-a-mouse winter. Flowering trees are bursting into bloom, fields are being plowed and readied for planting, and — perhaps most welcome — establishments are opening for “the season.” And that includes Daglan’s prize restaurant, Le Petit Paris.
So today we were off to Le Petit Paris to try something new: its economical 17-euro menu, just unveiled.
To remind you of what the restaurant looks like, here it is — parked behind the village’s war memorial, and with its terrace just waiting for somewhat warmer weather:
Out front is the chalkboard heralding the 17-euro menu, which consists of an amuse bouche or small appetizer, a plat principal or main course, and dessert (the famous café gourmand). Here’s the sign:
There were four of us for lunch: my wife Jan and I were joined by friends Rosemary and Richard. Once we had settled and ordered an apéritif (the restaurant’s Champagne Imperial cocktail), we talked with Madame Guilbot (the gracious hostess and wife of Chef Sylvain) about the new menu; she described it as the “express” menu for people in a hurry. (Ha!)
Today’s dishes included rillettes (a coarse paté, usually containing shreds of meat) of pork and duck, plus small glasses of split-pea soup, served cold; then confit of duck (the whole leg of the duck, cooked slowly in melted fat); and finally a café gourmand, or espresso served with a selection of small desserts. To accompany the meal, we chose a bottle of Château Sancerre rouge. And here’s our amuse bouche tray:
And here’s the plat principal, served with what seemed to be light “fritters” made with potatoes, plus some greens:
And then came dessert, the café gourmand, consisting of an espresso plus a nice blob of chocolate mousse, a bit of cake with fruit, and a (very good) ice cream, which Richard thought included almonds and I thought included pistachios (could have been both). Here it is:
So, when it was all over, what did we think? The total bill for each couple was 71 euros, which didn’t seem too much given that we’d begun with Champagne cocktails, had a nice bottle of wine, and two extra coffees.
And the food? It was just fine. The rillettes were as good as always (although a bit more garlicky), the cuisse de canard was very moist and tender (although the skin wasn’t as crispy as we would have liked), and the café gourmand was tasty.
Will it earn Le Petit Paris a coveted Michelin star? Not likely. But it seemed good value, and was an enjoyable lunch.
As for the “express” aspect, we took a good two hours to enjoy our lunch. But Jan and I were with good friends, it was a comfortable spot, and there was no rush. So, no complaints. But as I’m sure you would expect, we were the last to leave the restaurant.