Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cafe Petite Chou

I love French food. There, I said it. You can't find it easily in America, so when you do, you have to go and try it.

Cafe' Petite Chou, located in Broad Ripple on Westfield Blvd, is a sister restaurant of Patachou, the Indianapolis restaurant known for their excellent breakfasts and more.
We went to Petite Chou for lunch on a busy Saturday, the restaurant is small and, due to the popularity, crowded. You enter the restaurant, and since there is virtually no wasted space, you wait in the doorway with the other parties waiting for their table. You feel in the way of people wanting to enter and exit, because you are. The day was chilly and blustery, so the outdoor seating wasn't an option. The restaurant has a European feel to it, where people linger and chat long after their meal, which seems nice in a Hemingway novel, but the reality is, the person waiting would really like you to give up the table.
We were seated shortly, though. The table was high, and the stools were backless and hard. The table could easily accommodate 6 people. And, of course, 4 other people were ushered to our table. It had a Benihana-like feel. If you don't like the noise and conversation fragments of other people, this may not be a place for you. Everyone is in extremely close quarters, and everyone is chatting. The chef is in view of the diners (again, no wasted space) and there was were just a few hooks by the front door for coats and umbrellas. We had and extra stool were were using to hold these, but the hostess had to take it for other diners, as they were seating diners at tables that looked like they couldn't possibly accommodate them.
As for the food, the tomato artichoke soup was served in a cup, steam was rising from it in a very pleasing way. A large crouton was inserted in the side of the cup and a generous amount of cheese topped it. A chicken crepe followed it, this was very tasty too. The combination of chicken, asparagus and mushrooms were seasoned perfectly and were the perfect filling for this delicate little pancake. The Croque Monsieur was also very good. The Croque was originally French peasant food, but has evolved over the years. It is basically a French ham and cheese sandwich. The ham was thick, and the bechamel sauce that adorned it was as good as any I've had. It was topped with melted Gruyere cheese. The only negative I would say, is maybe this dish doesn't need the signature Patachou "thick bread", and they might have been a little heavy handed with the Dijon. It was still very tasty, however, and easier than flying to France for lunch. Both the crepe and the sandwich were served with field greens covered with an incredibly delicate vinaigrette.
The service was cordial, but they were incredibly rushed. If you demand attention, don't go during peak times. The server would come by and promise drink refills, which didn't come. But the coffee and water were within reach, so we refilled waters for the table.
The food was splendid, and the service wasn't awful (As I said, they were incredibly busy when we dined). I would definitely return on a spring or fall day (when the outdoor seating is available).

Cafe Patachou on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

eat there during the week, it can get busy on the weekends. Try the broken yolk sandwich