A few months ago I ate brunch at Smokey Tails ( go to FoodPunk Visits for more details), little did I know that just a stone throw away from the restaurant lied Petit Pois Bistro. Two completely different places competing with each other to attract hungry diners. Smokey Tails offers deep south Barbeque inspired meats mixed in with old school funk and soul music whereas Petit Pois goes for the more relaxing, sophisticated and romantic type ambience whilst serving classic French dishes.
Petit Pois has typically got that classic French bistro look to it with a small patio area for people to feel as Parisian as possible whereas inside it's as intimate as a restaurant gets. If you're with you're boyfriend/girlfriend then great but if you're just with a friend, it might just get a bit too close for comfort. But nevertheless it's stylish place.
The menu is concise and offers the classic French dishes that we all know and love and the service is faultless where the waiting staff are impeccably friendly and welcoming. However Petit Pois unfortunately falls short in certain areas and by that I mean the starters. I love French Onion soup as much as the next guy because lets face it what's not to love about slow cooked white onions bathed in a rich dark, meaty stock topped with cheesy croutons. That is what I was expecting from this bistro but it didn't live up to my expectations. The soup base didn't have that rich flavoursome stock and even though it had bundles of gooey bread on top it wasn't enough to salvage what was already a slightly disappointing starter. The Salad Lyonnaise is probably not everyone's first choice for a starter but its a better bet than the soup especially when you've got a poached egg with a soft, runny yolk accompanied with salty thick cut bacon lardons. It's not the most exciting salad in the world but it does the job.
|French Onion Soup|
Fear not, it's not all doom and gloom at Petit Pois because they manage to save themselves with the mains. The steak is typically cooked medium-rare there but of course you can ask them to cook your meat however you like it. Obviously you know me from past experiences that I like my steak rare and the restaurant does a bloody good job with it. Its tender, juicy and cut to the perfect thickness served with classic crispy frites, a rich béarnaise sauce and I went one step further by ordering sweet baby glazed onions and lardons.
As for the Sole Meuniere, it takes gold medal. A healthy size piece of fish which just flakes with the touch of the fork, coated in loads of brown butter and finished off with lemon juice and parsley. It's so simple but its simplicity at it's best.
For something sweet, the soft poached pear with creamy Claousou cheese is a must. For those of you that is unaware of what Claousou cheese is, its made from sheep's milk that is ideally paired with fruity aromatic red wine, hence why it is on this particular dish.
Petit Pois does well in certain parts but in others it disappoints. I'm not saying by no means avoid it, just don't go there expecting the X factor. This restuarant is not a bad choice, it's a safe choice.
|Steak, Frites & Bearnaise|
|Glazed Baby Onions & Lardons|
|Poached Pear & Claousou Cheese|
|Cheese Board With Honey Vinaigrette|