My wife and I, and another couple from our building, dined at Le Petit Marche this evening. We were all being thrifty, and had the “Brooklyn dining” special available at various restaurants in the Borough this week. This gets you a first course, an entree and dessert for $21.10, which, as near as I can tell, is an anagram of the first four digits of the zip code.
LPM’s offerings in this category were: (1) a choice of either a house salad or escargot for the first course; (2) coq a vin, broiled salmon, or some sort of vegetable filled ravioli for the entree; and (3) apple crepe with whipped cream, or bread pudding with cherries and ice cream, for dessert.
Everyone else asked for salad, so I ordered escargot. These came (mercifully for klutzy me) out of their shells, accompanied by a couple of pieces of light pastry and drenched in a heavy red wine based sauce. The pastry balanced the richness of the sauce, but the delicate flavor of the snails was overwhelmed. Still, it was quite palatable. I sampled my wife’s salad, which was delightful; zesty greens with slices of pear and apricot and lumps of veined cheese, drizzled with a well-balanced sweet and sour dressing. I’d give the salad a definite edge.
My entree choice was salmon, which proved to be a modest sized but tasty piece, cooked to precisely the medium I requested. It came on a bed of well-cooked spinach. To the side was a small mound of strands of onion in a cheese sauce which complemented the fish well, and several sauteed string beans and carrots, which lacked flavor. My wife had the chicken, which came on a bed of white beans, and was good but undistinguished. Here, I’d say my choice was the winner. Unfortunately, no one in our group wanted ravioli.
I was the last to order dessert, so, everyone else having chosen apple crepe (the menu said apple creme brulee, but either they had run out of that or the chef had a change of heart), I went for the bread pudding with cherries. This proved to be a sizeable slab of pudding bisected by a vein of heavily cooked cherries that had lost most of their flavor. This last round went to my wife, whose apple crepe had the perfect balance of tartness and sugar.
We arrived at 7:30 and found only a few tables occupied, but the place filled quickly afterward. Still, the noise level was quite tolerable. The staff were friendly and attentive, but not intrusive. The decor is typical bistro: posters advertising , watercolors of Paris scenes, and the like. I’m told that the restroom is well worth a visit, but I never felt the need.
In conclusion, I think LPM is a valuable addition to our neighborhood. They met the challenge of providing an inexpensive three course meal with food that was, at worst, decent standard bistro fare, and at best quite good. To give a more comprehensive evaluation, I’ll have to revisit when I’m feeling more flush and sample some dishes from their regular menu (including that lump crabmeat salad).
I believe that is a semi-thumbs-up, with a you-could-do-better mixed in there. Please, someone take Claude there again for a more comprehensive review. Aw hell, maybe we at bhblog can stretch our budget for such an accommodation. We would love to hear more about the restroom.