>> Monday, February 13, 2012
Lately people have been asking me about where to go or what to eat and as much as I love blogging about my experiences, I’m always a bit hesitant about providing people suggestions. Since everybody’s expectations could be a bit different. Plus, I never know how adventurous of a diner they are, whereas my boundaries are very broad. However when a couple of my friends were looking for a place to eat that’s interesting and different, Petite popped up in my mind.
Atmosphere: Petite no more, the newly renovated space is contemporary and always energetic. Good place for groups of all sizes.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+
Food and Wine: We were at Petite for a nice group dinner and luckily for us, we had reservations (always highly recommended). The place was packed since it opened only a couple weeks before our dinner and I’d imagine it to be pretty busy even now. Since we’re all pretty adventurous eaters, we decided to start with the AAA Beef Tartare and Escargot appetizers.
The Beef Tartare had good flavour without being over salted. The quail egg added a nice fattiness to the grainy mustard base and crunch of the garlic bread. It was served with a light peppery arugula and tomato salad, which really helped clear the palate. Our Escargot and Mussel Fondue was creamy and the garlic butter made it that much more decadent. Served with crispy toasted brioche and delicious buttery brussels sprouts on the side. I can definitely eat these sprouts daily.
For entrees, the Chef’s weekly feature was a Lamb Tenderloin atop polenta and broccolini. It was cooked to perfection and the lamb had a very very faint gamey taste. To the point where the discussion at the table surrounded whether or not it was lamb at all, but maybe beef tenderloin instead. I prefer my lamb done just that way. However the husband wanted it a bit gamier. Why? I have no clue, affirmation maybe? I enjoyed the polenta, smooth and silky a great compliment to the lamb.
I ordered the Elk Striploin. For being in Elk country, I still find this a rare item on menus and order it every chance I get. Elk is lean but still tender, flavorful and when done well (which this one was), not gamey at all. The woodiness of the wild mushrooms and pureed parsnips were a great pairing to the peppery au jus (although the au jus did make for a slighly messy presentation due to transit).
After regaling over our dinner, we were still far from calling it a day. There was still dessert to be had. We decided on the White Chocolate Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding with candied peanut caramel butter sauce. We substituted the Devonshire cream with their Brandy Ice Cream, since I enjoy the hot and cold combination of dessert better. The bread pudding was moist and rich, not super sweet. Each bite literally melting in your mouth, a bit of the warm pudding and a bit of cool ice cream..nothing beats that in my mind. Great paired with the Graham’s 20 year port and a cup of double espresso.
We had the opportunity to sample two different wines that evening, starting with the T. Rodriguez Tempranillo from Toro Spain. Lots of blackberry and oak flavours, big bold flavours and a tannic finish, it was great with a meat heavy meal. Next was the Terrazas Malbec from Mendoza Argentina. Another rich bold wine, mainly cherry and plum notes with strong tannins and also a great accompaniment to meaty dishes.
My Picks: Escargot and Mussels Fondue, Elk Striploin
Overall: If you’re open to trying new dishes and don’t shy away from unique plates (there are still great choices aside from game meat), this is a great place where the flavours are definitely not petite.
344 17 Avenue SW