On my last night in Paris, I went to Le Petit Bordelais, located in the 7th arondissement near Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. Philippe Pentecôte is both the owner and head chef.
The restaurant was attractive and cozy, with plush red decor. The wait staff was very attentive and friendly. I went with the 5 course menu degustation, which was served with wine pairings.
The amuse bouche was a cold gazpacho. It was very refreshing, with just the right kick of spice at the end. This was blended quite smooth, while I usually prefer a chunkier texture, but I still found this very enjoyable.
The first course was a roulade of duck foie gras, served with a plum gelee. This was the best cold foie gras dish I had in Paris. It was smooth and rich. The gelee at the bottom of the plate added a touch of sweetness while the crust around the roulade added some extra texture.
The 2nd course was John Dory or, as it’s called in France, St. Pierre. Generally the fish course is not the one I’m most excited about, but this was my favourite dish of the night. The fish itself was very flavourful and buttery and I loved the crispy skin that was left on. The tomato with pesto served with it was also excellent.
The 3rd course was veal with in-season vegetables. The veal was cooked perfectly for my tastes. The vegetables very good – the carrots were especially sweet, I wish I got more of them.
The 4th course was the cheese course and I really should have written down what kind of cheeses they were as now I completely forget. They were both good, though I preferred the softer one. I mostly skipped the jam it was served with, but did appreciate the reduced balsamic that was used as a decorative flourish.
Dessert was chocolate mousse with pistachios, served in a chocolate cup. The mousse was rich and smooth, but not too sweet. I really liked the pistachios in this dish, they gave some much-needed crunch and cut the richness of the mousse. My only complaint is that I would have liked more pistachios, I seemed to go through them quickly and my last bites of the dessert didn’t have any.
The last plate served was a few pastries – madeleines and caneles. I find madeleines a bit boring, so I only had a bite of one. The canele on the other hand, I really liked. I had never had one before and I enjoyed the crisp outside and the custardy inside.
At the end of the night the chef came to the table to ask how the meal was, which I loved. As a patron, it really makes me feel appreciated when the chef comes out of the kitchen to make sure I enjoyed their food. It ends the meal on the right note.
Overall, Le Petit Bordelais was excellent. The food and wines were great, the John Dory was exceptionally good, and the atmosphere and friendliness of the staff added to the experience. I highly recommend it and would definitely go back myself if I’m ever in Paris again.