SquareMeal Review of La Petite Maison
It’s now an international brand, but correspondents say London’s iteration of this Nice-inspired restaurant is superior for its light, fresh dishes. With a well-established buzz and a pale, clean-lined dining room splashed with colours of the Med, La Petite Maison “always feels special”. Starters double as small sharing plates that are true to their regional roots: a table laden with pissaladière, “fabulous” seafood carpaccio, sweet peppers in olive oil, sliced octopus and feta-topped ratatouille makes a transporting lunch. Mains might be duck glazed with orange, roast monkfish with spicy chickpeas or grilled lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine, while flourishes such as the fresh almonds served with a fillet of halibut show that the kitchen takes care with the details. Desserts may not reinvent the wheel, but warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream will do just fine. In line with the food, wine prices exhibit a degree of ambition. “I could eat here every day”, confesses one fan.
About La Petite Maison
Since its launch in 2007 the success and popularity of this quintessentially French restaurant in the heart of Mayfair has propelled it to launch sites across the globe in locations including Miami, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong – all of which have been met with similar critical acclaim.
The interiors of the London site are inspired by the vibrant colours of France’s Cote d’Azur with fine linens and marble table tops contributing to the restaurant’s distinctive French elegance. The walls are adorned with an eclectic mix of modern art and accessories reminiscent of the “Belle Epoque”. Determined to undermine any stereotypes surrounding French service, the team go above and beyond to make their diners feel welcome and enthusiasm comes in abundance.
Wine, as you would expect, is exclusively French with a large selection of Champagnes and a varied choice of red, white and rosé labels available by the glass or carafe. Staff will be able to guide you with your selection to pair with your meal.
The food celebrates the lighter side of French cooking, focussing on the simple but unassailable flavours of the Mediterranean. The Nicoise menu is brimming with ingredients from the French Riviera with artichokes, courgettes, olives and lemons aplenty. From the hors d’oeuvres diners can choose from a selection of salads and carpaccio dishes as well as classic bistro starters that include snails in fresh herbs and garlic butter, deep fried baby squid, and salt cod croquettes with oven roasted pepper relish. Mains are equally traditional with highlights including turbot with artichokes, chorizo, white wine and olive oil; slow cooked dug legs with an orange glaze; and linguine pasta with Algarvian clams and prawns.
Finally the desserts list promises an indulgent selection of French classics; vanilla crème brulée, pain perdu with spiced ice cream, a thin crust apple tart and a warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream.