The dining room at Le Petit KellerRegular readers know that I love to share food in restaurants. Not only do you get to taste more dishes than you normally would, but it is also more fun and convivial. The other night I tried out Le Petit Keller, where the whole concept is based on sharing, with two American friends who know their restaurants.
Guided by our cool waiter, who was lots of fun himself, we cast our votes for a set of smaller and one larger dish.
Our first choice was the least felicitous of all: a plate of confit mushrooms. They arrived refrigerator-cold, looking rather sad on a plain white plate with no garnish. They tasted rather sad as well. Totally uninspired.
Luckily, things got much better after that. The next dish out was duck aiguillettes prepared tempura style. Crunchy on the outside and
meltingly tender on the inside, they were quickly gobbled up. Soon after came cockles with kale. The cockles were fine, plump and
juicy specimens, cooked perfectly. The kale was kale, a vegetable I find it hard to get excited about, but it did have a nice crispiness to it.
My companions thought the white asparagus
with crabmeat was one of the best dishes, but, while I thought it was fine, I wasn’t overwhelmed. My favorite was the luscious Kintoa pork shoulder, cooked to heavenly
tenderness for seven hours and beautifully enhanced with a miso and leek sauce. It was rather pricey at €27, but it was worth it.
We tried two desserts – a coffee “crème
caramel” and a dish of roasted oranges and rhubarb with mascarpone and matcha-flavored crumble topping. Both were excellent, although the crème caramel didn’t resemble any I have seen before.
One of my friends commented that although he enjoyed the food, he found the presentation to be substandard. That was certainly true; very little or no effort was made on this count, just as very little has been done to decorate the restaurant – the only interesting feature in the stripped-down dining room is the pre-existing spiral staircase. Still, the meal, while not consistent, had some outstanding features, and that, along with the jovial service, made it all worthwhile and worth a return visit.Favorite