La Petite Grocery has been one of those restaurants that I've heard people exclaim about for several years, but never got around to trying. Well, it finally happened. This past Friday, John and I visited the 6-year-old, already classic, yet still "nouveau" restaurant for my 56th cheat. I am down 73 pounds.
After stepping through the heavy, green doors my jaw dropped at the gorgeous architectural highlights in the "barroom" like detailed wall paneling that pulled my eyes towards an elegant ceiling of painted tin. These are features I never tire of, though they are common in quite a few New Orleans buildings. Despite the fact we were there for a casual lunch, I suddenly felt romantic and pictured the two of us dining here on an anniversary or Valentine's Day. John rolled his eyes and smiled at me when I grasped his hand atop the white linen covered table.
As we licked the crumbs from our fingers, our appetizers arrived. The Steak Tartare had a bright, tangy flavor from citrus, red wine and mustard and coupled wonderfully with the creamy quail yolk nestled in the center. We quickly scooped up bite after delicious bite with the house made potato chips served alongside.
I also could not resist the Lobster Beignets served atop a French remoulade sauce. The flavor of my beloved shellfish (I'm a huge fan of lobster) stood bravely, and most unusually, on it's own. Sweet, thick claw pieces rested inside the delicately fried beignet with no heavy seasoning to mar its delicate essence. I would return to snack on those alone.
My dish of Shrimp & Grits featured perfectly cooked, large Gulf shrimp flavored with thick pieces of smoked bacon, shiitake mushrooms and thinly sliced garlic resting on a bed of creamy, stone ground grits and surrounded by a rich, lemony butter sauce. It was absolutely dreamy...
John would be wise to remember my heart-felt reaction to La Petite Grocery when planning a cozy dinner for two this Valentine's Day...I certainly won't hesitate to remind him!