La Petite France

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la petite france exterior

Le Petite France is the first place I’ve been to this year via Winterlicious.  I owe them quite a few other places, some that I loved like Fifth Element, some that I disliked like C5 or Peter Pan, and one that I absolutely despise known as Wish [the horror, the horror].  So I have four characters to thank here, Winterlicious, my mom for doing all the technical stuff and eating the food with me, The Toronto Transit Commission for taking all the way across the city to this place, and Bill Gates for inventing the Windows system I write this stuff on.  I’ll also mention Eddie Izzard because he’s in this post. Like pretty much every restaurant I reached through ‘licious, this is far out of our price range normally.  Since French cuisine is usually pigeon-holed into being freakishly expensive, and the fact I was born in California probably hindering my Canadian French-learning abilities [related Friends clip below], I’ve never tried much French cuisine outside of Harvey’s poutine.  Needless to say I wasn’t expecting that here.

We got here at one o’clock, and it was busier than the Apple Store at The Eaton Center when a new model comes out on Saturday.  Or maybe it was the same, I’m more than happy being a few generations behind.  This is where I give a huge kudos to the severs, one waiter, one waitress, and [I think] one bartender, since the service was quick for us in a way that it seemed like there weren’t about twenty or so other tables for them to attend to as well.  They also were friendly after the meal, which shows actual caring, something really important in customer serving and something forgotten in other fancier restaurants [excluding Fifth Element, of course].

la petite france interior

While you may want to come here during Winterlicious for better prices, the bills aren’t that sky-high anyway, so you could come here anytime anyway.  Considering this, the décor and setting was more expensive than you would think, with coat racks, and cloth napkins in the wine glasses.  Here’s the menu.

la petite france menu

The Waiter said the soup of the day was cream of mushroom, but when mom got her soup of the day, it was orange.  This had me thinking that it was the funny kind from the woods that gave you hallucinations, but mom said it tasted like potato.  I think what happened was that they had cream of mushroom but ran out and the waiter wasn’t informed because it got too hectic in there.

Mushroom soup?

Mushroom soup?

As for the actual soup, to be honest it was a little bland, but all it missed was salt and pepper, which was at the table anyway.  I had the crab cake, which was a generous size for a prefixed menu appetizer, and was delicious.

Crab cake appetizer

Crab cake appetizer

It was good by itself, but I liked the spicy seafood sauce with it and the mango [that’s what it tasted like] salsa worked as a counter-balance.

Then came the entrees, which were both meat dishes.  Mom had the Chicken with mashed potatoes  (editor’s note:  Coq au Vin, actually)  and I had the pork tenderloin [the second time quitting pork failed, this time for reasons more complicated than the first time] stuffed with apple and sided with roasted potatoes. Both came with peas and gravy.  I was a little surprised how North American that style of cooking was, but Italians don’ta talk likea thisa and the Irish don’t eat horsemeat so maybe I just had my expectations a little off.  Since the staff was nice, venom isn’t flowing into Windows Vista, but I’ll still keep a sense of constructive criticism, instead of going ‘yippee kay-ya mo!#@%%!@’ with literary weapons like I’ve done with other places.

Stuffed Pork Loin

Stuffed Pork Loin

It was hard to see how they were going to ‘stuff’ apple into that particular cut of meat, and all I really got was a small burnt skin in one of the two tenderloins.  If I may suggest, if you really want to serve apple with the pork, I’d recommend a marmalade or salsa, or a different cut of pork that has enough room inside to fit apple in.  I’m no French chef, but I’m just throwing out theories.  For the meat itself, it was nice, I wouldn’t say fall-off-the-bone tender, but it had a nice toothiness to it, my only problem was that it took longer to cut with a knife, although sharper silverware could fix that.  My mom said she found it a little dry.  The potatoes were a little bland, if you want my opinion I’d cut the potatoes into large slices, or mini potatoes into smaller quarters instead of tiny cubes, that way the flavour isn’t so spread out.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Mom’s chicken was nicer, and the mashed potatoes were tasty and different, with a heavy hand with the butter, no comment if that’s good or bad.  The gravy was nice, although mom got more particular about its consistency, but everyone loves to argue.

Now for dessert, and there’s no cake or death this time.

I had the Chocolate Mousse Cake [how Canadian] and mom had the {insert name of French dessert please (Crème Caramel)}.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

I rather liked the mousse cake, I’ve often said that the big problem with it is that it’s easy to get right, indeed, only Peter Pan got it messed completely, if memory serves.  But they did a good job here as well, with some nice touches like the berry sauce, the garnish, and those little crunchy chocolate bits inside.

Creme Caramel

Creme Caramel

Mom’s {name}, which I thought was a lemon tart because of the yellow colour, was all right but tasted mostly like egg.  Mom says it’s because it was over cooked.  I’ve never cooked one-cell dishes before [the egg yolk and whites are just one giant cell], well, to be honest I’ve never cooked anything excluding sandwiches or microwaved leftovers, so I really don’t know what to say.  That kind of light dessert isn’t my taste anyway, I prefer heavier ones.

pic courtesy of ingestiondigest.com

pic courtesy of ingestiondigest.com

If you’re wondering how heavy, one time I literally had a dinner sized plate of chocolate, with two brownies, three scoops of chocolate ice cream, three spurts of whipped cream, and drizzled hot fudge at Mr. GreenJeans .  While the portions are certainly generous here, they won’t kill you, and they won’t leave you bankrupt either, unlike practically every eatery I’ve disliked.

On a scale of thumbs, with a maximum of three thumbs up for the five best, and two thumbs down and a very rude blurred finger up for the absolute worst, I think the consensus here is one thumb up.  The only part of the meal I personally had any valid complaints about was the main course, and mostly for the pork tenderloin.  The setting was brilliant, the service friendly and quicker than The Flash, and La Petite France is nicer than any other restaurant in the area, especially the mall across the street.  If you’re in the area, I’d recommend this to you and your friends.

La Petite France 3317 Bloor Street West
La Petite France on Urbanspoon

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About callumeatstoronto

Hi, my name is Callum. Even though I am only 13 years old, I have been working on my palette and enjoy many foreign foods. I've been doing this blog for a year now, it's mostly for family-owned restarants in Toronto. As I've gotten familiar with this whole blogging thing, I've started to add posts on other food related topics and not just do restaurant critiques. My interests include; space, astro-physics, Sci-Fi, dinosaurs and of course Food. I hope you enjoy my blog!

One response »

  1. I love the Licious festivals – partly for your explorations and reviews! Although the main course was disappointing, all the food looks mouth-watering in the photos. Sounds like it was an overall enjoyable experience. Glad you didn’t have to chose between cake or death too :0)

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