FFF – Dinner at Le Petit Champerret

I fell of the blog wagon while Mom was visiting and it took me some time to get back into my rhythm.  In fact, I was still feeling a little behind until yesterday when I reviewed some of the photos from our visit to Paris with Mom.  There was one thing on my list of things to share with you all.  I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that it has to do with my favourite topic: food.

During Mom’s visit we did go for a special dinner out at one of our favourite restaurants.  The restaurant in question is Le Petit Champerret. D first took me to Le Petit Champerret about 2 years ago and while we don’t dine there every time we’re in Paris, we have made it our little restaurant.

So, when D and I were planning Mom’s trip to France we figured we would treat her to one of our favourite dining experience in Paris’ 17e arrondissement.

Before I get to the food, let me share a little of what I know about the restaurant/the owner/the chef.  The chef, Sébastien Groubatch, is young — not yet 30 years old — but his cooking is refined without being over the top or, as I like to say, not chi-chi-poo-poo.  The refinement is no surprise once you learn that he trained under Alain Duscasse and Jacques Cagna.

Cappuccino of petit pois

While the restaurant has been at its current location since 1922, the current owner, Gérard Castellani, took over about 3 years ago.  The name of the restaurant remained the same but, from what I gathered from the internet, the menu and the style of the restaurant changed.  Gone are the retro prints and ochre-coloured walls.  Instead, the walls are a taupe-grey accented by dark grey wood trim.  And then there’s the zinc bar, my favourite piece in the room.

Poulet en cocotte

On this visit the three of us selected to have for our entrée the cappuccino of petit pois which was light and refreshing.  There was a hint of something unexpected in the cappuccino — what I believe was cumin — and really, for me, it was that combination of flavours that kept us digging our spoons in for more.  I think Mom’s reaction summed it up best.  With her first taste she said “well, it’s okay” but she kept eating.  And eating.  The look on her face was one of concentration as she tried to figure out why this cappuccino was so good.  And the she started to nod her head as though to say that she understood what M. Groubatch was trying to say via this entrée.

Cabillaud et petit pois

That was just the start, of course.  We moved on to our mains.  For his plat, D ordered poulet en cocotte which was served with mushrooms and baby potatoes.  I’d had this the last time D and I dined at Le Petit Champerret so I know he had a feast.  The chicken breast was moist and tender and invited you to throw etiquette out the window and pick the entire thing up with your hands and dig in.

Poire et réglisse

I decided to have fish as I wanted something light…and because I wanted to have dessert too.  Mom followed suit and perhaps for the same reason.  The fish was cooked to perfection and served on a bed of green peas that had been prepared with lardons, pearl onions, and sun-dried tomatoes.  It was a delightful combination of flavours, from the saltiness of the sun-dried tomatoes and bacon to the tart flavour of the pearl onions, all in harmony with the cabillaud.

Cheesecake et ses fruits rouges

The highlight for me, however, was my desert.  D satisfied himself with a poached pear which was served with stick of licorice.  He said, while chewing on the stick of réglisse, that he felt like a little boy again.  Mom stuck with something familiar: cheese cake with red fruit.  I chose to have the trio of lemon flavours, le Tout Agrume.  This included a lemon and basil foam, a lemon tartelette, and a lemon sorbet all connected by a lemon-basil coulis.  On their own, each element varied in the level of tartness but together it was pure heaven.

Trio de citron

I capped off my visit to heaven with a decaf cappuccino.

Oh, and one other thing.  If you’re unsure about which wine to pair with your meal do ask for a recommendation.  Don’t be surprised if you are served a Corsican wine as Gérard Castellani is from Corsica.  And if you like muscat as an apéritif, ask for the Corsican muscat to start your meal.

Bon apétit!

Le Petit Champerret
30 rue Vernier, Paris (XVIIe)
01 43 80 01 39
Reservations recommended

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Categories: dining out, FFF (Food Frenzy Fridays), Paris

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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