Tuesday, January 5, 2010

La P'tite Framboise

In the past, I've steered clear of French restaurants. Too many creamy things, too many small creatures, and we won't even mention how I feel about snails... However, three girlfriends and I were planning on watching the movie "Julie and Julia" and we thought that going out for French food beforehand would be appropriate.

La P'Tite Framboise is located at the intersection of Main Street and Shore Road, in the site that formerly housed the popular Italian restaurant Pomodoro. The space, while not large, is charmingly decorated with marble topped tables and red banquettes.

We arrived at a little after 6pm on a Saturday night, and sat at the bar for maybe three minutes until a table was ready. [The bar is charming-- stocked with olives and a huge hunk of cheese for patrons to have with their drinks.] My friends had French martinis, which they said were excellent. I had a glass of red wine. We were soon seated in a cozy booth near the window. Within 15 minutes the restaurant was completely filled -- not an empty table or seat to be seen. Unfortunately, the noise level was commensurately high.

The service was impeccable. Bread was brought promptly, and our bread plates refilled as needed. (Which was often because the restaurant places not only butter, but a ramekin of pate on the table to have with the bread). The pate was wonderful. We polished it off as we were studying the menu, and a server brought more.

For appetizers, we ordered the mussels in garlic and white wine (which I didn't eat, but I'm told were excellent), and warm brie on toast with candied pecans and figs. I did try the brie (quite an accomplishement for me, given my fear of white squishy things), and it was quite good, especially with the fig balsamic reduction drizzled on it.

For the main course, I (and one of my friends) had the special of the night -- Côtes de Boeuf Braisées, which is braised short ribs in pinot noir reduction served over asparagus risotto. I can't recall having short ribs before and wasn't sure if a bone would be involved. It turned out to be a beautiful browned boneless piece of meat covered in a rich and savory reduction. The meat was so tender I didn't need a knife -- just a tiny nudge of the fork would make it fall apart. It was nestled on a bed of risotto, studded generously with asparagus. I'll admit to having a bit of trepidation about risotto, given the fact that it generally contains cheese. There was nothing to be frightened of however -- it was creamy but not cheesy or overpowering and the asparagus was perfectly cooked and spread throughout. I was practically moaning in ecstacy as I devoured my plate of food, and there was nothing left to bring home. My companions had steak au Poivre Vert (steak with green peppercorns) which looked wonderful and came with an unusual potato gratin and perfectly done haricorts vert (aka string beans), and Coquilles st. Jacques et Crevettes which was scallops and shrimps in a cream sauce (obviously not for me, but my friend liked it). Everyone was very happy with our meals and the service and we can't wait to visit this restaurant again. I'm especially looking forward to trying the Cassoulet, which is the Wednesday special.

For dessert, we shared a Creme Brule, one of my favorites (yes, I know it's white and squishy, but it falls into the "sweet" exception). It was ample enough for the four of us to share (we were pretty full from dinner).

I don't recall having this indulgent of a dinner in a long time. It was marvelous, and I highly recommend it. One note - the restaurant can be crowded and loud during popular hours, if this is a problem for you, go at an off hour. Public parking is available in the lot on Shore Road, about  a half block away. Dinner prices range from $9 to $14 for appetizers and $21 to $29 for main courses. The wine list was good -- with 5 reds and 5 whites available by the glass for $9, and bottles ranging from $28 to $44.  I highly recommend the Line 39 Cabernet from California, available by the glass. Lunch, brunch and dinner are served.

La P'tite Framboise
294 Main St
Port Washington, NY 11050

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to try it! I'll place a link from your blog to mine - Port Washington Life(www.portwashingtonlife.com)-hope you can reciprocate. Glad to see more blogging about Port. Diane Schubach