Thursday, January 24, 2008

Petit Robert

In celebration of MLK day (a day off from work) my family took us to Petit Robert for a late afternoon lunch. I'd heard good things about this place. The local French collegue claimed the spot was "very authentic" when it comes to French fare.

Upon arrival we were served freshly baked bread with soft creamy butter. Very delicious. It was hard not to snarf down the entire basket (I was saving myself for the meal.) The special of the day was a lobster macaroni and cheese. As if I could ever turn that down! For an "appetizer" the serving was quite substantial. The macaroni was the traditional elbow variety, cooked al dente and served in a ceramic dish filled with chunks of lobster meat and a phenomenal creamy lobster sauce, then sprinkled with some parmesan cheese. I split the dish with my bro and we sopped up the remainder of the amazing lobster sauce with the rest of the bread. Another hit was the cream of beet soup. It arrived bright and pink with a wonderful flavor of beet with just the right amount of cream. I was sufficiently inspired to want to make the dish myself. Less impressive was the beet salad with goat cheese. I've had better (and made better.) Compared to the soup and the mac&cheese, this dish was lacking in both texture and flavor. I personally like my salad to have a slightly warm roasted beet with the cheese either warm or cool. Instead the beets and cheese tasted like they had been carelessly stacked and stuck in the fridge until just before serving. The endive was fresh, but overpowered by raw onion.

Still, we carried on. For a main dish I ordered the pan seared U10 scallops with sautéed spinach and No Sauce. No Sauce turned out to be just that. No Sauce. And the scallops, really did not need any flavoring. They were pan seared to perfection, sweet, tender and very delicious. I wouldn't have minded just a LITTLE bit of sauce (or maybe just a drizzle of flavor), but found the dish to be impressive without. Although, the sad little vegetables on the side looked a bit neglected and dry.

My advice is to order heavy on the seafood and soups and ignore the salads and veggies.

A meal at a French bistro would not be complete without dessert. I ordered a plate of the seasonally flavored macarons. The came in passionfruit, rosewater and pistachio. All delicous (but incomparable to the macarons I had in the French patisseries of Dakar, Senegal!) After a cup or two of coffee I was stuffed beyond belief. I spent the rest of the evening vegged out in front of the TV. A MLK day well spent.


Petit Robert
468 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

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