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This is a classic French bistro. If you didn't know that you were in a "British Crown Dependency" this is exactly the sort of place you'd expect to find on an upmarket Parisienne backstreet, or, equally, somwhere off a dusty farm track a kilometre or two inland from one of the Brittany fishing harbours.
Le Petit B ticks all the cliche boxes but does so with such panache that you realise why these sort of things became cliches in the first place. There's the squiggly Art Nouveau posters and mirrors on the walls and the squiggly Cuisine Nouvelle on the plates.
The welcome from the gorgeously Piaf-oise greeter is silk-lingerie smooth and balanced perfectly by the slight hauteur of the starched professional waiting team.
The dining rooms are intimate, cosy rather than crowded, and interesting decorative details, such as the lampshade pictured (photo #3), compete for your attention with the serious foodie buzz of the place.
Whilst a loud-bearded (well he was loud and bearded) American, in tow with his blond English girlfriend and her obviously wealthy parents, told the restaurant en-masse how Obama is the best thing since sliced malted bread, the rest of us simply enjoyed each others unforced bonhomie.
Me, I was solitary and had to wait a whole 10 minutes for a table to become free before I could join in. But who minds waiting with a crispy Vin de Pays (an estate-bottled something or other which I'd overuled the barman's Argentinian recommendation with).
Then Madame Le Piaf led to my table.
Nope, I wasn't stuck in the corner by the loo doors but rather in the millieux of the throng (HA! I'd have loved to have been stuck in the millieux of her throng ;-))
Favorite Dish: But digressions aside. The rabbit starter I had was one of the best starters ever. I can't remember exactly how it was described on the menu but basically it was rabbit served in the three classical ways that you can serve rabbit as a stwarter (sic) - a rillette, a pate and a terrine. This came served on a slate - which might sound a bit naff but in this case wasn't - and each individual component was accompanied by mouth-exploding "petites garnitures". The crispy crostini with tapenade gave crunch to the buttery rillette, dry toast did the same to the terrine and a piquant splat on the pate, served interestingly on a Chinese soup spoon (soupcon??) made for an unforgettable starter.
After a couple of baskets of breads ( note the plurals!) my scallop main course arrived. Hmmm...this was OK. The portion of meaty scallops certainly was generous but served with wild mushrooms in a cream sauce with creamy mash made for a very uninteresting dish. The mushrooms were tasty, as were the scallops. the cream was creamy and the mash too. Unfortunately there was no texture balance - just cream and if it wasn't creamy then it must have been a scallop or a slice of mushroom.
The main course didn't work for me but the starter certainly did - maybe I shouldn't have had the starter???
All-in-all though A VERY GOOD MEAL - great, tasty, service LOL ;-X)
Updated Nov 25, 2010
Address: 56 Lower Pollet
Most tourist attractions have cafeterias which serve so-so food and here's no different but with the exception that you get unbeatable views. The outside tables are on the seaward wall looking out beyond the lighthouse, the cruise ships at dock and with the Island of Sark in the background.
The menu is quite simple - a range of salads, sandwiches, home-made soups and sweet and savoury snacky stuff, along with with hot and cold beverages (including beers, wines and cider). Service is youthful and enthusiastic and if you're lucky you might get a ring-legged dining companion.
Favorite Dish: I had a nice simple chicken and bacon salad which was exactly what I was after for a light lunch. Food not worth writing home about but the views certainly were!
Updated Jul 1, 2010
Address: Cafeteria At Castle Cornet
L'Escalier is an outstanding Guernsey restaurant that I will keep going back to. The menu can be described as innovative and the ingredients are of the highest quality. Besides the standard menu there is also the L'Escalier tasting menu (from 7 to 12 courses). There is a well priced four course set menu available to early diners. The service is discreet and attentive.
Written Feb 21, 2010
Address: 6 Tower Hill, St. Peter Port, Guernsey
Phone: +44 (0) 1481 710088