Thursday, March 12, 2009

Epicurean Adventures: Popping La Petite Cherry @ La Petite Grocery

For probably one of the first times in my life, I am super-psyched for a Monday. What an odd thing for an office monkey to say, right?

Well, let me explain. Although I've been fortunate enough to experience several of the very best restaurants in New Orleans due to having gone to college here and freelancing as Where Y'at magazine's food and dining editor, there's still a laundry list of places that I absolutely must go or die trying. One of those is La Petite Grocery, a restaurant my day job boss likes to take his wife to. Peer review does wonders for excitement levels, and the restaurant of celebrated chef Justin Devillier fast climbed to the top of that list.

Needless to say, I became what can only be described as giddy when the lovely Jennifer Bond of Bond PR contacted me through this very site (hooray! I am a PERSON!) and invited me to a fabulous wine and tasting dinner hosted by La Petite Grocery and Sucre, for whom I'd written a profile on before for a dessert spread. A cocktail hour precedes a full six-course dinner, with a full complement of wines by Graham Beck's estates in South Africa.

So this is Part Un of a very exciting Adventure, which is really more of a prologue. Although I was fortunate enough to be invited, you can also invite yourself by contacting Bryan Hutchings at La Petite at 891-3377 for a mere $100, which goes to a good cause: neighborhood school Ecole Bilingue, which obviously is focused on bilingual education. And who doesn't need a second language in the age of recession and waste?

That's enough blah, blah for now, oui? Here's what's on the menu:

Cocktail Hour
Duck Rillettes with Ponchatoula Strawberry (yay for strawberry season!) Rhubarb Jam; Bronzed Lobster Sausage with Passionfruit Butter (speaking of which, check out aspiring food writer Remy's food blog of that same name) and Bowfin Caviar; Blue Crab Beignets with Charred Onion Tartar Sauce; Green Tomato Glazed Pork Belly with Pickled Jalapenos

Breaux Bridge Crawfish-Leek Ravioli with Smoked Tomato Butter and Ardoin's Tasso; Roasted Cauliflower Soup with House Smoked Bacon, Oysters (deliciously in season right now), and Creme Fraiche; Seared Duck Breast with Local Pea Shoots and Black Pepper Caramel (I'm particularly excited for this and the next dish); Painted Hills Beef Sirloin with Parsnip Gratin, Pecan Streusel, and Wild Mushrooms

Desserts (by the gifted Chef Tariq Hanna of Sucre, obviously)

Creole Cream Cheese Panna Cotta with Citrus Salad and Steen's Scented Foam; Salted Caramel-Chocolate Custard Cake with Chocolate-Pecan Cream and Chicory Syrup

Part Deux ... it's going to be a long, long post.

P.S. Thanks, Jennifer, for the preview!


  1. Just fyi, strawberry season is NOT approaching...Louisiana strawberries have been in season for 2 or 3 months already. Get thee to the farmer's market already (or Whole Foods, Rouses, Langenstein's or any of the other stores that carry Louisiana strawberries)! They are delicious.

  2. Oops, I've been going by the festival! Just goes to show how long it's been since I've gone grocery shopping ... *blushes.* Thanks for the tip! I foresee shortcakes in my future ...

  3. That sound delicious. I ate fancy foods this week but only because I was taking someone else out and now have no moneys :( The Rhode Island life involves a lot of cheeses, especially at La Laiterie. If you ever want to come to Prov, I can tell you all the good restaurants! :D

  4. It WAS delicious. Stay tuned for details.

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