Friday, August 02, 2013

Local Lunch - P'tit Louis Bistro

I've noticed lately that I've been getting stuck in a culinary rut. I haven't ventured much outside of my own local favorites and I don't remember the last time I did an old-fashioned restaurant review. So here it goes.

This morning I was getting ready to head out the door when a show on the Cooking Channel caught my attention. The show was Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo. It was about a transplant taking up residence in Paris, offering her tiny apartment as an exclusive restaurant to the locals. Her adorable accent and casual references to Parisian life had me caught up in the glamor of living abroad. It also had me realizing how little I truly know of French cuisine.

So as soon as the show ended, I hopped in my car to the closest French restaurant I could think of: P'tit Louis Bistro.

Hampered by my lack of knowledge concerning French dishes, I had decided ahead of time to go with the special of the day, whatever it might be. As I walked up to the restaurant, I saw that I was in luck as the chalkboard sign outside declared that today was oyster day.

The plats du jour featured either a ham and cheese omelette or an oyster po' boy, featuring the freshly-shucked oysters flown in from Boston. It was an easy choice.

I asked for a wine that would go with my meal and I received a small carafe of some excellent white wine. I enjoyed a few sips and munched on some baguette while waiting for my order.

The limited seating and close quarters almost made me want to sit outside but the threat of heat and flies kept me in my corner seat. I waited patiently, but I've never felt comfortable eating solo in a restaurant with linen napkins. Finally, I saw my order making its way over.

When the po' boy came, I expected a heavy and over-stuffed sandwich. Instead, the baguette was super light and airy and had an ample amount of fried oysters without being burdensome. For those still a little squeamish about the texture of raw oysters will find comfort in these fried and flavorful mollusks. The creamy dressing really pulled the sandwich together. The salad was simple, lightly dressed and peppery, playing an understated role to the main dish. The wine, too, helped elevate the entire meal to a more memorable experience. I almost wish I had gone with the larger carafe.

It's impossible to say much more about a restaurant without tasting more dishes but I'd be happy to come back the next time I have French cuisine on the brain--or see it on TV.

P'Tit Louis Bistro - Nob Hill on Urbanspoon

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