For years, we have driven past Le Petit Triangle on our way to The Flying Fig, Momocho, SOHO, The Black Pig, Bar Cento, Crop and basically every other restaurant in Ohio City. Finally, a few weeks ago, we did what we should have done a long time ago and stopped in for a bite.
It was a busy Saturday brunch/lunch crowd in mid-December. We dined in the first dining room as you enter – the room with the exposed kitchen – and every seat was taken. A warm and cozy space, although our table situated at the apex of a curve, seemed to get bumped by every person who walked by. We got used to it after awhile, especially once the food arrived.
We ordered cappuccinos to start, which were served in supersized cups. The flavor of the coffee was spot on, but then it usually is when you order your coffee from a place that is quickly becoming another Ohio City fixture: Rising Star Coffee Roasters.
Seeing as it was our first visit, it was only natural to start with a crêpe, the simple heart of Le Petit's menu. I went with a vegetarian selection: the ratatouille buckwheat crêpes. (All of their crêpes are available in buckwheat or white flour.) My friend across the table ordered the same, except he added chicken. The veggie version included stewed zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onion, tomato, Comté (a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk) and was topped with béchamel sauce. While the flavor was outstanding, there was too much crêpe and not enough filling. I'm not sure if this was due to it being a buckwheat crêpe, making it a little denser texture than its white flour counterpart. I just found myself wishing I had a little more filling and a little less crêpe.
Next to me, my friend ordered a crêpe sucre, their tarte aux pommes crêpe filled with sliced apples and sautéed in sugar and butter, topped with whipped cream. I stole a bite and can vouch for its subtle sweet delights and perfect crêpe-to-filling ratio.
The last plate that came to the table that afternoon was a Quiche du Jour, which comes with a Triangle salad – a salad I would enjoy thoroughly on my second visit. It's a mixture of mesclun greens, pumpkin seeds, currants and chèvre chesse, dressed with light raspberry vinaigrette. The result is a vibrant salad, striking a perfect harmony of rich and acidic, sweet and savory. As for the quiche, I'm convinced it was delicious since we were never offered a taste and it vanished within moments of being served.
Our second visit was on the Sunday before Christmas. The front dining room was not nearly as full when we got there, although it was by the time we left. We were the first to be seated in the adjoining room – a pretty space with a couple of tables set up to accommodate larger parties.
Once again, we began with cappuccinos but also perused their drink menu. The waiter mentioned there was also a house-made eggnog available – how perfectly seasonal – with bourbon, brandy, and Benedictine. With a wonderfully rich flavor and, unsurprisingly, a potent kick, brunch was off to a roaring start.
My partner went with a freshly made egg white omelet with spinach, tomato and chèvre cheese. Le Petit Triangle's omelets are served with Lyonnaise potatoes and toast. We were on different missions: he went light I decided to go in the opposite direction: cassoulet. This dish also comes with their amazing house salad, which I described previously. The cassoulet was every bit as good as any dish with meat and beans can be. Though some artistic license was taken with this classic, it was a very enjoyable rendition with simmered duck, chicken sausage, white beans and vegetables. A wonderfully comforting dish, especially soothing to frayed nerves during this stressful time of year.
We shared chèvre et des fraises crêpe for dessert. Served with chèvre cheese, strawberries, lightly sweetened whipped cream and maple syrup, the crêpe could have used a few more minutes on the heat, but other than a slight gummy texture was another sublime choice.
For such a small place, Le Petit Triangle offers a lot of variety. You can go for something savory or sweet, brunch, lunch or dinner. Their cocktail, beer, wine, apertifs and digestivos offer an impressive mix.
A new place to add to our favorites rotation; a place we will no longer drive past.
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