Le P’tit Laurent is a small french restaurant in the heart of Glen Park. For being a small restaurant they are pretty popular and noisy. Not noisy enough to make it a bad atmosphere though. It just seemed that everyone was sitting very close together. Strangely enough, it gave it a more french feel. The walls are painted with french street signs and a pseudo eiffel tower in one corner. All the staff are french, too. I definitely felt the french atmosphere, which is something I like to feel with whatever cuisine I am eating.
For food we started with two salads. One was Crottin de Chavignol chaud et salade. A mixed green salad with a toasted slice of baguete and warm goat cheese. Overall, it was a nice mixture of ingredients. For me, goat cheese in a salad is always good so add in a slice of bread, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent salad in my opinion. It’s always a nice contrast ingredient to the salad dressing because the dressing is smooth while the goat cheese is soft yet a little crumbly. The second salad was a special for the night. It was a puff pastry with a mound of bay shrimp mixed with a champagne shallot vinegar, tarragon, garlic and olive oil over spinach. To me it was more of an appetizer than a salad. I guess since there was spinach at the bottom they could call it one. It was good whatever it was. It was warm and savory and the shrimp was pretty fresh which I don’t normally notice with bay shrimp.
For the main courses we ordered Bouillabaisse and Le Cassoulet toulousain Maison. The Bouillabaisse was a nice lobster stock with swordfish, mussels, sea bass and potatoes. The fish was easy to break off with your spoon. It wasn’t dry or chewy at all. The mussels were succulent and kept that signature subtle sea saltyness that contrasts perfectly with the sweeter lobster base of the soup and the fish, which absorbs the taste of the soup. There were many textures in every bite as well. The fish was soft and the mussels were chewy.
The Cassoulet was decent. It was a duck leg and the middle of baked beans with chopped pork and sliced sausage. The duck confit was great. Very tender, moist and flavorful. It absorbed the taste of the spices it was cooked in as well as the beans it was surrounded by. The beans by themselves were fantastic. They were like the best baked beans you have ever had. Each bean was cooked fully. There were no singular uncooked beans in any bite, which is a pet peeve of mine. Another pet peeve of mine is having the overall texture of the baked beans as being too watery. These beans were not watery. Pretty excellent I must say. The pork and sausage were not so excellent in my opinion. The pork was very dry. That made it chewy. That made me sad. Well not sad. I just was disappointed that my meal took a different turn than I expected. The sausage seemed as though it was old and didn’t have much flavor. It didn’t add anything to the rest of the dish.
One of the best parts of the meal was the bread. It was great that they noticed we loved the bread because they kept bringing more. It was great with butter, great with the baked beans and great to soak in the Bouillabaisse. It came right out of the oven so it was warm, hard and crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. Mmmmm, I wish every other meal I have in my life has this bread with it. Have you ever seen the Pixar movie Ratatouille? Remember the small snippet where Remy describes a good bread?
The baguette we had was just like that short scene. The sound, the crust (x2) crackled with every bite.
Overall it was a decent meal. It was a little expensive. It was about $10 for a salad and $20-$28 for a main course. For all you Yelp users, it was a $$$ dollar symbol. If you can’t get into your favorite restaurant give Le P’tit Laurent a shot. You might like it.