Petit & Keet celebrated its 4th anniversary in style last night, bringing back several members (Paul Bash, Denis Seyer, Martin Muller, Beat Kotoun, Peter Marti, Kathy Gross and Louis Petit) with past affiliations to the iconic Jacques & Suzanne and preparing a focused, four-course, pre-fixe menu of French classics from the former restaurant’s past. Chef Jason Reynolds and his crew at Petit & Keet cooked the meal with guidance from Chef Denis Seyer.
To start out, I recommend, if not insist, on the French Onion Soup. This version absolutely shined because of an intensely beefy broth that played well with the gooey cheese and tender onions. Thanks to my lovely wife for sacrificing a few precious bites, although it immediately made me regret ordering the Caesar Salad. I was looking to go a little lighter on my first course, but in retrospect, I should have gone all-in with high caloric dishes. I also skipped hors d’oeuvres of Avocat Farci (avocado half stuffed with crabmeat and sauce calypso) and Escargot Bourguignonne (escargot in creamy herbed butter) to ensure stomach space for the main course and dessert.
For my entrée, I came close to ordering the Beef Tenderloin Escoffier, but our server changed my mind after describing the Seafood Cardinal. And while I am sure the beef would have been stellar, the wine poached Dover sole, shrimp, and lobster residing in a beautifully constructed puff pastry pocket was special. The creamy sauce Newburg provided moisture and flavor, while the accompanying haricot verts and carrots added vegetation and a pop of color to the dish. I gobbled up the thin haricot verts in a matter of moments, appreciating both their taste and texture. Overcooked green beans are a sin but I rejoiced in the fact that these had a nice bite to them, as did the carrots. However, given the refined nature of plating throughout the evening, serving bagged baby carrots without any fancy slicing was a bit disappointing. But make no mistake, the proteins were the stars, so if you love succulent pieces of lobster tail and fresh shrimp, consider this dish is a must-order.
My wife’s Duck à l’Orange, a roasted half duck with an orange sweet and sour sauce, wild rice, glace haricot verts, and carrots was another winner. I love well-prepared duck and bites of last night’s just burst with flavor after a quick swirl in the orange sauce. Truth be told, it was tempting to gnaw on the duck leg right there at the table, but the special occasion nature of the evening prohibited us from taking the plunge. We opted to forgo potential embarrassment and doggie-bag half of the dish for leftovers.
We ended the night by splitting the Creme Brûlée a la Vanille, a rich dessert most folks are probably already quite familiar with. Petit & Keet’s version stood out because of the torched top, one that will remind you of a perfectly charred outside layer of marshmallow.
The restaurant is running back the same menu tonight, but I am told the reservations are all full. If you couldn’t make it, I also hear a few of the dishes might pop up on the menu over the next few days. Kudos to Petit & Keet for not only pulling off a fun-filled evening with great food and fantastic service, but for also recognizing the importance of celebrating the past. We need to have more events like this one throughout our food community and as we begin to inch closer to normalcy, I imagine we will.