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“Delicious but pricey food; cold in the winter” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Petit Robert Needham

Petit Robert Needham
45 Chapel Street, Needham, MA 02492
7815590532
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Ranked #21 of 57 Restaurants in Needham
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Highland Avenue
Transit: Needham
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Delicious but pricey food; cold in the winter”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

If you are dining at Petit Robert in the winter months try to get a table as far from the entrance as possible as there is no protection when the front door opens and the icy air gushes in. We had no choice of seating on a crowded holiday night and ate wearing our coats and jackets. Not sure why the owner doesn't consider erecting one of those temporary vestibules outside that would provide another buffer.

The food, however, was fabulous. The two vegetarians among us ordered the eggplant and couscous dish and raved about it. The other entrees ordered by our group included one of the specials, a tender rib eye; the poulet au jus; and the sweetbreads. Each of us devoured every morsel on our plates. I was also relieved this is no cuisine minceur-type of kitchen; the portions were reasonable. My only request would be more for at least one more vegetarian entree, since there was only one on the menu we were shown.

The service was prompt without being overbearing. I frankly was surprised, though, when the waitstaff started clearing plates before everyone in our party was finished. In a restaurant of this caliber, I would have expected the waiters to respect the custom of allowing all diners to finish eating before removing dishes, an aspect of fine dining service which sadly is disappearing rapidly.

Other than the wintry indoor temperature, this is a tiny restaurant. Making your way to and from the rest rooms at the back requires some maneuvering between the bustling waiters. One last nit: I was surprised how shabby the rest rooms were considering the prices on the menu and the upscale ambiance in the front of the house.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Unpleasant wait staff”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We waited with 2 kids for 10
Minutes at front door before being acknowledged by a waiter who was unfriendly and notified us that there's a 20 min wait. Restaurant was almost empty and it was end of brunch time. Unclear what the problem was, we left as we did not feel welcome.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jay S, Owner at Petit Robert Needham, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Thank you for considering our restaurant!

On the day of your visit, we were waiting on staff to arrive via public transportation. The restaurant was half full. Given the cutback on Sunday service and service delays, our employees on occasion have a difficult time arriving at the schedule time. When this happens we pay for taxis to bring in the employees but it takes time for them to arrive.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Overrated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

We visited Petit Robert with friends on their request to go dine there. It was our first time at the restaurant. Our friends had been there some years before and had stopped going due to not being satisfied with their last visit. However, our friends' daughter had convinced them that the restaurant had improved since their previous disappointment. The place is simple and not very friendly. The staff serving our table had worked at the Petit Robert for many years as we were told. She appeared to be distracted and disappeared for long periods of time without checking on our table. We had to call on other staff to assist us on two occasion. The the food was adequate however, the place is not accommodatingfood. We ordered a bottle of wine, appetizers and entrees. The wait staff brought bread to the table. I asked the server if they would accommodated my gluten free diet by providing some olives or pieces of cheese instead of the bread. She consulted with one of the owners who came to the table and indicated I had to order an appetizer because they did not make such accommodation. I informed that I had already ordered an appetizer but it would be a while for it to arrive; we wanted to start serving the wine but did not want to drink on an empty stomach. He said he was sorry but there was nothing he could do and walked away. Not a welcoming experience.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Oaks, California
Top Contributor
305 reviews 305 reviews
222 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“What happens when entrees show up at different times?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

First of all, this story has a happy ending, which is good because we went to Petit Robert for my mom's 82nd birthday. Parking is a snap, service was great (ate indoors since I have geriatric parents). The bread is hot and fresh, the menu extensive with good variety of price points and even veggie options. My mom had the scallops and they subbed a side for one of the described options, I had the chicken (holy mother of fowl, so good!), and my father ordered the swordfish special. THAT arrived 7 minutes after ours did. My dad has dementia, he's already a pain in the butt when we eat out, so he was fussing quite a bit that we were served first. The waiter and manager both came over to apologize and explain but really, my dad's 90. He doesn't get it. It was worth waiting for, and without being asked, the manager (super handsome BTW) brought us a lovely dessert to really apologize for the time differential. Would I go back for the food? Yes. Was it exceptional service? Yes. Was the manager extremely thoughtful to bring us the lemon cream berry extravaganza (which my parents loved)? YES! Will I go back. Heck. Yes :)

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Perfect weather, excellent meal, patio dining at its best!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Neither of us had been to Petit Robert so we decided to give it a try last night. What a delightful place! The food was excellent. We shared a large bowl of mussels which were delicious, the broth was fantastic for dunking the french bread. I had calves liver and it was done to perfection and was served with mashed potatoes also carrots and broccoli which were bright in color and cooked al dente. My friend had the haddock which was also delicious. I will definitely return.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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