We passed by mid-afternoon, and were fortunate to find the owner saying farewell to some lunchtime guests, and she was happy to give us a reservation for dinner. Le family-run Petit Bidon takes only 20 guests each evening. Monsieur does his magic in the kitchen, while Madame and their engaging son run the front of the house with charm and efficiency.
An amuse-bouche of intensely tomato bisque began our culinary journey. The specials included seasonal Alsatian white asparagus in an exquisite velouté served with wasabi-spiked fromage blanc. Crème brûlée with two cheeses was sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, much lighter than we might have imagined.
The grilled gambas with a reduction of their shells were served on a spelt ‘risotto’ with white asparagus that combined crunch with flavor. The loin of lamb was perfectly pink, with a zucchini mousse and a pyramid of polenta.
The owners’ son chose a ‘bio’ wine to accompany each dish, and proudly came by to show us the bottle and explain each selection’s provenance.
Our desserts, a mousse au chocolat with passion fruit sorbet, and a creation of strawberries with white cheese and whipped cream, were excellent.
The restaurant is small, with many hard surfaces, but the positioning of the tables and the draperies on the windows make conversation easy. It seemed to be a special occasion restaurant: the couple next to us were celebrating their engagement, while another couple, obviously soon to be parents, were enjoying an evening out.
Le Petit Bidon is two blocks off the beaten track in the city center and well worth seeking out.
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