Lunch today at Le Petit Deux was just delightful, and I have to say the staff were very forgiving.
First, we had booked for 2pm, which is late enough, but then couldn't get there until 2.25. We did ring to say so - perhaps they were a bit more relaxed than they otherwise might have been because we were at least polite enough to let them know.
Anyway, we arrived, were seated, my dining companion had to nip off to the bathroom, but we were not hassled at all. I was able to decide pretty quickly what I'd have - duck liver parfait with vegetables - but my companion is currently on a very narrow medically-required diet, so she had to ask pretty careful what was in several dishes before she worked out what she could have - steak without the frites but with a salad.
I'll digress for a moment to say that the worst of Le Petit Deux is that the decor is fairly plain and the room a bit clattery, and that the pavement seating is fairly uninspiring, given that it's just Newcastle's King St; not that they can do much about that. I recommend staying inside.
We drank water (hot day) and chatted; the food doesn't arrive in a blinding flash because it's actually being prepared when you order it. That is, little or nothing is sitting on a shelf in the fridge half-prepared. The food arrived. The steak was done exactly as asked; my parfait was served with nicely crisp pieces of white toast. Tasted perfect; a little hint of seasoning but mostly just good pate, with very nicely chosen vegetables to accompany.
I asked our waitress (who I suspect was the owner) if we could still order dessert and coffee. I think only one other table still had customers, and by now it must have been 3.15pm at least - I know the kitchen expects to finish at 3. They still said yes, so we went about ordering quickly.
Dessert was beautifully presented. Sorry I can't quite remember all the details, but mine was basically berries and cream with crushed meringue, and my companion's was a strawberry presse (like a sweet terrine) with a little fresh strawberry, a berry coulis and some mandarin sorbet. All very good - light and sweet.
We didn't have wine, did have coffee, and the total was $76. It was a beautiful meal, very well presented, with prompt, friendly, well-informed and forgiving service. It's worth noting that we really needed to go into some detail about ingredients in order to find something to suit demanding dietary requirements, and this late in the day, but there was no hint of impatience or trouble.
Le Petit Deux started as a cafe version of Restaurant Deux, which was one of Newcastle's best for some years. The cafe version originally only served breakfast and lunch, but Restaurant Deux has closed and the cafe version has now taken on dinner as well on Wednesday through Saturday - I plan to try it!
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