Thursday, July 16, 2009

Petit Rouge - North Miami

petit rouge menu In belated celebration of Bastille Day, I figured I ought to finish off my thoughts on Petit Rouge, which we visited for the first time last weekend. I've noted previously how there is something immensely comforting to me about the classic French brasserie menu. Escargot, onion soup gratinée, frisee aux lardons, duck confit, steak & frites, potatoes sardalaise ... it's all good. Even though I have no real personal connection with the country or its food, I know this food, I enjoy it, and it's a true pleasure when executed correctly. Petit Rouge gets it right.

The menu was fairly close to the one linked to above with a few tweaks. We started with a tarte flambée for the kids to split as an appetizer. Tarte flambée is basically an Alsatian pizza, a flatbread topped with crème fraîche, sautéed onions and bacon, with perhaps a slightly crispier crust than the average Neapolitan pie. Petit Rouge's had a nice crispy crust, and a great mix of creamy, salty and sweet from the toppings. Mrs. F and I waited patiently for the kids to have their fill and then ravenously descended on what they left behind.

Though there was much on the regular menu's list of appetizers that was tempting, I was even more tempted by one of the daily specials recited to us - duck rillettes. A generous mound of rich duck confit, pulled and shredded and moistened with some duck fat, served with a nice little salad of frisée and other greens, along with some cornichons and olives and some croutons for shoveling. Nice, simple and delicious. Mrs. F started with a salmon tartare, done with nice fresh fish and all the classic pairings (chopped egg, capers, onions, a bit of crème fraîche).

I followed with another daily special, house-made boudin blanc. Boudin blanc is a light-colored, mildly flavored sausage, usually involving some combination of veal, pork or chicken, along with cream or milk. Petit Rouge's version included two gigantic plump links, served along with some nice mashed potatoes (rich but not overly creamy, and addictive) and braised red cabbage. Very nice boudin blanc, which I'd be prepared to say was possibly every bit as good as the one I had for breakfast at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Las Vegas.

The rest of our dining crew had an assortment of other items - bavette steak in a red wine jus with frites (and good frites they were), Scottish salmon with a provençal tomato sauce, frisée aux lardon topped with an oozy poached egg and a bacon vinaigrette, and a macaroni and cheese with a crispy topping of bread crumbs and golden-brown toasted cheese. All were done properly and hit all the right notes.

For dessert, Frod Jr. was, of course, sucked in by the immense gravitational pull of a flourless chocolate cake, while Little Miss F went with a tarte au citron. The chocolate cake was one of the few items that didn't really impress, striking me as a bit dry and underflavored.

The prices at Petit Rouge are also designed to please, with almost all entrées under $25. It was particularly appreciated that the boudin blanc special I ordered turned out to be only $18, actually less than many of the items on the regular menu. The wine list follows suit - we had a 2007 Jean Descombes Morgon for $35 which, while perhaps not a fantastic bargain from a markup perspective (the wine retails for anywhere between $10-20), was nonetheless a great price point, and there were several other selections in this range.

Petit Rouge is in a tiny shoebox of a space on Biscayne Boulevard just north of 123rd Street which used to house another French restaurant, the short-lived Plein Sud. Based on our visit, I suspect Petit Rouge is going to be there much longer.

Petit Rouge
12409 Biscayne Boulevard
North Miami, FL 33181

Petit Rouge on Urbanspoon


  1. this sounds so much better than the over priced, over sauced, over hyped Au Pied de Cochon. We were there for Bastille Day and it was as dead as could be. A few glasses of wine and a cheese plate set us back a ridiculous amount of money. Outrageous. Will try this place instead!

  2. thanks for This great links

    For 3 Months Enjoy Free 28 Premium Movie Channels

  3. I've eaten at Au Pied de Cochon on South Beach and they have a great effin foot. Try it.

    Frod-I'm saddened that you would celebrate a $35 bottle of Georges Duboeuf. This wine is already overpriced at $12 retail. $35 on a wine list is a crime, not a "great price-point".

  4. I've tried that great effin foot and I agree, as to the trotter at least. Overall I thought execution at Petit Rouge was at a higher level than Au Pied de Cochon, but I've only been to each of them once.

    As for the Morgon - a wise man once told me that "markup alone is not the sole factor in determining value on a list". This happened to be a great summer red and a very nice food wine, and with a release price of $15 (and that's what winesearcher says the current average retail price is) the markup is actually much closer to 2x than 3x.

    Unless you know exactly what price the restaurant is buying the wine at, I find it tougher to figure out their markup on lower priced bottles because a swing of just a couple dollars on the cost can make a much more significant difference in the calculation.

    If you think the retail price for the Morgon is too high for what it is, or if you want to make fun of me for drinking Beaujolais, knock yourself out; I think some of them are sadly underrated wines because of the "beaujolais nouveau" circus. Turns out I'm not alone. I don't typically trot out Parker ratings, but it's interesting to me that the review for this wine (by David Schildknecht) described this "unusually successful and seamlessly-ripe 2007" as an "amazing value" and noted that the Duboeuf Beaujolais bottlings (not the "Selections George Duboeuf" flower-label stuff) "represent perennial best values in the American marketplace." Fourteen different Parker-reviewed vintages of the wine were all rated 88-91 (including the 2007). More than half the 18 reviews on Spectator are 87-90 as well. I appreciate that kind of consistency and will generally be happy to find such a wine under $40 at a restaurant. I certainly felt like we got at least $35 worth of wine.

  5. I agree with myself. But I seem to remember your position, back in, oh, the early 2000's, when we were all so young and gay and free, as, "I don't care what they pay wholesale, because I don't know what that number is." So I guess it wouldn't bother you if they paid say $8?

    No need to be defensive about your Gamay love-I think they are some of the best values. I just think that DuBoeuf is an extremely unreliable bottler, and $35 is way too much for that bottle.

    I don't have a problem with the Nouveau circus, as you call it-it is just another excuse for a great French party-nobody expects the wine to be anything other than vin merde.

    If you "feel" that you got $35 worth of wine from this bottle, that is simply marvelous, however misguided. And it seems to me you typically trot out Parker an awful lot to defend yourself-no need to be so defensive about your "feelings", either, mon frere.

  6. FL: Tarpon Springs. No minimum order. Shipping to many States. Free Florida delivery available. Retail-Service Online-Ordering 2007 Georges Duboeuf Morgon Jean Descombes Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais, 2007
    $9.99 Bottle

    That is not "between $10-20", Frod-that is $10. And $35 on the list is a crime.