Whether you are looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion or just want to treat yourselves to a delicious dinner out, La Petite Maison is certainly a great choice for an uber stylish evening. With the promise of top end French cuisine and a sharing concept that I love (I’m the annoying one who gets major food envy when the dishes arrive otherwise), my husband and I ventured here for our anniversary dinner; we had been to La Petite Maison London before and loved it, so we were excited to see if the Dubai haunt lived up to our expectations.
La Petite Maison is situated in DIFC but is tucked away from the noise of the road. There is a gorgeous little courtyard in front of the restaurant where you can eat too, certainly something we would consider on a substantially cooler evening. On entering the restaurant you are immediately hit by the welcoming buzz of happy and jovial guests, enjoying their evening out. It instantly cheered up my rather tired mood (a long day with the kids and end of week syndrome!) and put a smile on my face. The décor reminds you of that charming French bistro but with a touch more elegance and class. The bar stretches the length of the room with a variety of different style carafes on the shelves behind and exposed wine boxes scattered around. There is soft lighting throughout and the walls are decorated with paintings from different French artists. The waiter tells me the painting I like is by Alex Cartier, from Nice, who has many of his pieces displayed at the eatery.
We are seated at our table, which I have to admit reminds me instantly of our meal at the London chain. The restaurant may be romantic and sophisticated, but if you wanted to have a private conversation then you may be left trying. The tables for 2 are extremely close together and you can certainly hear your neighbour’s conversation, but luckily on this occasion I wasn’t as bothered, as couples talked in hushed respectful voices (these kids must be regulars on the block!).
The table is set with the familiar bunch of tomatoes, lemon and a bottle of olive oil, which was a lovely touch. The waiters, all French of course, with slick back hair and seductive accents, circulate the room checking and helping all the guests. A breadbasket came round a few times too, and after a celebratory glass of champagne, we were ready to order.
On the menu are a range of Mediterranean dishes that all looked so appealing that we had to take recommendation from the waiter. He advised us of their most popular starters and we chose a green lentil salad, tuna carpaccio and ratatouille with feta. Apparently the other must try’s are the burrata with tomatoes and basil and the warm prawns with olive oil (next time for sure!). The food arrived with a gorgeous shine to it. The mixtures of colours and flavours were just spot on and you can tell that the chef has really put a lot of thought into each dish. Every mouthful was savored for its delicate and delightful taste, with contrasting textures.
For main course, I chose, again by recommendation, the fillet of line caught sea bass with artichokes and tomatoes, which was sublime. The presentation was top notch and I was pleased to see that there was a good size fillet on my plate. The fish was soft and cooked to perfection and, coupled with a portion of our sharing sides of potato gratinees and French green beans, I was very happy with my choice. My husband was just as pleased with his monkfish, although I must say that when I tasted it I found the fennel quite strong and dominant. The waiter told us that other popular dishes are the rigatoni with mushroom (and truffles, if in season), the rib eye steak and the grilled lamb cutlets, so if you are not a fish lover, fear not there are lots of choices on offer. There is also a minimum 3 person sharing 1.5kg fish that is apparently an excellent selection but to avoid disappointment you are advised to book this on the phone when reserving your table. After a delicious meal complemented with bottle of dry white wine from the Provence region, we were positively the happiest couple around.
The dessert menu offers sweets that are decadent and appropriately French, with chocolate mousse, cheesecake, French toast and crème brulee all present. We went for the more laid back choice of thin crust apple tart with vanilla ice cream (a favourite of mine) and after just a few mouthfuls of deliciousness each, we decided this was the perfect way to complete a rather divine 3 course meal.
For those of you that don’t feel like a formal evening out, you can choose from the same menu from the comfort of the bar and enjoy a much more relaxed evening. The restaurant is also open for lunch every day of the week and offers the same menu as the evening.
La Petite Maison is without doubt one of the best restaurants Dubai has to offer. Our evening was the perfect magical anniversary dinner and was a much-warranted treat for such an occasion. So if you are looking for a date night, fueled with a refined and delectable meal, and a lovely ambiance, then look no further and get dressed up! You may have to pay good money for the luxury, but it is really worth every dirham.
La Petite Maison, www.lpmdubai.ae