Maine Restaurant Week: Petite Jacqueline

For a foodie, Restaurant Week is the best week of the year. I am so honored I was able to participate this year, because the offerings were just incredible. If only I had a never ending wallet that was always full….

My first stop for Restaurant Week was at Petite Jacqueline, in the Arts District. There are few things I think anybody could say that are remotely negative about this amazing French bistro. The atmosphere, ambiance, and mood all fit the fantastic quality of food that is served here. This is what art in food is all about: a creative and innovative menu that is still simple while remaining sophisticated for the palette.

Of course, going for dinner during the event, the restaurant offered a special Prix Fixe meal, at $33 per person, for three courses. Although all of the selections sounded off the charts, I ultimately decided to go with:

First Course: Simple Green Salad with Herbs

Second Course: Gnocchi topped with seasonal vegetables

Third Course: Chocolate Pot de Cremé

My boyfriend went a very similar route except he got the Roasted Chicken and mashed potatoes. Needless to say, he was impressed that the chef was able to make an old classic even better. Tender and flavorful doesn’t even begin to explain this chicken. I had a bite, which then turned into two, and then a little of the potatoes, which were basically out of this world. I understood very quickly why this is a James Beard nominated restaurant.

Taking a bite of my gnocchi, I was immediately impressed as well. Never before, (including when I was abroad in Italy) have I ever seen gnocchi that was so large! Size, in this case, didn’t matter, since each piece ended up being more flavorful than the last. Nothing overpowering, just simple food and large taste. A perfect entree for the evening.

The cremé de la cremé of the evening, ironically, was the Chocolate Pot de Cremé, a perfect blend of rich and creamy, with a touch of sweet and salty from the small pinch of sea salt. It was, in a word, lovely.

My experience at Petite Jacqueline was superb, and any other foodie or French bistro lover will agree as well. Do try it, for you won’t regret it!

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