Sunday 28 October 2012

(Lunch) Le Petit Parisien, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

I couldn’t resist the name… “Le Petit Parisien”, so French, it’s also the name of a newspaper which was published in France between 1876 and 1944. The coffee shop certainly catches the eye with its orange and black façade and mouth-watering window display full of sweet treats.

We went for brunch on Saturday and the place was packed with people having croissants, hot chocolates, appetising sandwiches and beautiful pastries. I absolutely loved the décor. It looked like a retro Parisian café with framed prints of “Le Petit Parisien” newspaper, the chandeliers and their very continental menu.

A “Soupe du Jour” served with brown bread and butter is only €4.50. They have a great choice of sandwiches from €6.50 to €7.50 (pastrami with beetroot slaw on rye baguette, croque-madame, toasted tuna and fontina cheese sandwich and more), savoury tarts for €6.50 (quiche Lorraine, quiche with chicken and pesto, quiche with spinach and goat cheese) but also salads (duck rillettes with crispy croutons and side salad, salad of confit duck and Puy lentils with croutons, etc…)
If you have a sweet tooth you can order croissants, pain au chocolat, muffins, pain au raisin or even sweet tartlets with a hot drink.
We queued a little to get a table but I didn’t mind as I was taking pictures of the cakes beautifully displayed at the entrance. Loads of people came in to order take-away products.

Voulez-vous un croissant?

Des tartelettes

When we sat, I really felt that I was in a busy petit café. Mr. FFID ordered a Croque-Monsieur since he was drooling at the sight of them during the wait of a table. It came with baked ham, béchamel and Emmental cheese (€7). The cheese was stringy (I love when the string never ends) and there was the perfect amount of béchamel sauce in a lovely fresh bread. The Croque-Monsieur was garnished with mixed leaves and a house dressing, it was great!

Le Croque-Monsieur de Mr.

I ordered the BBQ smoked Salmon with crème fraiche, lemon, cucumber and capers on a savoury brown scone also served with mixed leaves and house dressing (€7.50). I liked it, it was substantial and components matched well. I must admit regretting not ordering the same as Mr. FFID, but shhh don’t tell him! I hate when he orders better food than me.

Mon "scone"

Le Petit Parisien used to be called “Gibsons” and I think they did absolutely right by rebranding the place. As a French person I definitely think they recreated the French décor without tackiness, unlike some other places in Dublin. Their sandwiches looked healthier than many offered in the city and their cakes don’t look ridiculously big or creamy like you can find sometimes in coffee shops. Prices are reasonable and the waiting staff were efficient.

So did it pass the French approval test? Totally, j’adore le Petit Parisien.

Le Petit Parisien
17 Wicklow Street
Dublin 2(01) 671 7331

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.