Oh, sweet Petite Jacqueline! I know little about French culture or cuisine (other than my favorite Scratch croissants and Pepé Le Pew), and definitely look to Meredith for any true Franco-related information, but if Petite Jacqueline in Portland is any hint, I’m going to love every moment spent in front of a table on our upcoming trip to France.
This perfectly-styled French bistro in Longfellow Square immediately caught our attention when it opened, and it wasn’t long after that we added it to our Portland Top 10. But recently, with a wonderfully generous wedding photography thank you gift from the family of one of Meredith’s clients, we decided to revisit with Map & Menu in mind.
5 o’clock dinners have not always been our style, but knowing that we’d be unable to do Petite Jacqueline justice without a slew of great images, and to take advantage of some great afternoon natural light, we opted to grab a table as soon as they opened. We only shortly had the restaurant to ourselves, but it more than gave us the chance to enjoy a few cocktails and let Mere do her thing with the camera. Maybe it was the suspense of a great meal, or a sunny (albeit windy) afternoon, or my Eiffel Power and her Monet’s Muse, but we were giddy to be back at one of our favorites, and the rest of the evening couldn’t have gone better.
We kicked off our meal with the soupe du jour and a delicious selection of cheeses, and then, with our second cocktails (my Flaneur, her French Connection) moved onto a sensational feast. As an aside, in the 6 years I’ve known Meredith, I think that I’ve seen her order beef from a menu, other than the extremely infrequent burger (when turkey isn’t available), maybe twice. She’s not what I would call a big bovine enthusiast, and I have learned to live with that – sneaking the occasional ribeye when she’s out of town, or getting my fill when we eat out. Leave it to some of our favorite French cuisine however, to get her to buck the trend. Her beef bourguignon (which I had delightfully experienced on a previous trip here) left her absolutely speechless – so tender and delicious – it has to be one of their most popular dishes. I won’t do it justice with words, but my Plat Du Jour lamb over fingerlings had me joining the CPC (clean plate club) in what seemed like a few short minutes.
Have you ever had a meal where afterwards, you lean back in your seat and just take a happy, deep breath to reflect? We did… and then the most delectable Nutella, hazelnut, and banana crepe came to finish us off. What an evening! Hopefully this summer we’ll be using Petite Jacqueline often to show off some of the great food Portland has to offer to our out-of-town guests.
Portland, Maine 04101