French cuisine and wine form a perfect pairing, much like popcorn and soda or airplane travel and Alka-Seltzer. Pair up and pay compliments to the chef with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic French fare and wine at La Petite France.
La Petite France imports the culinary traditions of France into the romantic ambience of its elegant restaurant, which Zagat rated Excellent for three consecutive years. Prep palates with the garlic-, parsley-, and butter-dressed escargots bourguignon ($10). The magret de canard sauce cerises—a roasted duck breast drizzled in a demi-glace of sun-dried cherries and port wine—teases the taste buds like a twine factory teases a cat ($29), and the filet de porc sauce normande employs apples and brandy cream sauce to deliciously sweeten pork tenderloin ($19.50). The restaurant offers wine pairings alongside courses, inviting diners to accent their dishes and provide a paperless passport for their palates. Sweet teeth can also dive into the crème brûlée ($7) or the mousse au chocolat, a rich, fluffy chocolate mousse that balances a dollop of whipped cream on its nose ($7).
Renowned chef and proprietress Daniele Crandall brings her childhood in northern France to the surface of every platter, summoning years of culinary study to evoke the precise flavors of French cuisine. Cream-colored walls with dark wood paneling play upon the light of fireplaces and hanging chandeliers, providing an atmosphere ripe for staring longingly across the table without having to squint.
La Petite France
La Petite France's proprietor, Daniele Crandall, grew up in France, where she spent her youth working in family restaurants before emigrating to the United States in 1964. She stayed in touch with her roots by teaching French to students before eventually deciding that it was time to return to the kitchen with her family members.
Today, they bustle among pots of steaming port with sun-dried tomatoes—which will become a demi-glace for duck—and crackling skillets of salmon, endives, shallots, and white wine. They plate filet mignon and pâté that the Cincinnati Enquirer said “has a nice rustic texture, more like a fine meatloaf than a liver pâaté, with a hint of clove or allspice. Little sour cornichon pickles accompany it, just as they do in thousands of bistros and restaurants all over France.” Beneath glittering chandeliers, the glow of fireplaces dances across tables clad in white tablecloths, like a maitre d’ who forgot his uniform. A stained-glass mural depicts the idyllic charm of Peillon in Provence, France, as diners sup on three-course dinners, enjoy tastings of California wines, or sip cocktails and listen to live music during catered banquets.