Le Petit Sommelier - Fine And Genuine French Gastronomy

Finding an unpretentious (even in its cooking) and inexpensive restaurant in Paris with generous portions, no serious or formal dress code required but with genuine food and service, Le Petit Sommelier is the place to go to when you are hovering around for your restaurant choices to incarnate the essence of fine French food. mylifestylenews writes.

Many tourists come to Paris and ask around their friends for recommendations on where to dine out to experience memorable French cuisine by finding the authentic French umami. Some may go home with disappointment, but don’t get us wrong, it is nothing wrong with that particular restaurant being recommended, it could be the diners who don't know or aren't ready to appreciate what French gastronomy is all about. They may even have ordered something from the menu that was unknown to them that may have caused them to dislike the food where those particular dishes were being served over the past centuries. Blame no one but to upgrade your knowledge and be opened minded especially when the “East coming to meet West” or vice versa of the culture conflict know-how.

Tucked away on Avenue Maine in Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement and minutes away from the Tour Montparnasse, Le Petit Sommelier is a little gem and the alliance of a traditional Parisian bistro and a restaurant that meets among the largest producers of France and the world with very a particular taste in getting its fresh produce from their designated fournisseurs (suppliers). Le Petit Sommelier’s seasonal cuisine lives in the zeitgeist and defines the spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of time. Their supplies includes Metzger who supplies the viande (meat), foie gras from Masse, charcuteries (delicatessen) by Bobosse, pain (bread) by Jean-Luc Poujauran, champignons (mushroom) from Champehnons des bois, poisson (fish) from Blanc, Huître (oyster) by Yvon Madec, fruits et legumes (fruits & vegetables) by Charraire, jus de fruit (fruit juice) by Alain Millat, fromages (cheeses) by Herve Mons and etc.

 “Le Petit Sommelier was created by my parents. Because they are in love with Paris, they wanted to build a bistrot, mixing generous food and warm atmosphere”, says Pierre Vila Palleja, owner and former sommelier at prestigious starred establishments such as The Ritz, Crillon and Lasserre. The bright yellow neon light signage of Le Petit Sommelier catches the eyes of passers-by with its red awnings facing the avenue. The restaurant is not big and styled in a typical traditional bistro décor, with moldings, big walled and wooden framed mirrors reflecting the classic old French bistro with art deco settings from the round bright lamps, red leather chairs contrasting flat ironed table linens with uncountable bottles of opened wine bottles behind the long upholstered seats.

The restaurant is now led by a new Chef, Nicolas Bouillier who had just arrived a few months back with his credentials working at the George V and Fables Foutain among others offering two parts of the menu for your enjoyment. The “Bistrot” menu is inspired by the traditional Paris recipes and the “restaurant” part with a creative and seasonal menu with bold associations and specific tastes.

A good meal is always better with wine in France and perhaps in Le Petit Sommelier they are a little humble and too modest from their wine selection that they are to offer for their diners. In fact, they have created more than 1,000 label wines on its list topped with 25 wines by the glass. Do not hesitate to ask for any suggestions from their passionate sommeliers, as you will be impressed by their product knowledge and know-how at introducing some really rare fine wines to pair with your dishes, which need not burn a hole in your pocket.

Having said that, we were served with a pleasant glass of hand-crafted Alfred Gratien Champagne from a century old family champagne house cellar with its first cuvées since 1864 in which their champagnes are known for guaranteed quality and consistency. The pale yellow hue of this champagne is lively and the bubbles are small and quick to rise to a fine mousse. The nose is moderately intense yet complex with white flower, orchard fruit note, citrusy and fresh butter enhancement. The silky clean taste, chalky mineral and smooth texture leads to a crisp and pleasing finish. A well recommended champagne to pair with our following entrée.

We began our entrée with 6 pieces of d’Yvon Madec oyster from the Bistrot menu. The oysters are at the right size for a mouth full, fresh and juicy with the natural taste from the sea.

<”Millefeuille” d’anguille fume, foie gras et pomme grany, raifort allege> 
This layered “Naopleon” of smoked eel, foie gras and green apple with horseradish condiment is a very special dish that you may not see in many French restaurants. Beautifully presented with layers of complexity on the palette, it is more like a “savory dessert” starter, the citrusy of the green apple rounds up the palette from the richness of the smoked eel and foir gras. Being one of the signature dishes here, it is a must order!

<Goie gras en terrine traditionnelle, pain aux figues> 
Dining in an authentic French Bistro, a homemade foie gras is a definite must order dish from the menu. Rich and creamy but not greasy and best accompanied by the warm  and crispy toasted fig bread.

<Saint-Jacques d’Erquy Poêlées butternut fondant, crème de topinambour, vinaigrette truffée, noisettes> 
The lightly seared scallops served with butternut, Jerusalem artichokes, truffle dressing and topped with hazelnuts is another succulent dish. The entire combination presented on a stoneware made it even more dramatic.

<Pluma de cocho ibérique laqué au Séchuan et clémentime, lentils vertes du puy á la badiane, choux> 
The Iberian pork pluma was cooked to a very tender texture for soft bites with a hint of the peppery Sechuan pepper and the clementine to balance the palate and garnished with Chinese cabbage. The Puy lentils flavoured with star anise was a very generous serving and easy to fill your stomach.

<Pintade fermiére rôtie, épeautre et sarrasin au citron, tomatoes confites, harissa verte> 
Another highlight for the main course is the roasted filet of guinea fowl, spelt and buckwheat, lemon and candied tomatoes in green Harissa sauce. You can’t go wrong by ordering this dish in Le Petit Sommelier.

<Entrecôte Argentine – frites Fraiches, béarnaise> 
A 280g meaty beef rib steak is ideal for the meat lover. The steak is served with thick and crunchy French fries and creamy béarnaise sauce on a bed of greens.

<Domaine Tempier Bandol 2016> 
Three of our meaty main courses were well paired with the Domaine Tempier 2016 vintage. A nice dark blackberry fruit with a fine and slightly grippy tannins, medium acidity and nice balance really cries out for a piece of thick grilled meat.

<Baba au rhum agricole amber, crème Chantilly>
This small yeast cake saturated in syrup made with Rum and filled with homemade Chantilly cream is another common and authentic French dessert that brings back many good memories from childhood where every mother has their very own secret recipe.

<Gourmandise pistache et Chartreuse> 
A classic and traditional Chartreuse and pistachios perfume is a pleasant delight to end the big meal of the evening.

The service in Le Petit Sommelier was prompt and with great professional efficiency. Take a picture with any member of the staff, tag them and post it! And for your next meal, the wine as aperitif is on the house!  A friendly restaurant like Le Petit Sommelier offers real fine and genuine French gastronomy and you will know you certainly have come to the right place!

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 3.5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Experience: 4.5/5

49 Avenue du Maine
75014 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 4320 9566

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated. 

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