Dave’s View: Wow! There’s a lot of women here at Petite Chou in Carmel, Indiana. Fat women, skinny women, women that look like men, men that look like women, old women, young women, women with too much make-up on, women with fur coats on when it’s 40 degrees outside, women looking like they’re lost, women who think they should not be there, women demanding your attention, and then you have androgynous. The only males in this restaurant is the staff. Okay, there were some males in the restaurant, but not many.
I am not making this up. I looked around and I saw truthfully, two men out of 100 people in this restaurant, and they were truly androgynous human beings. I believe they were men, so I’m counting them. Don’t get me wrong, I like restaurants full of women, but this is the first restaurant I’ve been in Indianapolis that was all women. Impressive and…kind of freaky.
In the restaurant they have prints done by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec on the walls and three-dimensional maps of downtown Paris which gives you the feel of being in a real cafe in Paris. Since and Andrea and I have been in Paris, it’s like an overly commercialized cafe in Paris. It’s too clean and modern. Most cafes in Paris have been there for many decades and they have decades of good dirt. Good dirt doesn’t make you sick, just makes you feel at home. So we’ll see what Petite Chou looks like in twenty years. Hopefully, it looks like a biker’s bar and everybody gets along and there will be rope eyelets on the outside of the restaurant to tie down your small dog while you’re eating. A true French establishment.
Ratatouille Crepe Provencal is the dish I had. It is a crepe with zucchini, eggplant, onions and tomatoes inside. The ingredients blended well and the zucchini and eggplants took on the flavors of this recipe. Not the best crepe I’ve had, but in the top five. On the side was a salad that was truly French as in Paris. If you go to Paris, this is the typical salad you will receive. It is fresh and earthy, but it has rocket in it. What is rocket? Rocket is a type of lettuce they serve in Paris in many restaurants. Rocket is extremely bitter and beats up on all the other types of lettuce in the salad, that in the end, it becomes a “bully”. I’m here in this restaurant arguing with Andrea about how mean rocket is. She proclaims rocket is the best leaf in the lettuce family! Whatever?!!? Why don’t you just shove hops in my mouth? I would probably enjoy it more. Rocket, I hate rocket, give it to the rabbits. Oh, wait, the rabbits would spit it out. If you like rocket, pile on the lettuce and go at it!
After all the rocket and mayhem, we had a dessert. Profiteroles! Puff pastry stuffed with vanilla gelato with chocolate ganache. The ganache and gelato were excellent, but the pastry was awful. It was stale. You have these two wonderful ingredients and ruin it with stale pastry. What a shame.
The service here was nice and pleasant. Quick and efficient.
Note: I came up with the title. Andrea approved it. So you call her the male chauvinist!
Service: 9 Ambiance: 8 Food: 8 Total: 25 out of 30
$35-$45 with adult beverages
Andrea’s View: Dave and I have been married quite a while now, and I am still astonished at the things that Dave will endure just because I enjoy them. Things like dress shopping,movie musicals (ok, any musical), and trips to the book store. Goat cheese, arugula*, and sparkling wine are also on this list. On our recent excursion to Petite Chou, I was able to enjoy all three without a single groan from Dave. I just may have heard some groaning from some of our loyal readers, stating that Petite Chou doesn’t count as a mom and pop ethnic food restaurant. First, it is French, and the owners are local, they just happen to have several different locations around Indianapolis that are not franchised-out. Plus, we were dress shopping at Clay Terrace and needed some lunch. It was a very “Andrea” day.
We walked into a very Parisian chic dining room with crystal chandeliers and light fixtures and old maps of Paris on the walls. I glanced at the menu and spotted a number of “Champagne” cocktails listed. I picked the Doctor’s Orders, a sparkling wine and pomegranate juice mixture. I also noticed right away that they serve a goat cheese salad. Arugula*, watercress, and other baby greens dressed in a raspberry vinaigrette topped with homemade crostinis topped with goat cheese. Fabulous. Even though the salad had a little more dressing than I like, they were equally as generous with the goat cheese. The warm crostinis were crumbling under the weight of all the cheese. I think they may have used an ice cream scoop to top the tiny breads. But I’m not complaining. I rarely get to enjoy goat cheese, and I think this may satisfy my goat cheese cravings for a long time. Besides, I think Dave may have liked this lunch spot too, so I may get goat cheese, arugula*, and sparkling wine a little more often.