Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ottawa: Petit Bill

(Sorry for the pictures on this one, it was dark and I should have used a slower shutter speed... I'll try to get better ones next time we go)

We are very busy these days so this will be a short entry. However, since Petit Bill is a brand new restaurant, I figured some feedback was in order

As we said in a previous post, we had met Terry, one of the owners a few days before and he seemed like a very nice fella. Well, he was glad to see that we followed-up on our promise to check his restaurant out. Understandably, he seemed like he was above his head with work and we did not bug him much with questions.

May started with the seared sea scallops wrapped in shredded phyllo pastry (or rather, lost in it) with a grainy mustard aioli. Nicely done scallops. A good start. $12

I had the brie in phyllo pastry. It was not baked for long enough; the brie should be melting and it was still very firm. However, the almonds and the lightly sweet syrup was a very nice combination for this dish. $11

For her entrée, May had the Coq au vin. Nice rendition with crisp veggies to support the bold taste of the chicken braised in red wine. The roasted potatoes were especially yummy.

I had the mushroom risotto (with Parmesan chips and truffle oil). Not so lucky with that one. The rice was overcooked which gave it a pasty texture. True risotto connoisseurs will have it al-dente (a light resistance to the tooth) while I enjoy it slightly more cooked. This was waaaaay past that point. It could also have used some cream during the finish to make it a smoother dish. $16

We finished with a desert trio of creme brulée, cheese cake and flourless chocolate cake. Quite enjoyable.
All-in-all, we had a good time. The Petit Bill staff is still working the kinks out of opening a new restaurant; the staff is a bit green and the service was a bit rushed. This will sort itself out with time and should in no way be a deciding factor in your decision to go or not. Food should be though, and we give Petit Bill a good mark based on May's dishes... and a not so good one based on mine! I couldn't get myself to tell Terry about the negative points and I probably should have. But seeing them working so hard, I just didn't have the heart. And really, I am confident that things will settle over the next few weeks and Petit Bill will get to its "cruising speed".

One thing I especially liked is that it is the menu offers a lot of choice. But, this might also be the problem; it is hard to keep a constant level of quality when there is so much on the menu.
We will go back to Petit Bill to check how it evolves. I see potential for greatness there, it just needs to grow a bit.
Petit Bill's Bistro
1293 Wellington Street
(613) 729-2500

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice review and food photos. But I don't see more review from you about Asian restaurants (Japanese, Chinese, Thai) in Ottawa.