La Petite Gourmand, Avignon

As we tried to translate the menu on the board outside and determine if we should go into La Petite Gourmand, a lady came out and said they had an English menu inside. It turned out that she was the chef. The restaurant is very small, only seating 15, and all the tables were actually reserved but we had an hour to order and eat before having to clear out by ~8:30pm. We received a little bowl of purple potato chips while we were still looking at the menu. Mum’s first instinct was to go for the tagliatelle with local truffles and truffle sauce (€16) but was also tempted by the foie gras ravioli with creamy cêpes sauce (€17). She picked the truffle tagliatelle. I had the smoked salmon and smoked duck Magret tartare with sesame oil (€12) and dad had the special ‘Secca d’Entrevaux’, which was beef tenderloin which had been dried with spices and covered with pesto and Parmesan cheese. It came with a jacket potato, which was to be topped with a Marcellin cheese spread that came in a little jar (€14.50).

The meals were cooked in a kitchenette right at the front window and the cozy ambiance was almost like a home kitchen, especially because the chef was very friendly and also sometimes served her dishes to the tables. When mum saw the serving sizes she gave into temptation and ordered the foie gras ravioli as well (for us to share). Mum was very, very pleased with her tagliatelle, saying it was the best meal we’ve had in France so far. For €16 they were quite generous with the truffles, which had a nice sweet flavour that was different to the other truffles we’ve had.

Dad didn’t appear as chuffed about his choice. He said the best thing was the salad. The sirloin was very tasty and was nice with the pesto and cheese. I was pretty happy with my tartare. There were sesame seeds mixed into the tartare and also dobs of balsamic vinegar and horseradish, which all combined nicely with the smoked meats, which were delicious and fresh. I think we were all a bit surprised when the ravioli arrived and was completely immersed in sauce, making it look like a soup. The sauce had a rich flavour, but wasn’t overly creamy. It matched well with the richness of the foie gras. Altogether it cost us about 31AUD each for our dinner, but it was worth every penny. Apart from the fact that all the dishes were great, food of that quality and with those sorts of ingredients would cost much more in Australia. Later I saw some people eating the beef daube with tagliatelle and the colour of the stew was much darker than the one we had at L’espice and Love.

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