283 Upper St
N1 2TZ, UK
Tel: 020 7359 1046
The Victim: Me
The Damage: £15
The Background: I am at a conference in Islington, and I end up with a two hour break over lunch. I think about going to the gym, going home, going blogging, going shopping. Shoe shopping, maybe. But instead I decide to do lunch alone–which is technically blogging, although I’ll be eating first and blogging when I get around to it.
I’ve always wanted to go to La Petite Auberge. It just looks so cute and French and well, cute and French. It’s a bit farther up the road than I expected, but that’s okay.
The Service: So they give me many menus. There is a specials menu and a regular menu and a wine list. And I think to myself, "Where is the special lunch menu? Surely, as a French restaurant, they have two courses for £x and three courses for £y?" There is no prixe fixe to be seen and I find this puzzling. I thought all French restaurants did this. But apparently not. So I decide to spend £14 on some civet de lapin. I do love a nice bunny stew. About five minutes after I place my order, I notice a little sign with the prixe fixe menu hanging up above. I signal over the waiter and ask if there is indeed a prixe fixe menu? And can I have my rabbit as part of that?
He does, for a moment, look ashamed and apologetic. He says they can cancel my order and I can place a new one, because unfortunately, the civet of rabbit is not available as a prixe fixe.
Now this, my dears, is a shame. I think what they should do is let ANY main on the menu be avialable as a prixe fixe for a small supplement. So for example, I can have my rabbit for £14 if I want, and I can pay just £5 extra (or something) if I want a starter or dessert as well.
I stick with the rabbit. And I wait for the delicious French bread basket. And I wait. And I wait.
And none arrives. The table across from me gets some rolls. But there are no baguette slices to be seen.
A shame. Maybe they are not French. Maybe they are lazy. Maybe the big French bread goblin has gobbled up all the baguettes.
The Food: The bunny? It tastes like chicken. (And I don’t mean this in a bad way.)
The Verdict: Cute, atmospheric. Tasty. I’d actually go back. But go with low expectations.