Saturday and it’s date night in East London at a new and highly anticipated restaurant, one of life’s many pleasures for sure. Petit Pois is the new French bistro dining experience from the same owner of the rather successful and very sexy bar, Happiness Forgets in Hoxton square. Which happens to be perfectly positioned below the restaurant for a digestif and schmooze with your lover, post dinner.
Petit Pois is indeed petit I counted about 9 tables in total, which explained why I had to wait a month for a table on a Saturday night. Let’s start with the service that was impeccable; attentive (just the right amount), very knowledgeable on the food and forthcoming with wine and food pairings. I’m always interested to hear what the staff have to say on this topic as I’m trying not to get stuck always choosing what I know I like.Rich started with the classic French onion soup, which I totally would have chosen myself but unfortunately onions and me aren’t a good match. When I asked him how it was he described it as “onion-y”. This is exactly the why I don’t take him to review restaurants with me. It smelt amazing though, served with a cheesy toasted crouton suspended in a brown broth. I had the crab croquettes. I have a weakness for croquettes (well anything fried in breadcrumbs mainly) and these fresh crab ones were light and flavoursome with a hint of spice, served with a zippy mayo sauce. The perfect pre-course to whet my appetite. We drank my choice of Picpoul de Pinet.For main course I opted for the steak pomme frites, served medium with a lip smacking Béarnaise. The steak was a generous size and grilled to my exact liking, the fries were salty and delicious although not that hot when they arrived. Rich had the Duck Confit special, which came with dauphinoise potatoes and a little, dressed watercress salad. We moved onto the waiters’ recommendation of red wine for the meat course.I am a savoury girl normally but after a serving of juicy steak frites and second helpings of Béarnaise sauce one can’t help but feel a little decadent and it just seems rude to refuse dessert. Especially, when it’s scooped out of a massive Mason Cash mixing bowl and generously dolloped onto a plate in front of your piggy little eyes. The chocolate mousse desert was the highlight of the dinner. I could have eaten that whole damn bowl!On the whole Petit Pois was a delectable experience and I really look forward to returning to soon with a girl friend or two. The menu is classic French, simple, no-nonsense and done well and there are some tempting daily specials on offer. The service and atmosphere was so so good as well. Ticking all my boxes!
It is also the perfect date night set up as you have the option to pop downstairs for a cocktail if the dinner portion of the date was a success however, I do recommend hedging your bets and booking a table ahead of time in the bar so you don’t stand outside waiting for a table for 15 minutes like we did! Totally worth it though, Happiness Forgets is my new favourite place for cocktail.
Meal for 2 including drinks and service, £75
Petit Pois Bistro
9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU