So what do we need to know about La Petite Maison?
It's the London outpost of a group that originated with a restaurant in Nice. Restaurateur Arjun Waney loved the food he had there, and was flush with winnings from the casino the night before, so made a deal there and then to buy up the world rights. London's La Petite Maison opened in 2007 and is the group's flagship restaurant.
Where is it?
You'll find it tucked away on the corner of Brooks Mews and Avery Row, behind Claridge's. Back in the day this would have been a coach house and stables. Now it's home to some of London's highest rent per square metre offices along with galleries and hedge funds.
Where's a good place to meet for a drink first?
In normal times, the obvious answer would be LPM's brand-new oyster bar. They bought out the gallery next door and have created a jewel of a bar, all marble counter and banquette seating. But social distancing rules mean that isn't being used just yet, while they figure out the new arrangements. And as so much is currently still closed around here, you're better off going straight to the table and hitting up LPM's cocktail list. Certainly while we were there, the bar team didn't get a moment's peace with cocktails going out every minute to a thirsty crowd.
What kind of safety measures have they employed?
Well, terrace seating is probably a premium as most folk prefer eating outdoors if they can. But inside, tables have been spaced out, staff are all in masks and there's hand sanitiser at the entrance.
So what's on the menu?
Chef Patron Raphael Duntoye has been in charge here since it first opened (with stints at group's restaurants in Dubai and Miami). His menu is inspired by the classic Nicoise cuisine of the original restaurant - so expect to find the kind of dishes you'd want to order on the Med, using the finest ingredients.
Here's what we had:
What about vegetarians and vegans?
There's plenty to entice those going for plant-forward dishes, including the following:
Room for dessert?
Room for three actually. Well, we ordered one (the pain perdu) and the others turned up so we could try them too. They were all £10 each.
And to drink?
As you might imagine, the wine list does have more than the average number of Provencal rose's available by the glass and carafe. Our ’Clos Mireille’ carafe was £63 and went down a treat, particularly with that tartare and burrata. But, as you might imagine, from a restaurant like this in Mayfair, the wines are definitely on the pricier side - so if you were after a 1979 bottle of Petrus at £9800 you'd be in the right place.
Not having been to La Petite Maison since the days when it first opened, we were keen to see what - if anything - had changed. With much of Mayfair closed up and quiet still, this backstreet restaurant was packed to the rafters. Why? Well it helped that around 90% of the customers were regulars. Staff were greeting everyone by name and there was an unmistakable buzz to the scene.
It's not quantum physics - repeat customers like this are down to great service and excellent food. LPM has both of these, and it's still doing very nicely, thank you very much.
More about La Petite Maison
Where is it? 53-54 Brook's Mews, Mayfair, London W1K 4EG
How to book: Call 020 7495 4774
Hot Dinners dined as guests of La Petite Maison. Prices correct at time of publication.
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