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Petit Lion Is Still Figuring Itself Out

Petit Lion and Melt reviewed this week

The burger at Petit Lion
  • Helen Freund headed over to Petit Lion and found that the Chef Philip Lopez outpost in the sparkling Troubadour Hotel is “still figuring itself out.” Trying to satisfy the hotel crowds and Philip Lopez’s following of diners who expect a more innovative approach, the restaurant’s contemporary French bistro fare bears very little resemblance to Lopez’s other work. Maybe Freund was put off by a “muted hotel decor [that] feels dated and at odds with the menu” or the feeling that the dining room “feels like an extension of the lobby.” Freund is mostly upbeat about the small plates, with shout-outs for “deliciously creamy” crab-stuffed deviled eggs and a “good” trout rillette. She enjoyed a hanger steak and “perfectly crisp” pommes frites. Many of the menu pitfalls come from basic execution. “Chicken bonne femme is seasoned with sumac, giving the dish a light citrusy heat. While the flavors of the chicken were good, the meat was dry, and the final presentation of the dish was lacking. Potatoes were shriveled and overcooked.” A beautifully cooked burger is doused in too much of the restaurant’s special sauce and placed on a “stale” bun. Luckily, her meal ended on a happy note with a carrot cake that demonstrated “some of the creativity and playfulness diners associate with Lopez' restaurants.” [GAMBIT]
  • Freund also sat down at Melt in Mid-City and found that the restaurant menu “more polished and grown-up than just another place hawking the childhood staple.” The main supplier is St. James Cheese Co. and cheese is everywhere on the menu, but not always “framed by slices of bread.” She enjoyed truffle fries topped with cheese, fried macaroni and cheese balls breaded in panko, and tempura-battered Wisconsin cheese curds. She cautions against ordering the “pork and beef meatballs topped with provolone and spicy red sauce... While the pleasing sauce has subtle spice, the meatballs were overcooked and mealy, falling apart with a prick of the fork.” Shout-outs to the “gourmet” sandwiches: The Owner’s Special “ is reminiscent of a rich French onion soup” and the Mama’s Melt takes a shot at improving the ham and cheese. “Along with restaurants such as Fharmacy and Marjie's Grill, Melt's steady growth reflects a neighborhood that slowly but surely is becoming a factor in the city's dining scene.” [GAMBIT]

Petit Lion

1111 Gravier St, New Orleans, LA 70112 Visit Website


2549 Banks St, New Orleans, LA 70119