Don't Look for the Sign Out Front, You Might Miss La Petit Maison
At nearly 5p.m. on a sunny mid-May afternoon, just as Berwyn's Royal Tea CafA© is closing down for the day, its counterpart, La Petit Maison, is just getting started.
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#1 Jun 1, 2011
My husband and I ate here tonight (4/15/11) and I feel a more comprehensive review is needed, with hopes that the owner/chef will read it and also that any who are considering trying this place for the first time will know what to expect. La Petite Maison is the sister restaurant to A La Maison in Ardmore. Weve been there a few times and loved it. So we assumed, wrongly so, this restaurant would be on par. The red flag flew even before we parked our car, as we struggled to see where this restaurant was located I mean, it DOES have a Lancaster Ave address, smack in the middle of Berwyn. Youd think a new local french bistro on the main avenue would be proud enough (and prepared for its opening) to display its name SOMEWHERE onsite!!! They share the space with The Royal Tea House, and that is all that is displayed, faintly at that. We missed it several times and even when we thought we figured it out, there was not ONE sign on any of 3 doors to let us know we may be in the right place! Thats when we should have left! I mean come on!! The door that seemed obviously to be the entrance, up a flight of stairs right in front of the restaurant, was locked, and it was quite embarrassing to be fidgeting with the door while other diners (only 4, mind you, on a Friday at 8pm) watched. Then to have to walk in thru the (un-attended) tea shop with no one to greete or lead us, go thru a walkway, to find the bistro was, to put it bluntly, just awkward. The place was almost empty (with only one table of diners) and had a very un-appealing un-ambiance. Half the pleasure of dining out is ambiance/service they both set the mood. The food is the cherry on top! You can see where this is going! The bistro, a mere half of a tea shop, is a very cramped space. Tiny can be good, if done right. But tiny with bright lights, no candles or flowers on the tables, bare, with empty nails (no pics hangin on them!) and words THE ROYAL TEA HOUSE painted on weird orangey colored walls was awful this was NOT bistro, French, quaint, cozy or enticing. It was bare, unfinished, dull and unappealing. If you are going to be OPEN FOR BUSINESS, then be ready to be what you are IF you are going to charge the prices that this place is charging (would you believe $36 dollars for Steak Frites????? Most other entrees were around $27, one salad of simply butter lettuce and dressing was a whopping $11!!!) then give the diner a pleasant atmosphere and one that reflects those prices a clean and crisp and performance-ready dining room. It is NOT ok to charge those higher range prices while chincing on everything else that should support those prices. You cant fool the smart diner. We have lots of choices and as wonderful as our meal of steak frites was, we would never entertain coming back here, sitting under bright glaring lights, in a cramped room with unfinished walls,and a barren, lack-luster atmosphere!!! It truly is a shame, because the meal was delicious .but so much else was missing for us, we felt taken! Its not worth raving about a wonderful piece of meat, when Dinner for two with no dessert, just 2 orders of steak frites, and coffee, was $96 with tip. And its a BYO. For that much money, for LESS, actually, we have plenty of reliable, better than average choices and we will choose them. Sorry, Berwyn, this one wont last.
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