Petite Jacqueline, the Longfellow Square French bistro, received a perfect five stars in the Maine Sunday Telegram from John Golden. He bases his assessment off several visits, all stellar. On chef Frederic Eliot's magret de canard, the final dish he writes about: "To describe this as a dish fit for the gods is understatement. Then again with food like this you won't get anything less."
This is Golden's first five-star review since taking over as MST restaurant critic in November. Earlier this year, the paper gave five stars to El El Frijoles and Outliers Eatery. Petite Jacqueline received four stars from the paper when it was reviewed two years ago. If Golden's review read a bit like deja vu, it is because it recycled much of the material from a post he wrote last month on his Golden Dish blog:
"... we relished the complex flavors of braised tongue that was cooked in veal stock and further enriched by a concentrated stock-based tomato sauce."
"It was followed by braised tongue ($10), a staple of French country cooking. Here it was set in a concentrated veal stock and moistened with an enriched tomato sauce."
"The next two sensational main dishes were: a remarkable coq au vin served over house-made fettuccine and a pot au feu poisson (monkfish).
"This classic chicken dish benefited from being slowly braised in red wine and aromatics until it emerged gorgeously burnished and richly flavored."
"Two stellar main courses followed: a glorious coq au vin ($23) and a beautifully presented pot au feu of monkfish ($24).
"The chicken was slowly braised in red wine and aromatics until it emerged luxuriously burnished and flavored."
"The pot au feu poisson was made with monkfish and was an incredible rendition that allowed the assertiveness of the fish to be tempered by the sweetness of carrots, leeks and turned potatoes."
"The pot au feu showcased monkfish, an otherwise assertive fish tempered by the sweetness of leeks, carrots and turned potatoes bound in a delicious broth."
"For dessert we had pears poached in red wine set over house-made vanilla ice cream followed by a classic chocolate mousse done, as Eliot said, 'in the style of Julia Child.' I think she would have liked it, too."
"We tried two desserts – a chocolate mousse ($7) in the style of Julia Child, and pears poached in red wine ($9). They were a fine conclusion to a beautifully prepared meal."
Interestingly, Golden leaves out the bit about his post-meal chat with Eliot from the MST review.
· Dine Out Maine: At Petite Jacqueline, Meals for the (French) Food Gods [MST]
· Sneak Peek: A New Chef at Petite Jacqueline [TGD]
· Dine Out Maine: Petite Jacqueline Adds a Welcome Dimension to Dining Choices [MST]
· All Week in Reviews [~EMAINE~]
Petite Jacqueline. [Photo: Facebook]