Le Petit Commines serves traditional French food, completely made from scratch with the exception of the pigeon terrine, which is brought in ready-made. As a result, this little bistro can cater to any food allergy, including gluten, soy, lactose, and peanut. It even has (limited) vegan options.
What’s wonderful about this restaurant, besides the amazing food (really and truly good) is how friendly the staff is, how dedicated and knowledgeable, and how well they speak English.
The restaurant is open 7 nights a week. You need a reservation because space is limited and we saw people being turned away. We were seated almost in the corner, and you can see from this angle just how cozy the setting is (there’s about equal seating on my left as well, just out of view).
The waiter asked if it was our first time here, and he came over to explain everything. I let him know right away I was gluten intolerant, which he noted. Before he could fully launch into the wine list, we told him we didn’t drink alcohol … but not before we learned how they choose the wines. Once you’ve placed your order, the staff asks questions that have nothing to do with food, and based on your answers, they choose the wine for you. That is pretty cool, isn’t it?
The walls are lined with wines, and the whites and champagnes are refrigerated. We ordered sparkling water, which they mineralise and add the bubbles themselves.
For my entrée (which means appetiser not main dish), I had a velouté of rutabaga with these interesting bacon chips that I first thought were red cabbage leaves until I bit into them. There was a garlic sauce swirled into the soup as well. I want to try and reproduce this at home.
But the soup was after he brought me gluten-free bread, fresh out of the oven.
Folks. Those of you who are gluten-free, you will know what an amazement this is. I was able to have bread with my meal! In Paris!
Matthieu had foie gras
(which I tasted with my bread).
Then he ordered this enormous steak that was the most tender beef I’d ever tried. There was some alcohol in the sauce but I couldn’t identify it.
I ordered the pigeon, which was served on a bed of onion confit, figs, and chestnuts.
(You can see the claw next to the carrots. Sorry to shock you).
He also told me to use my fingers.
The meals come with sides to share – puréed carrots, cottage fries, and spinach. We got an order of brie cheese after the main meal – not because we were hungry, but because I had bread! And I wanted cheese with my bread.
It ended up being too much though, especially since we don’t drink and you really need the red wine to cut the taste of cheese between bites. (We use the alcohol-free version at home).
And if we weren’t hungry for the cheese, we certainly weren’t hungry for the dessert. But we were on a mission! 🙂 I mean, this was our date night out and we had to try everything!
I got the chocolate and blood orange macarons.
Perhaps I was just too stuffed, but I didn’t love the macarons as much as the rest of the meal. They didn’t have that light, airy taste macarons usually do and I’m guessing it had to do with the orange bits in it. But it was still good. I think I was just too full to enjoy it.
Matthieu got the dessert called, “Le Tellement Bon” (which means the “sooooo good”). He said it was indeed!
I couldn’t try it because that one did have gluten in it.
And that was it. The price range is between 10 and 14€ for the appetisers, between 24 and 32€ (with the sole going up to 45€) for the main dish. The lone plate of cheese was 5€ and the desserts were between 10 and 14€. We didn’t drink wine so I’m not sure how much that will add to the bill, but this is one of those restaurants you go to when you want a nice treat.
Le Petit Commines is located at 16 rue Commines, 75003 Paris – in the 3d arrondissement, near “Le Marais”. To make the reservation, you need to call 01 42 74 57 09, or (and it seems like a different number for overseas calls) +33 7 78 18 63 39. You can also make a reservation through La Fourchette and get 30% off your order.
The closest metro stop is M8 Saint-Sébastien – Froissart or M5 and M9 Oberkampf.
You can get more details from their website here. It’s open for dinner every day, and for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.