BTown Eats: Le Petit Cafe

Happy Independence Day, friends! I hope you’re spending the day relaxing and having fun with those who mean most to you. I’m counting down the hours until I get off work and can join in on the fun!

Much of my weekend was spent packing up our rental house. My parents are amazing and came over Friday and Saturday to help with the daunting task. We managed to pack up the entire kitchen, two giant closets and put a good dent in the master bedroom. James and I still have a bit to do next weekend, but my parents are rockstars and tackled the toughest parts.

We worked up quite the appetite Saturday after a day full of packing and cleaning, so we took a break and headed downtown to grab dinner. We decided to try Le Petit Cafe, a local French restaurant that’s been on my list of places to try for a while. We occasionally grab crepes or pastries from their window on our way to the Farmer’s Market, but I’d never stepped foot inside.

The quaint mom-and-pop restaurant is situated along Bloomington’s B-Line trail on W. 6th Street and has a casual and inviting atmosphere. Unlike most restaurants, Le Petit Cafe doesn’t have an extensive menu — and that’s a good thing. The owners offer a steak, poultry and seafood option every night, with a fourth special. The meals come with a soup or salad to start and are accompanied by the side dishes of the day. They also offer appetizers of pate and cheese pastries, which we regretted not trying.

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I decided to start my meal with the chilled strawberries and cream soup, the description intrigued me. It was excellent. Not too sweet and extremely refreshing on a summer night. I would love to try recreating this at home — it would be wonderful to serve as a first course for a summer brunch.

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My dad and I both ordered the steak special of the night, topped with blue cheese butter. The steak was cooked perfectly, and the butter was so delicious you could eat it off a spoon. I would highly recommend this dish if you find it on the menu during a visit. It was served with a side of roasted potatoes and salmon quiche, which were also amazing. My mom ordered the salmon and raved about the sauce, which was a mixture of mayonnaise, tuna and capers.

The meal was one to remember — and not just because of the delicious food. The owners are charming and the experience is unlike anything you’ll find at another Bloomington restaurant. It felt as though we were coming into someone’s home for a lovingly-prepared meal rather than dining at a restaurant. It’s safe to say we’ll be making a return visit to Le Petit Cafe very soon. They have a popular lunch buffet on Thursdays and offer family-style dining for Sunday lunch.

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