Monday, July 03, 2006


In celebration of the extension of my job, I made a reservation on the spur of the moment at our favorite restaurant, Le Petit Cafe, on Friday night. The chef, Roy Ip, answered the phone and when he took my name, he said, "oh, I know you." Which he does, as he has since the first time Andy and I went to Le Petit Cafe. That rainy March night when Andy finally moved here for real, he sat down with us and chatted at length, asking us what we did in New Haven, where we had moved from, sharing memories of food in the Bay Area. The next time we came in, a few months later, to sample the early summer produce, he sent us home with miniature apple tarts for our next day's breakfast. And the next time, when we came for the comforting yet over-the-top cassoulet after Andy's brother's wedding in Arkansas, he sent us celebratory after-dinner drinks (unbeknownst to us, he had just received a four-star rating from the New York Times) and introduced us to another table of diners, some local food writers. We go to Le Petit Cafe every time we have something to celebrate, since the one time we went elsewhere for a festive night, we wished we hadn't.

So we walk in on Friday night and Mr. Ip sees us and says, "Hello there, Mrs. Delicious!"



A Google search for "Le Petit Cafe Branford". An unfamiliar website. He recognized me from the photo. I feel like Gael Greene. I need a picture with dark glasses and a wide-brimmed hat. My favorite chef! Recognizes my photo! Has read my dumb little blog! Am I honored? Am I horrified? Both.

Fortunately, there's nothing bad I could ever say about Le Petit Cafe. I never order duck anywhere else because I know I will be disappointed -- it will never be as good as the five-spice duck breast that Mr. Ip makes. I could, and sometimes do, eat the homemade truffle butter with a spoon. The mixed olives with garlic and cumin, the freshest pickled beets with ginger and mint, the diver scallops wrapped in Spanish ham, the hazelnut fondant, the cassoulet OH LORD that cassoulet.... If I keep eating there regularly, my last meal might come sooner than I think, but what a last meal it will be!

Now I'm off to change that photo. Before a chef I don't like quite as much tracks me down.


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