Friday, May 20, 2011
Don't Look for the Sign Out Front, You Might Miss La Petite Maiso
At nearly 5p.m. on a sunny mid-May afternoon, just as Berwyn’s Royal Tea Café is closing down for the day, its counterpart, La Petite Maison, is just getting started. The recently opened Berwyn byob (in the former Berwyn Coffee Co. space) is the latest addition to Chef Maurice de Ramus’ restaurant portfolio including Ardmore’s A la Maison, Philadelphia’s Zen and Cherry Hill’s Onasis.
My friend and I arrived early for our 5:30p.m. reservation. The word “earlybird” doesn’t even cover it, but with traffic being what it is, it’s always better safe then sorry. We pulled up to a wisteria covered fence parked in the building’s rear parking lot.
Without previous knowledge of its existence and nothing to alert a hungry commuter (such as myself) to its presence, locals passing the Lancaster Avenue eatery might not even know it was there. The only signage is for its tea-toting other half.
We entered through the rear of the building, passing the aforementioned tea shop’s counter and were directed to the restaurant’s half of the shared space; La Petite Maison, a quaint sun-lit eatery that seems to be a sort of a satellite location to its better known elder, A la Maison.
We were greeted by our server, Alexander. Between his charming French accent and the subtle smells coming from the kitchen I was instantly overcome with a sense of positive enthusiasm. This would be the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, a quick after-work bite or even to take over with a larger private party.
Being the only guests of the evening, we were allowed to choose whichever seat we liked and chose a table for two perched in the windows, allowing for a view of Lancaster Avenue.
Alexander opened our wine.
“La fat bas-tard,” he read with a smile.
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