La Petite France 

The Hit List

After a quarter century in a most unlikely location amid mattress and electronic-appliance discounters, remains the oldest of the restaurants in Richmond which are considered our best. For most of us, La Petite France is a place for special celebrations. For he regulars, it's almost a club where the clientele know each other, and where the amiable chef-owner Paul Elbling and his hostess-wife, Marie-Antoinette, move sociably through the formal and elegantly appointed dining rooms as time permits.

Traditional French cuisine has taken a hard hit from the food and nutrition fads of the past couple of decades, and, in fact, definitions of French haute cuisine have probably changed from the traditional butter- and cream-enhanced dishes and sauces. The menu at La Petite France is extensive and is filled with many of those dishes we associate with classic French food, but there are many items that are traditionally regional and Virginian which are given a bit of a French twist and nods in the direction of au courant.

For classic French cuisine, Chef Paul's institution remains our single choice. The food is dependably good, the surroundings are genteel, and the service is polished. It's a good place to celebrate an intimate occasion or to entertain a group of special people.

2912 Maywill St. 353-8729

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