I love neighborhood restaurants. These are the places where I can relax, eat drink and not think. Toulouse Petite is in Lower Queen Anne, where you can find other good happy hour eats and drinks at reasonable prices, like the Tin Lizzie Lounge or Sal Y Limón. If you are a visiting the Space Needle or Chihuly Gardens, its a quick 10-15 minute walk. If you are up at Kerry Park shooting the Seattle skyline, you’ll be thankful for the quick downhill walk!. It’s a place where you can grab a bite at the long bar, meet nice people and enjoy excellent service. Creole and Southern cuisine.
The decor is eclectic: lit with hundreds of candles along the wall, pane glass windows that stretch to the ceiling (seven hundred twelve of them), and a disco ball that merrily sprinkles sparks of light across the room.
While I was tempted to go for breakfast (for the beignets of course!), the schedule left only a slot for a relatively quick dinner. So I ordered the following: Fried Green tomatoes, Totten Inlet Manila Clams with leeks and lardon, the Fried Carlton Farms Pork Cheeks Confit, apple mustards, arugula, pickled shallots, and radish batons, I then finished it off with a Pecan pie (how could that go wrong).
Aside from gumbo, the care that goes into fried green tomatoes gives you a sense of the discipline in the kitchen. Had I more time (or stomach) I would have made another order. The corn breeding was deliciously crisp and thin and the tomatoes deliciously tart. The Dungeness crab dollop was satisfying. One can never have enough crab meat. That being said, given the amount of Dungeness, I personally would forgo on the caper sauce. It is salt on salt. Don't let me dissuade you, it is really up to personal taste. It is a must order item. Extremely satisfying.
The Pork Cheek Confit is luxurious. For me, the star of the show are the pickled apples, shallots, and radish batons. They perfectly compliment the pork cheeks. The arugula provides just enough of a peppery bite to pull everything together. Hats off to the chef! It was a wonderfully balanced dish.
The clams were also perfectly cooked. I love smoke, salt, and acid, but the balance was off. The lardon’s smoke was wonderful, but everything was over salted. The white wine in the sauce was overpowering too. It masked the wonderfully fresh clam brine. I can see someone on the line forgetting to taste the broth before salting. The night I went, it was hopping, and mistakes happen. No biggie. I’ve done it before.
I finished dinner off with a pecan pie. Oh man, I haven’t tasted such a rich molasses flavor in such a long time. It was wonderful. I also wish I wasn’t driving so I could have a port or a bourbon with the pie. I wasn’t a fan of the crust, but again that’s me. I don’t like thick hard crust for pecan pie. You should order it just for the filling. Actually, if the filling was served in a bowl, I would order it. The salted candied pecans were a terrific compliment. Man, it was good!
All in all. It was a good meal. Definitely, a place to go during happy or dinner. The fried green tomatoes and the pork confit are enough reason to go again. Did I mention the Pecan Pie? My stomach is grumbling just thinking about it.
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.