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4238 Magazine St.

As much as I love this city and its food, I feel by the second day that I’m here as though I’ve eaten like a pig for a month — even when I haven’t. So, I look for simple, good and nouvelle French food. In other words, light on the sauces. Well, maybe that’s hoping against hope in New Orleans.

Last year and this, my landlady Jill has been telling me about her favorite neighborhood restaurant, Le Petit Grocery. I finally gave it a try. Unusually, I had a friend in town and for once I had company at dinner. We decided to order only small plates. After an interesting soup of a dark blue crab broth with slices of trumpet mushrooms and fresh peas, we shared a plate of seared scallops on a bed of pureed cauliflower and another of papardelle with smoked pork cheeks in a bolognese sauce that had the distinct flavor of allspice. David and I both agreed that the papardelle easily surpassed the other dishes. Then we finished up with a frisée salad with lardons and a fried egg on top. A very good meal. Not enough on the menu urged me to return tomorrow night. When I come back next year, I’ll be ready to eat here again.

My only complaint about the experience relates to the noise by the bar. We made the mistake of sitting at the window, near the bar. The groups meeting at the bar before proceeding to their tables were loud and distracting. Next time, I’ll sit in the back.

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