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Cozy, classic, French

Original post made on Feb 15, 2013

Not that long ago (OK, in light years) the culinary landscape was dotted with French restaurants. Most Americans didn't know much about food beyond casseroles, Lazy Susans and meatloaf at the time.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 15, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (2)

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Posted by Le Petit Bistro
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Like us on Facebook http:// www.facebook.com/lepetitbistromv


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Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Another good comprehensive look at a local one-of-a-kind restaurant. Petit Bistro has a loyal following of local regulars who appreciate its unpretentious comfort-food style and decent value.

A distinction of this restaurant, worth emphasis I think, is how it contrasts with mainstream 20th-century perceptions of US French restaurants, which (along with imperious headwaiters and intimidating prices) often featured prestigious, "high" cuisine, using rare ingredients (or ersatz imitations of them). But that's not the cooking usually eaten, then or now, at restaurants in France, or made at home there. Everyday, moderately-priced restaurants in France tend toward limited menus and traditional, comforting dishes -- "cuisine bourgeoise." Demonstrating daily what historian Karen Hess concluded in the "The Taste of America" (Viking, 1977): the real history of cooking consisted mainly of housewives creating something interesting from ingredients the gentry wouldn't touch. A previous Voice-Weekly review of Le Petit Bistro (link below) dwelt on this distinction.

Web Link

(The Julia Child quip makes me want to converse some time with Dale Bentson about US cooking history. The quip was good, though in passing it unfortunately fed pop-culture misconceptions of JC's role. In the 1960s she was the latest of 150 years of Americans to "popularize French cooking among the American public." Best-selling US cookbook authors had been doing that since 1832, they just weren't on TV.)


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