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Le Petit Cardinal

Le Petit Cardinal

Tomme de brebis, a sheep's cheese from the Southwest of France with the regional condiment of black cherry jam.

Occasionally during the week when I need to have a good think, I’ll head into town for a wander. Most recently, I took the 84 bus from the Porte de Champerret station in Paris’ 17th arrondissement and got off at the northeastern corner of the Jardin du Luxembourg, which is still beautiful even in mid-winter. I spent over an hour there thinking through a particularly challenging problem.

I eventually needed a change of scenery. Leaving the gardens from the east, I made my way through the Latin Quarter. I stopped briefly at my favorite pen and stationery shop, bought a new notebook, then continued on. A little after noon I decided to find a place to eat.

As I was at the top of rue Mouffetard, the famously narrow street lined with restaurants, small shops, and too many tourists regardless of the time of year, I walked down the hill about 100 metres where I found Le Petit Cardinal, a cozy-looking brasserie that was filled with lunch-time diners, which is generally a good sign.

The flavors were right, but the precooked duck was a disappointment.

As I am constitutionally incapable of passing up duck breast (magret de canard) on any menu, I was compelled to order the special Assiette de Sud-Ouest (literally the plate of the South West) that had duck with a green peppercorn sauce and a tomme de brebis (sheep’s cheese) with customary black cherry jam, along with a small carafe of red wine.

Unfortunately, the idea was better than the execution. While the flavors were very good, the duck was inexplicably cooked in advance and arrived barely warm and slightly overcooked. The cheese was just okay. What should have been the capstone of a productive and pleasant morning ended up being a bit of a disappointment. 

Le Petit Cardinal, 29 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris

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