After some very quiet months, we are slowly trying to make it up on new restaurant openings. On a sunny Friday, not yet back in the job routine, we decided to have a late lunch on the terrace of Au P’tit Max, that open its door quite recently on the pedestrian road leading to place d’Armes.
We reserved a table couple of hours before and we were kept a nice one on the window – other terrace tables are a bit more “in the middle of the street” for my tastes.
We ordered some water – that took ages to come – and went then for two Prawns / Avocado / Mango starters, followed for me by a Beef Tartare and for my partner in crime by a turbot filet with veggie side.
We accompanied our lunch with a bottle of Champagne and concluded with coffee and digestifs.
Pictures of our lunch followed by my review.
What I liked about Au P’tit Max:
- The place is lovely and cared in details: I went in for a visit to the restroom and the first floor – the restaurant one – is like “OMG, I want to come here for dinner every night”. The terrace is similarly pleasant, even if in the busy Place D’Armes might sound a bit touristic.
- The menu offers various choices, all very attractive – classic but with a strong bit of creative ego. In particular my Beef Tartare presentation was super – as well as for the taste and the fries were one of the best I have tried in town – I could not stop eating them even if I was quite full.
What I liked a bit less about Au P’tit Max:
- I definitely find the gastronomic effort a bit too much exaggerated for the dishes presented: a similar, even better result might have achieved with less pretentious portions. In particular, I was very deluded by the prawn starter – ridiculous price for 3 (right, 3) overcooked prawns. Our final bill, including a 60 euro bottle champagne and a round of digestif, read 180 Euro (1 water, 2 3-prawns-starters, 1 beef tartare, 1 grilled fish half filet, bubbles, coffee and simple digestif). I honestly feel I overpaid or, depending on the point of view, I could have eaten better for the same price.
- On the slight delusion, the service has its very strong impact: except for the one who seems to be the manager, who was smiling and very responsive and kind, the other waiters looked bored and annoyed by our requests. After seating down, we remained almost 15 minutes without anybody coming to cheer us or give a menu and we had basically to stop a waiter to ask some water – we wanted an aperitif, but.. As said, the water itself took further 10 minutes to come. The place was definitely not busy and for that prices a bigger effort on that side must be definitely done.
In conclusion: I had not a bad lunch at Au P’tit Max: in particular I was surprised by the location – very nice – and my beef tartare would be definitely a dish to order again. On the other side, the service is definitely not in line with the bill and the feeling you got at the end is that you might find better places to spend the same amount of money. But as the experience was not bad in toto, I would definitely be back to eat inside and see if this makes any difference. Stay tuned.