There aren't too many restaurants worth traveling to the far reaches of Brooklyn for, but Petit Oven is one of them. This small French cafe is already drawing rave reviews by foodies and loyal fans. It's co-owned by Nicole Guarino, who oversees the restaurant, while Katarzyna Ploszaj does the cooking from an open-air kitchen.
The place itself is tiny, seating only about 30 people at any given time. But its candlelit tables are warm and inviting, and the place is drawing crowds. Right now, it's bring your own bottle, but a nearby liquor store solves that problem by delivering. We ordered two nice bottles of wine to go with our meal for under $20 each.
And the kitchen is producing some quality food. Grilled squid is stuffed with a roasted garlic, parsley panco aioli. Yellow beet carpaccio arrives accompanied by goat milk panna cotta and a watercress salad with spiced walnuts. Main courses run the gamut from peppercorn crusted duck, served perfectly rare, with a plum ginger chutney and bits of apple wood bacon, to a rack of lamb smothered in rosemary, and lump crab cakes served with cumin rice crackers. Most entrees run from $15 to $30, with the exception of the Australian Wagu shell steak. You'll have to shell out $60 for it. The menu at Petit Oven changes with the season, so you can expect new dishes to arrive every few months with farm fresh and organic ingredients used whenever possible.
Desserts include a decadent chocolate de creme, and flavorful crepes. Petit Oven may be small, but it's offering a big, bold taste of France in a part of town where you might not expect it.