Le petit café in branford, connecticut – hartford courant

It’s the cusp of February and thoughts turn to romance. How to cook pork chops in skillet While there is no shortage of romantic dining spots around Greater New Haven, the one that is always foremost in my mind is Le Petit Café in Branford, owned and cheffed by Roy Ip since 1997. Grilled pork chops cook time A former professional soccer player and gold trader in his native Hong Kong, Ip departed with his wife and son during the turmoil leading to the Chinese takeover and embarked on a third career at the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he graduated top in his class.


After almost two decades, Le Petit Café remains quintessentially romantic, with mustard-colored walls, charming French bric-a-brac, close but comfortable seating, white linen tablecloths and napkins, and music, mostly by chanteuses, ranging from Edith Piaf to Nina Simone to Madeleine Peyroux. Baked breaded pork chops A blackboard mounted on the large rear mirror preserves son Kevan’s cute scrawled customer greeting from years before.

Sure, time has passed. Baked pork chops We’ve watched Kevan grow from precocious toddler to a junior high website wiz to handsome Yale sophomore in a blink. How to cook pork chops in a cast iron skillet But Ip’s act has never gotten tired. How to cook pork chops on skillet His is a relentless pursuit of perfection, of increased refinement, a Zen-like expression of French cuisine incorporating occasional Asian elements. Skillet pork chops Virtually everything is housemade. Saute pork chops The only drawback to a menu with just six appetizers, entrées and desserts is that it doesn’t encourage thrice-weekly visitation.

One certainly can’t complain about the prix-fixe cost of $55. Quick recipes with pork chops Even if Ip’s food were merely good, it would be a bargain, but his food is nothing short of extraordinary. How to braise pork chops Meals start with gingery cubes of roasted red beet, an assortment of imported French cured olives, and slices of crusty organic French country bread baked fresh daily and served with a ramekin of black truffle butter that, taken together, just about constitute a starter course. How to cook pork chops in a frying pan It’s followed by four true courses: appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Stuffed pork chops recipe baked While the menu changes infrequently, every dish on it can create a craving that can make you sit bolt upright and reconsider your evening plans.

Drinks are additional. Recipes for pork chops in the oven with mushroom soup The mostly French and Californian wine list (bottles $38-$119, glasses $10.90) pairs well with the food. How to cook perfect pork chops There are also a few beers ($6.50) and apéritifs ($10.90) and a robust selection of after-dinner drinks ($8.50-$12.50). Grilled pork chops with peaches Among the white wines, we’re especially partial to a 2014 Domaine de la Perrière Sancerre ($55), a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc with a dry refreshing minerality; among the reds a 2013 Les Cassagnes de la Nerthe, Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages ($49), an oaky Grenache-Syrah-Cinsault-Mourvédre-Carignan blend with intense red and dark fruit.

A crock of French onion soup is elevated by a rich veal stock, a splash of port, toasted bread with some backbone and 18-month-aged Gruyère cheese. How to get pork chops tender Try to find better! That’s the challenge issued by every single dish at Le Petit Café, where each item utilizes top ingredients prepared with impeccable technique and presented with genuine artistry.

An item I’ve watched evolve over the years, a slice of country-style pâté layered with Armagnac-infused cherries and house-cured foie gras, is accompanied by spiced shallot chutney, Dijon mustard and cornichons. Pork chops oven cooked Plump sautéed Burgundian escargots luxuriate in a blue-cheese-and-Cognac sauce atop a diamond-shaped puff pastry. How to cook pork chops with crackling An entire confit duck leg, the bone Frenched (or actually, French poodled, given the meat pushed to the end of the bone), is served with a fresh fruit jam over thinly sliced Golden Delicious apple and radish.

A favorite might be hard to pick, but I’ve asked for the recipe to the chilled jumbo shrimp in a spicy, gingery, sesame vinaigrette set strikingly atop European cucumber and premium soba noodles twisted like hair in a bun. What can i make with pork chops Drifting even further from classic French cooking are lovely fresh Nantucket Bay scallops served “ceviche-style” in a jalapeño-cilantro vinaigrette atop California avocado and organic Granny Smith apple. Pork chops and When scallops are unavailable, this dish is done with diced premium, sushi-grade, Hawaiian ahi tuna, and it assumes a completely different, but wonderful, personality.

I have always loved a salad interlude before the main course. Cook pork chops oven Over the years, Ip has seemed to alternate between organic mesclun greens in a Dijon mustard vinaigrette with campari tomatoes and a pat of warm Hudson Valley goat cheese mounted on a cucumber slice, or, as is the case during our visits, with stunningly fresh organic baby arugula, sliced Fuji apple and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano negligibly dressed in an aged sherry vinaigrette.

The exceptionalism extends through the entrées. How to cook pork chops in gravy A big triangle of tender, roasted, center-cut, wild Canadian swordfish in a lemongrass-aged-balsamic-vinegar reduction is strewn with wild organic trumpet royale mushrooms and pieces of Asian white carrot. Shake and bake pork chops 1 inch thick (Another day it’s offered grenobloise-style with lemon, radish, capers, browned butter and parsley.) Beautifully crusted in a (red and white) miso glaze, MSC-certified Chilean sea bass in a miso-ginger sauce is displayed atop Chinese baby broccoli done Asian-style with a touch of rice wine, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt. Crock pot pork chops mushroom soup Roasted, center-cut, premium, Berkshire, free-range pork loin is wrapped in Parma prosciutto and plated, with organic baby spinach and roasted ruby crescent potatoes, in a port wine sauce with pancetta and fresh seedless grapes.

Red meats get great treatment, too. Recipe for oven baked pork chops Most straightforward, I suppose, is a thickly cut, Texas, premium, aged Angus steak in a brandy black peppercorn sauce presiding over watercress and perfect french fries. Chops pork How great are roseate, roasted, premium, Australian lamb rib chops in a rosemary bordelaise sauce accompanied by haricots verts and an incredible parsnip-apple gratinée! But the coup de grâce is Ip’s cassoulet, the flavorful, slow-cooked, bean-based casserole much upgraded from its peasant origins, with magnificent pieces of five-spice duck breast, Armagnac sausage and applewood-smoked bacon cut like pork belly.