Quack Quack about Le Petit Canard Restaurant in Paris


One of my “when I retire” fantasies is to have a native duck sanctuary cum farm.

The idea would be to create a healthy environment for native ducks and geese and any species that overpopulated the place would be for dinner.

Some people with whom I have shared this plan say: “Hypocrite! You’re only saving the species so you can eat it.”

To which I paraphrase Napoleon, who said that an army marches on its stomach. So too does an idea. Unless you can feed those who work towards it, there’s not much energy for work. And what better food is there than duck?

Duck in our family is the signature showoff dish. We eat it to celebrate, we eat it for the tryptophan and we eat it to celebrate the end of work every week. It is our special thing that is not so special that you can’t eat it regularly. When things are really special there is goose, but that is a different story.

So we were collectively thrilled when I spotted Le Petit Canard, two doors down from our hotel in Pigale, Paris, on our recent farewell tour to France.

First, the restaurant uses only duck meat that the family has grown itself on its farm near the Swiss border.

A family that cares enough about eating duck to grow its own is my kind of family, even if it does speak a totally different language.

Also, in the window they have a variety of rubber ducks in different costumes, one of the best ways of keeping our three year old playing happily away while the adults got to relax.

They have kir royales, foie gras, and a plateful of different duck charcuterie. Unlike most Parisian restaurants, they have vegetables, and they’re crisp and well-cooked.

It is French farm style fare. There is no nouvelle cuisine, or nods to dieting. So don’t go with a dieting woman. Choose a friend who likes to tuck in.

Try the charcuterie plate, with six different kinds of smoked and preserved duck. Or the duck with mushrooms, which was simple but gutsy.

They don’t have a children’s menu but my nine year old was delighted to eat the pate. My seven year old ate the sausage, which was actually what we would call duck salami or mettwurst. He was grinning throughout the meal.

And for my fussy gussy three year old, who will usually not eat a dish until she’s seen it at least seven times on her mother’s plate, the chef prepared a sort of two-ingredient cassoulet – a little individual pie dish stuffed with potato and duck meat. She wolfed it down.

Pigalle is the red-light district of Paris and my dear stepfather Olivier is not overly fond of it, but for those of us who like their food, it is a solid area. Le Petit Canard has cemented in our mind that we don’t want to stay anywhere else. In fact, we’re going to do a Dame Nellie and go back there for another farewell.”



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2 Comments to “Quack Quack about Le Petit Canard Restaurant in Paris”

  1. By Eliane Kristensen, 05/07/2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Thank you Serena for sharing that place. It sound worth paying it a visit. I do not know Pigalle itself, but I am very interested in Montmartre that is just behind. So next time, I will try your duck restaurant. I can exchange some adresses with you from the 13th arrondissement where I live when I am in Paris. Two are in the charming street “rue de la la butte aux cailles” – one is called “Le temps des cerises”, the other one I am not sure about the name but it is something with “Aveyron” (a French region). The 3rd one is in the near-by “Rue des 5 diamants” and is called “Chez les filles”. All of them very French, good traditional cuisine and a nice relaxed atmosphere. The area “La butte aux cailles” is not far from “Les Gobelins”, if you are looking for culture, and close to the commercial centre “Italie 2” if you feel more like shopping on a rainy day.

  2. By Michelle Lollo, 07/07/2011 @ 8:53 am

    What a fabulous review Serena. Full of good humour and warmth. My mouth is not only watering but I’m itching to get to France again, in particular Pigalle and Le Petit Canard. It’s on the list. Keep reviewing. I would like more!

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