I was predisposed to like Toulouse Petit, as it replaced a decidedly sub-par Chinese restaurant in my old neighborhood of lower Queen Anne. Smack on the corner of Queen Anne Ave and Mercer St, perfectly positioned for foot traffic and with prime visibility for car and bus traffic.
My visit to Toulouse Petit was for breakfast, so I didn’t have the chance to experience fully the New Orleans flair that likely comes out later in the day. (Alligator and Abita beer, anyone?) We were there to take advantage of the breakfast happy hour, where every item on the breakfast menu is only $5. It’s available Monday through Friday and only through January, so now is the perfect time to have a good breakfast at a great price, check out the rest of the menu and decide if you want to make a return trip.
As for the food, my Eggs Forstiere with oyster mushrooms, asparagus and fresh herbs was excellent, though friends’ Baked Eggs with piperade and Tasso ham, and Eggs Benedict with Snake River Farms Kurubota ham elicited a so-so response. If the service had been fantastic it might have tipped the balance, but what seemed like a passing interest from the server didn’t help edge our experience into mostly positive territory.
The interior is an ambitious combination of so many elements, a couple of which if used on their own would have been interesting but when mashed all together felt overwhelming. The walls are a sort of speckled combination of cold, copper and mint green, with a mustard toned ceiling and similarly-hued velvet-backed booths. The wood in the room is warm but busy, with beautifully inlaid tables and narrow, light wood paneling on the booth fronts. Tile also makes an appearance in brightly colored shiny mosaics on the raised booth floor. Add heavy steel and amber glass light fixtures, and you have an idea of everything going on inside Toulouse Petit.
Certainly if I make a return trip it will be for the cocktails I’ve heard so much about, and perhaps at a more dim hour of the day when the interior elements aren’t quite so vivid…
[Photo courtesy of pouryourheartintoit]