This lush French country inspired hideaway, lodged comfortably in a single story corner building in Corktown, offers a unique perspective on the Detroit dining scene. Le Petit Zinc, though not directly affiliated, perhaps reflects into a reminiscent perspective of Detroit’s 18th century epicurean amenities. In the past I’ve seen a lot of articles talk about the significance of the zinc countertop inside. It has a rather substance heavy backstory, one you can read more about here, but today K and I were mostly taken by the vibrancy and noticeable effort of their le petit jardin, which encompassed most of the space. Of course there is always room for improvement, but in my opinion they have one of the only decent courtyards in the city. It is fresh and colorful, with a calming trickle of fountain water and built properly with little nooks and separations among the shrubs and flowers. It is beautiful yet humble and has a sense of quietude that fills the fluttery atmosphere. I’ve come a few times just this summer and oftentimes imagine I’m a child playing among the fanciful butterflies and heavy foliage thoroughfares. Gardens are not built over night, they take years of maturity, death and rebirth to harden and adapt to their surroundings and when you have the chance to dine within such a flourishing I say seize the moment.
We freshened up with some glasses of lemonade, a simple request of which they were happy to accommodate. Overall the service may be a tad on the leisurely side but they are a warm and inviting crew, with more than enough character and charm to offset any unwarranted hurry you may be in. K and I both have come alone on many occasions, to just enjoy the air and sip on a Con Panna or Espresso. I suggest bringing a book or even a sketchpad.
Along with our second round of lemonade, we were excited to see both of our plates come out. The first was their delightfulLe Petit Déjeuner, a mix of fresh fruit, brie, potatoes, light salad, baked eggs and a toasted croissant or baguette with jam. A manifold of tastes is oftentimes what I am looking for, and since K has a lighter appetite having such a nice array of options works well. The flavors are simple, the dressings are subtle and they are easy on the salt. Of course if baked eggs are not quite your palate I suggest choosing one of their many crêpe options, with optional vegan batter.
The second plate was my favorite. The Quiche Florentine, with spinach and feta baked into it, this from-scratch wedge of whipped perfection has literally the best crust on a quiche I’ve ever had. Accompanied with more light greenery, this rich quiche is not to be missed. K felt the presentation with vibrant yellows and reds slipped in occasionally, in plating or garnishment, were a happy and uplifting approach to an already uplifting menu. She also has a soft spot for places like this, as they often are reminiscent of her travels along the southern French coastline. On account of the heat I didn’t get us a dessert but I suggest investigating next you visit Le Petit Zinc. And remember, come prepared to kick back, order up and turn off your smart screens.
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