Day of the Week: Saturday, 5/18
Total Bill: $38.95 (before tip)
Breakdown: 1 salad, 2 sandwiches, 2 iced teas
Verdict: Unique and delicious café.
Piquant first came to my attention through Dishcrawl. Someone blogged a review of the Hyde Park Dishcrawl (sorry, I can’t remember who it was!) and the Piquant part really stood out for me. I knew I had to try it… but when? Hyde Park is kind of a hike from my house. And I don’t usually go out to eat without Hubby, and our schedules don’t line up in a way that we could go to Hyde Park together. Well, some stars aligned and I ended up needing a nice little lunch spot for my mom and me. I thought, Piquant with shopping in Hyde Park afterward!
I made 12:30 reservations for us through Urbanspoon (so convenient). We got there about 10 minutes late but the restaurant wasn’t full so we were seated right away. Our server, Shannon, came over right away to get our drink order: peach iced tea, unsweet ($2.95 each). Delicious tea. Nice and strong with a fresh, natural peach flavor.
The restaurant is bigger than I expected with a large patio, decorated in a modern, playful black and white color palette. The décor has a Parisian vibe without being stuffy. It’s also much cleaner, newer, and comfortable than any café or brasserie in Paris I remember.
One of the weekend specials was a watercress salad with watermelon, cucumber, and feta ($8), which we knew we had to try. Mom and I decided to get one to share as a starter. She ordered a roast beef sandwich ($13, comes with fries) and I ordered a croque madame (usually $9 – I asked for tomato on mine, which is a $.50 upcharge).
The salad was a very decent size. It probably had six or eight watermelon balls, about a dozen cucumber slices, and plenty of watercress and feta. For lunch, sharing one between the two of us was plenty. The salad was so fresh and cold, just what we needed on a hot day. The components of this salad really complemented each other beautifully. I hope Piquant features this again throughout the summer.
Our sandwiches came out shortly after we finished the salad. Mom’s roast beef sandwich, on a baguette, was served with a huge basket of fries, which was plenty for both of us to share. I took a fry: very crisp and tasty. My sandwich rivaled any croque madame I had in Paris. And it was huge, too.
We passed on dessert because we were going to Dough later (more on that to come…) but their dessert selection did look quite yummy, as did their coffees.
We both really loved this place and are eager to go back. Mom said she’s going to try to plan her south Tampa appointments so she can stop in there for a bite. I don’t know what my excuse will be but I’ll find something!