By Simone Delochan, firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a cosy familiarity when you enter the white and blue-trimmed gingerbread Woodbrook house. It is the site of La Petite Fleur, a restaurant owned by Bernadette Burke. Originally the home of the Hamel-Smiths, much of the early architecture has been maintained, and as you approach, the faint air of history still lingers.
You cross the verandah overlooking Adam Smith Square (Bernadette says late in the evening when the sun is setting is particularly beautiful), and enter into the plum-coloured dining area and the open kitchen just behind it.
When Editor Raymond Syms and I visited on Tuesday, November 27, the Head Chef Leah Jerome and Sous Chef Joel d’Aquaro were busy. We have come to see Joel’s pizza-tossing skills and we were not disappointed. The finished product was by far the best pizza we had ever tasted.
To the left of the main dining room is another eating area and an interesting addition one may not expect in a restaurant: a chapel in which Burke intends to put an altar as well.
This is no surprise to anyone who knows her. She is the founder of Missionaries of the Divine Potter, and is a graduate of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs Seminary, Trinidad.
Beyond her dedication to her faith, Burke exudes a warm simplicity, possibly due to her southern roots (yes, there is bias here, both Syms and I are from south and yuh know south people different!).
Syms had never had a saltfish omelet; he couldn’t fathom the combination. There was a gasp of surprise all around, and while we sampled Joel’s delicious pizza, a plate appeared before Syms with…a saltfish omelet.
The tentative first forkfuls gave way to a rapid disappearance of the egg. A two-tiered tea tray was placed in front of us, and the first thing I sampled was the crostini with the curry-crab paste.
Burke says she finds a local twist to popular dishes, and her enjoyment is in both her experiments and seeing her customers’ satisfaction. A colleague went for her birthday and raved about the curry crab and dumpling!
La Petite Fleur on 22 Murray Street, Woodbrook is well worth the visit, whether it’s breakfast fare, lunch, or afternoon tea. You leave with soul and tummy satisfied.
Reservations can be made by calling 228-6514 and you can also find La Petite Fleur on Facebook.