Review: Petite Jacqueline

By BRIAN DUFF  |  July 13, 2011

In expressing to your companions how much you are enjoying your meal at Petite Jacqueline, you might have to employ hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions, thanks to the din of the convivial crowd. But this communicative corporeality in itself enhances the Frenchness of your meal. The French disdain for mere words can be sublime, as when Zinedine Zidane answered an opponent's insults by driving his sweaty head into the slanderer's chest. And it can be contemptible, as when Dominique Strauss-Kahn encounters a desirable housekeeper. Even Stendhal, the most articulate of Frenchmen, found himself wordless regarding the visceral experience of battle and the beauty of sublime art. Petite Jacqueline's cuisine is perhaps not beyond words, but it does not need them either — a truly French distinction.

Brian Duff can be reached at

PETITE JACQUELINE | 190 State St, Portland | daily, 5 pm on | Visa/MC/Amex | 207.553.7044 |

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