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 |

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , France, Zinedine Zidane, Steve Corry,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GIVE 'EM A HAND  |  April 10, 2014
    Pocket-sized comfort foods
  •   EXTREME LOCALISM  |  March 19, 2014
    Perhaps Vinland’s pontifications become white noise, which fades away as you appreciate the food and its distinctive coherence of flavors and textures — the Nordic, astringent, piney, ascetic goodness of it all.
  •   DISTINCTIVE SUBURBAN DINING  |  March 14, 2014
    It is the rare chef, for example, who can make ordering the “veggie plate” seem like a good idea in retrospect — but the one at Oscar’s was fantastic, with a great mix of colors and textures.
  •   CRACKING OUR HARD EXTERIORS  |  February 27, 2014
    These days it is mollusks like oysters, mussels, and clams (rather than crustaceous shellfish, like lobster, crab, and shrimp) that best represent our collective emotional temperament. 
  •   THE SPICE OF LIFE (AND DEATH)  |  February 12, 2014
    In our reverence for herbs and spices  we should detect our contempt for the blander staple ingredients they are often meant to enliven.

 See all articles by: BRIAN DUFF