Petit Bonheur is located at the junction where Achter de Molen, Witmakersstraat and Kapoenstraat meet, a little out of the “buzzling” (what a big word for Maastricht) streets. We like to walk around the Jekerkwartier where we currently live, it’s a neighbourhood in the old city centre of Maastricht where the Jeker river flows through meeting the Maas (Meuse) river.
In the Jekerkwartier there are the beautiful city park, 800 years old Helpoort, the even older Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, the local favourite’s Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein, the medieval city wall, handful of working water molens, quaint streets and too many good restaurants.
Walking into Petit Bonheur it gives me a very Jekerkwartier feeling.
They have cleverly decorated the courtyard into a warm dining area, the roof opens in good summer evenings. The ambience was good.
If you intend to dine at this place, make sure you call in advanced to make a reservation in order to avoid disappointment. The restaurant is almost always full especially on Friday and Saturday.
We were told on phone that our table is only available at the “indoor” area instead of the courtyard. However upon arrival, they asked if we would prefer the courtyard which was fine with me. The “indoor” dining area feels more intimate and has less tables but the courtyard gave nice outdoor feeling which was our preference.
Note that in the cold autumn or winter evening, you might want to choose to sit away from the entrance tables as cold air does get in when guest enters or leaves.
We were given a table near the kitchen but we did not mind. They leave enough space between tables and walk way that it did not feel cramped. When a group of four approached to the table next to us, the waiter quickly put a potted plant in between our tables to provide better privacy for both, brilliant.
There were a la carte menu, 3 course menu and 4 course menu. Quickly glancing through the 4 course menu, we thought it was good enough and probably similar items we would choose from the a la carte menu.
3 course menu costs Euro29.50 while 4 course was Euro37.50. The difference is that on the 4 course menu, you get two starters instead of one. Below is the menu (blue being our choice):
- Salmon tartare and matie with red beet and apple
- Carpaccio of beef with rocket salad, truffle mayonnaise and parmesan cheese
- Rocket-salad with Fetah-cheese, sundried tomatoes, olivesand marinated onions
Optional 2 starter (with 4 course menu only)
- Ravioli filled with lamb, with a pumpkin and sage sauce and Parmesan-cheese
- Scampi with green aspargus, lime-butter and truffle-oil
- Palette of fish with a lobster sauce
- Duck fillet with a balsamic vinegar and rosemary sauce
- Steak of lamb with a mint-butter sauce
- House dessert
Then we had the two optional second starter. I had the scampi and Willem had the ravioli.
I thought they could give me more or bigger scampi and bigger asparagus instead of only 3 scampi with 5 asparagus. Not worth the 4 course upgrade for Euro8 while I could have plenty of delicious scampi with garlic butter sauce at De Bobbel for Euro10.90.
Willem’s ravioli has very good dough with tasty filling. The pumpkin sauce was good as well but the sour after taste of vinegar could have been left out from the dish. The portion was also very small, three raviolis.
Subsequently we were served the main course which I had the lamb steak with mint sauce and Willem had duck fillet with balsamic and rosemary sauce. My lamb was very good with very good mint sauce. However I would wish they had pan fried the lamb a little longer to give more crisp and burn taste on the outside of the lamb before putting it in the oven. The same with the duck fillet. However, overall they were enjoyable and had good tenderness.
I took the standard house dessert which came with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, caramel pudding, bavarois and bit of fruits. I managed to finish all of them except the additional mousse cream. Willem had exchanged his sweet dessert for cheese platter at no additional cost. He thinks the cheeses were good but of course not in comparison with the Neercanne’s cheese platter.
Petit Bonheur has decent wine list with good value for money price policy. We had a bottle of 2010 Cusumano Insolia Chardonnay from sicily for Euro28.50.
Based on our overal experience, we will return. This is a restaurant which in my opinion, provides more quality than it charges the customers. However, I hope they do change their menu often enough because I don’t want to be eating the same dinner too often. I will also skip the second optional starter (save Euro8), for such tiny portion, it did not add more joy to the dinner.