I love French food. Or, more accurately, I think I do. Having actually never been to France (yet!), I am confined to the local Indianapolis options and must trust their expertise and accuracy to guide my palate. My mom also loves French food and since she has actually been to France, I try to impress her with all the best interpretations that my city has to offer.
I was so excited for her visit last week so I could show off Cropichon et Bidibule, the newest French restaurant in town on Mass Ave. I had high expectations since I knew the owners were legit from France. How did it turn out? As with most foreign affairs, a bit complicated.
The atmosphere was open concept and very casual. Bright, sunny with cheerful colors. Decorations seemed a bit cliche, such as an iron Eiffel Tower and a replaying video of highlights of French landscapes. It was very quiet inside as we were one of only two other people enjoying lunch there that day. American pop music played in the background.
I ordered the quiche of the day (salmon and goat cheese) with soup (French onion, of course) and a side of frites. Mom ordered the La Galette Forestiere (mushroom and cream crepe) and a side of frites. Grandma also tried the quiche of the day, but with the Soup du Jour (cream of mushroom).
The verdict? I believe it was more authentic than my usual fare, but it just didn’t taste that good. I enjoyed my soup, but could only eat a few bits of the quiche. I ordered hot tea and was a little disappointed with my selection of Lipton bags. My frites tasted like normal fries, nothing special. There was no flair, no warmth, no signature items. Mom was not impressed. We skipped dessert and headed to The Cake Bake. I decided it was just everyday, casual French food in a simple space. And that’s fine. I think I just want the French fantasy and will keep up the illuision by making trips to Petite Chou to get the American version of all my crepe and frites favorites.