Petit & Keet is celebrating its fourth anniversary on May 18 by bringing back the dishes that made Jacques and Suzanne one of the premier spots for fine dining in Little Rock in the ’70s and ’80s. Petit & Keet’s co-owner, Louis Petit, worked as a head waiter at Jacques and Suzanne before becoming part owner. The “coat and tie” restaurant was opened in 1975 by Swiss husband-wife restaurateurs Jacques and Suzanne Tritten and featured many European staff members (Petit is Belgian), formally attired waiters and two cut-glass chandeliers commissioned and built in Italy. It was located in on the 13th floor of the First National Building (later the First Commercial building, now the Regions Bank building). Jacques and Suzanne won best overall restaurant in the very first edition of the Arkansas Times Readers Poll in 1981. It won the same award in 1982 and 1984-86.
The event was supposed to be a one night affair on Tuesday, May 18, but reservations booked up within 48 hours after the announcement was made, so Petit & Keet is running the menu on Wednesday, May 19 as well. Reservations are required. The regular Petit & Keet menu will not be available on either of these nights.
One or two dishes from the Jacques and Suzanne menu will be run as specials Thursday through Saturday.
For more information or to make reservations, call 501-319-7675. Visit the Petit & Keet’s website here. The featured menu and more information from the restaurant’s release below:
The event menu and a brief history of Jacques and Suzanne are shown below.
Tuesday, May 18th | Menu for A Vintage Celebration
Salads et Salads
-Caesar | $7
-Brie Bisque | $7
Hors d’ Oeuvres
-Avocat Farci | $17 — Avocado half stuffed with Crabmeat and sauce calypso
-Escargot Bourguignonne | $14 — Escargot in creamy herbed butter
-Beef Tenderloin Escoffier | $40 — Served with potato au gratin, green beans, and glace carrots
-Red Snapper Almondine | 39 — Seared red snapper, sauce almondine, potato au gratin, glace haricot vert, and carrots
-Seafood Cardinal | $42 — Wine poached Dover sole, Shrimp and lobster, sauce Newburg all in a puff pastry, glace haricot vert, and carrots
-Emince de Veau Zurichoise | $35 — Thin veal medallions, white wine cream sauce, potatoes rosti, glace haricot vert, and carrots
-Duck à l’Orange | $38 — Roasted half duck, orange sweet and sour, wild rice, glace haricot vert, and carrots
-Mousse de Chocolat or Vanilla Creme Brulee | $9
About Jacques and Suzanne:
The Restaurant Jacques et Suzanne was an upscale “coat-and-tie” restaurant on the 13th floor of the First National Bank Building (now known as the Regions Bank Building). The restaurant was originally established in June 1975 by Swiss husband-wife restaurateurs Jacques Tritten and Suzanne Tritten. The couple’s specialty was Swiss-French cuisine. The general manager was Swiss citizen Henri Monod. The executive chef was Paul Bash. The head waiter was the Belgian Louie Petit.
After a couple of months, ownership passed to Ed Moore of European Food Services. Bash became manager of general operations. Petit became a part-owner. Chef Denis Seyer, who joined the restaurant staff in 1975, left in 1980 to found the French restaurant Le Casse Croute. Jacques et Suzanne closed on January 30, 1986, with a black-tie event.
Over its long history, the restaurant spawned numerous other restaurants in the Little Rock area as chefs, managers, and wait staff left to form their own businesses. These restaurants include, in addition to Le Casse Croute, Maison Louis, Cafe Prego, Café St. Moritz, Andre’s, Restaurant 1620, Graffiti’s, Pickles, The Purple Cow Restaurants, Alouette’s, Ashley’s, and Gypsy’s Grill & Bar.