// Location46 Market St.
Portland, ME 04101
// Hours9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
// Price Range$$$
// Cuisine Type Eclectic, French,
// Features Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining,
// AT A GLANCE
Petite Jacqueline, a recent transplant from Portland’s West End to the Old Port, seems to fit right into its swanky new home. Ceiling-height windows that run along two walls and beaded pendant lighting make this one of the brightest dining rooms in the neighborhood – an effect enhanced by the starched white tablecloths and accented by cheeky splashes of color from a few red bar stools. And while the restaurant’s makeover makes it seem a little more refined, the menu remains comfortingly constant. Despite a few seasoning hiccups in dishes like the deviled eggs, escargots and beef bourguignon, Petite Jacqueline offers several strong versions of bistro classics. Best among these are dishes like gorgeously seared steak frites and an extraordinary arctic char served with a brown butter-and-toasted almond sauce. Wines are, no surprise, French, and there are excellent options for a range of single glasses, from a demi-sweet Domaine Pichot Vouvray ($11) to a more assertively astringent Bordeaux blend from Chateau Mirefleurs ($9). The house wines (all by Maison Nicolas, $5 glass/$11 half carafe, $22 full carafe) are also quite solid. Pastry chef Michelle Bass (who makes sweet treats for Portland Patisserie, a sister business that shares the space during the mornings) makes desserts that are unskippable, especially her flourless chocolate cake. Layers of bittersweet chocolate ganache make it taste sophisticated and adult, while the runny kirsch meringue topping is an unexpected tweak that keeps the dish from taking itself too seriously.