The Short Course
To avoid wait: You can make a reservation
Noise level: High
Bathroom amenities: Changing tables in both men’s and women’s
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes, plus apple juice, lemonade, and soda
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Not specifically for kids, but salads and lighter fare are available.
Food allergy concerns? Let your server know. They can usually find something for everyone and the kitchen is conscientious in preparation.
When I think of French cuisine, I think of Julia Child and butter. I like both. Would my kids, ages 13 and 9, also enjoy French cuisine? I got the chance to find out when we visited Ann Arbor’s newest French restaurant, Mikette, located on Plymouth Road in the spot formerly occupied by Café Marie.
Mikette is the brainchild of Adam Baru, owner of the Mani Osteria and Isalita restaurants. The cuisine is inspired by the town of Marseille in France: mostly French but with Mediterranean influences. The interior is French bistro style, with low lighting revealing a bar, long red booth, and numerous tables. Exposed brick walls and a dark ceiling dotted with vintage art deco posters complete the look. Patio seating is available during warmer months. The menu emphasizes seafood, with an oyster raw bar that greets you upon entering, plus shrimp and crab. There is a section for cheese (Oui!), salads, “les classiques” such as beef bourguignon, and shareable plates.
Patrons can choose the more traditional route by ordering an entrée or try smaller plates. A kids’ menu offers mac and fromage, cheeseburger and frites, and chicken tenders ($7-9).
Less is not more
My husband and I decided we would share plates in order to try more. Guided by our knowledgeable server, we started with the three cheese plate ($14): morbier, a semi-soft, tome de savoie, a semi-firm, and fromage d’afffinois, a double-cream soft cheese.
Next we picked Parmesan popovers ($6) and crab cake ($13). We thought that might be enough, but our server recommended 5-6 plates for the two of us. Arms happily twisted (but wallet worried!), we added garlic shrimp ($12) and escargot ($12). My son chose the salmon entrée with watercress, lemon and cream sauce on the side ($18). My daughter ordered the kids’ cheeseburger and frites ($9).
Dining with style
Dishes are served as prepared, not all at once. As the wheel of food started spinning, staff delivered each dish and explained the ingredients. The cheese plate came first, with a small baguette alongside one dollop of soft cheese and four slices of hard cheese. The small size amused us, but the flavors were intense and varied. As accompaniments, salted almonds added crunch and pickled peaches, a touch of sweetness.
Next we tried gougère, dense but doughy popovers filled with Parmesan and pepper. My inner carb addict loved these. The escargot arrived swimming in hazelnuts, button mushrooms and Chartreuse liqueur. This was my favorite dish, due to the preponderance of buttery flavor. My daughter liked it, too.
Wait. Maybe I liked the crab cake most. It was solid crab with frisée and Old Bay roumelade. The garlic shrimp was tasty and tangy, but paled in intensity of flavor to the other dishes. My son’s salmon was blackened, moist and flaky. He inhaled it. My daughter could only finish half her burger, due to oversampling from our small plates. We couldn’t even think of dessert, stuffed as we were with French flavors.
Our table littered with small plates, I was relieved our kids were no longer active toddlers. I should mention ours were the only kids at Mikette besides a couple infants. That’s not to say Mikette is not amenable to children or families. We enjoyed our adventure in French food, its kids’ menu, and bustling atmosphere.
1759 Plymouth Road | Ann Arbor | MI 48105
Hours: Tue-Sat 4:30pm-10pm,
Sun 4:30pm-9pm, closed Monday