Behind the Plate at La Petite Pierre
Tucked away in the heart of Madeira is La Petite Pierre, a small French bistro with a lot of history. The story of La Petite Pierre begins long before its owner Michele Vollman was even born. Destined for a career in the food and entertainment industry, Michele was born into a family where food was and still remains a central passion.
On both sides of her family, Michele’s roots carry a great legacy, especially in the Cincinnati area. Some of Michele’s earliest memories serve as the inspiration for La Petite Pierre—great food, love, and family. Much of that is because of lessons learned from her father, Pierre Adrian, a French born chef whose life led him to Cincinnati and who would later go on to achieve the five-star rating as the executive chef for the Maisonette.
Coming from a long line of culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, Michele’s relationship to the world and to others revolved around the obvious—food. Whether it was a celebration following her father’s debut on the Ruth Lyons show, or a regular family meal around the table, food was everything, a catalyst for conversation, a reason for getting together.
As an eighth grader, Michele can remember the grandiosity of her father’s parties—dancing lobsters, an Eiffel tower puff pastry, and rib roast resembling a set of piano keys. Coupled with creativity and a deep sense of what it means to connect to people, Michele and her sister Suzy continued their father’s legacy with the grand opening of La Petite Pierre in 1989.
As Cincinnati continues to see a rise in restaurant openings, not many have the same loyal following as La Petite Pierre. Initially gaining attention through its lunch offerings, La Petite Pierre soon made its longtime clients by catering individual events like luncheons and graduation parties. Along the way these families became the heart and soul of La Petite Pierre and because of them (and good food) the word about the unassuming bistro took off and gained recognition in many different circles—not the least of them Presidents Clinton and Bush, Julia Child, and Bruce Springsteen.
The team at La Petite Pierre has continued to refine the ability to bring the whole experience of dining, from food and conversation to celebration and merriment, into homes and on the table--celebrity or not. From cooking in closet like spaces on hot plates and burners for Julia Child to making a turkey sandwich for President Bush at the request of his secret service, La Petite Pierre will do anything to bring people together through great food while continuing to cultivate a passion that’s grown stronger with each generation.
So, come on in, eat at Papa’s table, enjoy our Tarte Flambee, Mussels Mariniere, or Spring Cassoulet and see what it’s all about.