Award-Winning Le Petit Café Closes at Branford Location
On August 13, with a message posted at its Facebook page and restaurant website, the owners of Branford’s award-winning Le Petit Café announced they were closing the business at its current location along the Branford green, after 25 years.
They cited major kitchen renovations required at the café , located at 225 Montowese St., as well the “prevailing business environment and challenging labor shortage,” among reasons forcing their decision.
The news was shared at press time for this story, with the following message issued by owner/chef Roy Ip and his wife, owner Winnie Lui:
“To our beloved Le Petit Café Patrons, Friends, and extended Family:
With this letter, we are reaching out to our dear patrons, friends and family in our treasured Branford, across our beautiful Connecticut coast, New England and the Tri-State area, and beyond.
After 25 wonderful years of serving you, we have made the very difficult and reluctant decision to close our current restaurant. This decision was not made lightly. Cooking for and spending time with you throughout these many years in our current location on the Branford Green have been near and dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, we were recently informed that, due to regulatory and insurance requirements, major renovations would be needed for the kitchen. After careful consideration of the situation, in view of the prevailing business environment and challenging labor shortage, we decided with a heavy heart to close our current restaurant.
We thank you for your patronage and support through the years. We are so grateful for all the love that you have shown us, and for the many compliments and inspiring feedback that you have generously and graciously offered. It has been our pride and joy to serve and to get to know you. We thank you for allowing us to share this brilliant journey with you. Until we can meet again, we will dearly miss seeing you in our dining room.
Wishing you joy and fantastic culinary experiences!
Au revoir et merci infiniment,
Chef Roy Ip & Winnie Lui“
Among many accolades earned by the café through the years, Zagat, the nation's premier restaurant guidebook publisher, distinguished Le Petit Café as one of the top 30 restaurants in America. When the café earned the Zagat rating in 2011, Ip told The Sound at the time that he was delighted to have the honor help shine a national spotlight on Branford.
"We are thrilled. It's a very amazing, very good thing being recognized and good for the town, too. In this business, there are a couple of publications that are kind of critical, like The New York Times and especially Zagat. It's like the Bible of this business," said Ip.
The cornerstone restaurant on the Branford green was no stranger to praise from New York Times restaurant reviewers or the many dedicated foodies populating the annual Zagat Survey. The charming, 50-seat French-style café on Montowese Street long earned rave reviews for its amazing weekly menu selections for a four-course, prix fixe dinner prepared by Ip, using all-natural and organic ingredients prepared expertly yet simply.
"Everything is natural, organic, homemade, since 1997," said Ip in the The Sound’s 2011 story. "To run a restaurant could be easy, but to run a restaurant at a certain standard and to keep the consistency is an everyday challenge. You have to keep it up, do it good, and do it better. We do the best to create simple but sophisticated presentations... When people return, it's a good sign. And when they return, it's because they want the same experience, if not better.“
Read The Sound’s full 2011 story at https://www.theday.com/local-news/20111106/big-honor-for-branfords-le-petit-cafe/