Now open: La Petite Dauphine

La Petite Dauphine, 2029 Walnut St. MICHAEL KLEIN /

La Petite Dauphine, an upscale-casual coffeehouse and BYOB cafe, opened this morning (6/29) in the high-ceilinged mid-19th-century brownstone at 2029 Walnut St. (267-324-5244), next to the new Vernick Food & Drink.

For the name, owner David Smith, a Francophile and former manager at Le Bec-Fin, plays on Marie Antoinette before she became queen of France. 

At first, La Petite Dauphine offers pastries from Au Fournil and illy coffees (7 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. weekends), followed at 11 a.m. by a menu of cheeses and desserts. Yes, cart fans. Smith has carts for each.

There's a four-piece dessert sampler for $12, or $3 a piece a la carte.

The five-cheese sampler goes for $15 or a la carte for $3. Right now, he's offering six-year aged gouda, tomme de savoie, cabbot clothbound cheddar, gorwydd caerphilly, manchego petit basque, tete de moine, carre du berry, boucheron, selles sur cher, saint andre, ille de france, epoisses de bourgogne, ardrahan, maytag blue, roquefort and ilchester blue. Accoutrements include truffle honey, fig balsamic reduction, red grapes, strawberries, black mission figs, spiced walnuts, raisin walnut bread and baguette.

Dinner service will begin later in the year.

The building has been polished considerably. In terms of tearoom/coffeehouse vibe, you Rittenhouse Squares might find it reminiscent of Mademoiselle de Paris, which had a nice little run on 18th Street back in the late '90s (where The Dandelion is now).

La Petite Dauphine's building housed the BYOB Orfeo from the mid-1990s till about 2000, when it lapsed into lounge land (Magazine, Strongbox).

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