Toulouse Petit offers New Orleans spice, diverse décor

Peso’s owner expands with Cajun-style cuisine

Walking into the new restaurant Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne might feel like stepping into an art gallery at first.

Thousands of colorful mosaic tiles and blown glasswork draw the eye to every corner of the space and the intricate metalwork and individualized woodwork on the dining tables leads fingers to stretch out for a textile touch.

Restaurant owner Brian Hutmacher, who also owns the neighboring Peso's Kitchen & Lounge, said the restaurant located at 601 Queen Anne Ave. N. "really turned into one big art project." And with all of the handmade detail, Hutmacher hopes the custom artistry adds to the dining experience - also diverse with more than 70 items to choose from on a menu inspired by the cuisine of the New Orleans' French Quarter.

"That particular genre allows for a lot of possibilities, with décor, the food and the dining experience," Hutmacher said. "There are very few limitations."

Hutmacher has thought about opening more Peso's but when the space next door opened, it was time to make the idea he mulled over for more than seven years into a reality.

"I've been thinking about how I could integrate an exciting neighborhood, fun lounge environment," Hutmacher said, "with a very sophisticated but accessible menu and dining environment that's very integrated, not forced."

While French, Cajun and Creole cuisines influence the restaurant's menu, the name Toulouse Petit stemmed from Hutmacher's personal experience working in the French Quarter.

"The first job I had in the French Quarter was on Toulouse Street and it was the first job I had where I was really being introduced in a new way to some of the more intricate aspects of dining and cuisine," Hutmacher said. "When I walked onto Toulouse Street I knew I was going somewhere I might learn something new every day."

Like the street, Toulouse Petit's large menu should keep the menu from getting stale, too.

"With a menu that large," Hutmacher said. "It gives us a very large inventory of base ingredients and an endless array of culinary possibilities."

Toulouse Petit is open seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. with dinner service from 5 p.m. to midnight. There's also happy hours from 4-5:30 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight on weekdays.[[In-content Ad]]