Casual French restaurants, which once opened here at an escargot's pace, are moving rapidement into trattoriaville. La P'tite Framboise is the latest, from the group behind Huntington's Bistro Cassis, Plainview's Brasserie Cassis, Roslyn's Bistro Citron - you get the idea.

Framboise succeeds the last of the local Pomodoros. The dining room looks the Gallic part, with vintage Lillet and Pâtes Baroni posters, old Paris photos, rooster art, fleur-de-lis-flecked banquettes, and etched glass - including a divider sporting an interlocking SG, either a memento of or tribute to Mineola's departed Bistro Saint Germain.

Service is as crisp as a baguette's crust; the mood, warm as onion soup.


And chef Jorge Rodriguez's onion soup gratinée is a very good starter, bubbling and bracing. The frisée aux lardons, capped with a poached egg and studded with nuggets of bacon, also suits the place. Generous pots of steamed mussels are popular. Try the one finished with Pernod and a little cream.


Tuna tartare has an Asian accent of soy. Grilled and sliced hanger steak in red wine sauce atop Lyonnaise potatoes arrives juicy and fine. The competition is from straightforward steak frites. And the rack of lamb, herb- crusted and tender, flanked by sauteed Swiss chard and garlic-mashed potatoes, materializes perfectly pink. Sole meunière, in a brown-butter sauce, is a delicate saute. The daily specials include duck a l'orange (Tuesday), cassoulet (Wednesday), coq au vin (Thursday), bouillabaisse (Friday), braised short ribs (Saturday) and beef a la Bourguignonne (Sunday).

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Top sweets: the caramelized-apple tarte Tatin and, of course, the raspberry tart.


Overdone crab cake and trout amandine, underseasoned zucchini-pear soup and roasted chicken for two; standard warm-center chocolate "souffle" cake and bland rice pudding.


The new tricolor.