About Us

Our Story

"la petite folie"
an idiomatic phrase for
a little extravagance

la petite folie is our modest but loving tribute to the classic food and wines of France. Its genesis was in a flight of fancy that we took a few years after we were married.  With great curiosity and adventurous spirits, we quit our jobs in Chicago and moved to Paris.

Mary completed the Grand Diplome – Cuisine et Patisserie of the Ecole Le Cordon Bleu Paris and Mike explored the glories of France – its history, its culture, its wine.  We returned to Hyde Park in 1996 and by June of 1999 had opened in a small space facing a very European courtyard.  Mary runs the kitchen while Mike tends the dining room and manages our all-French wine list.

Now in our 20th year, we invite you to treat yourself to a little extravagance – a small taste of France in Chicago.

Our Approach

We try to be ambassadors of a classic cuisine, the hallmark of which is harmonious blending.  We strive to offer our guests something wonderful to eat in a warm, welcoming and unpretentious environment.

In tranquil dining rooms we treat our guests to the carefully blended flavors of the classical French repertoire, modulating with the seasons and complemented by the complex but well-balanced gifts of the storied Gallic vines.

We encourage our waitstaff to accommodate without intruding and to serve attentively as possible – to provide gracious and courteous service for all of our guests.

Meet the Chef

Chef Mary Mastracola

With the exception of two years in Paris, Chicago native Mary Mastricola has lived in Hyde Park since 1974, when she entered The College of The University of Chicago, eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts in English.  In 1995, she earned the Grand Diplôme® – Cuisine et Pâtisserie of the École Le Cordon Bleu Paris, finishing first in her class.  With her husband, Mike, she has operated la petite folie since June 1999.

Mary’s Thoughts