New Casual Boutique & Patio Menu at Petrossian is Easy, Breezy & Delicious

Burrata | Apricots, basil, prosciutto $10

Petrossian, at least in West Hollywood and beyond, has essentially become synonymous with caviar as its flagship Los Angeles restaurant serves wide-ranging clientele in its white-soaked dining room, one caviar-enhanced meal to the next. As Chef Giselle Wellman continues to tinker with the always-excellent, savory-focused menu, she has decided to do something a little different in regards to the more casual, often-ignored boutique and patio area of the restaurant. In the daytime, the beautiful boutique is flooded with daylight, with artful floral arrangements decorating high tops and a cushy, long booth lining the inside front wall.

Fig & Brie Sandwich

Caviar is often intimidating to those not yet inducted, but in Petrossian’s quest to make all things caviar-palatable, perhaps the omnipresence of its signature ingredient on the menu has ironically become a barrier, of sorts. There lacked a menu that was evidence that the brand – in its dining room incarnation, at least – was content to not beat the ingredient to death by proving its compatibility with everyday dishes.

If there could exist a niche to fill in between lunch, happy hour and dinner at Petrossian, the newly-launched boutique and patio menu of small plates does exactly that. Because small plates are just the thing for us non-committal diners these days. Of course, this doesn’t detract from the elegance of the dinner menu nor the lightness of the lunch menu – nor the introductory nature of the happy hour menu, that is. There’s a perfect mid-day vibe to this menu, what with vegetables and fruit matching the vibrance and breeziness of the boutique and patio without sacrificing any of the taste.

Pomme Frites with Caviar Aioli

It’s hard to complain about the asparagus, which turned up perfectly cooked and seasoned. I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has said “I hate burrata,” but the apricots, basil and prosciutto make for lovely complements. The nice touch that Giselle brought to the already-delicious olive plate is that she warms the conconction up. You can bite through the tangy-sweet orange peels, while wondering why everyone doesn’t heat up their olive appetizers.

The morels that accompany the farm egg are the menu’s savory sweet spot while the sweet peas are just the perfect sweet touch – and truth be told, I really just can’t get enough of runny eggs. Win-win. The caviar aioli to the pomme frites are basically as “bar food” as you get in the place – but what an excellent version, at that.

And of course, it’s impossible to ignore the Mussels, Fig & Brie sandwiches and Prime Flat Iron Steak Crostinis. The Fig & Brie, with its delicious walnut bread, is like the Thanksgiving you missed last November (because we’d all pick this over Turkey Club leftovers). The garlic aioli atop the uber tender Prime Flat Iron Steak cuts is just the perfect touch. The Mussels are also solid, with the broth being one of those things you just wish was a soup.

You can order from this menu on Mondays through Saturdays from 5 – 11 PM while seated in the boutique or patio – but not the dining room. And if you happen to be there before 7 o’clock on a weekday, you may as well scope their happy hour drink menu as well, including the Caviar Martini.

After all, you’ll want to complement your small plates with a little – or a lot – of caviar.

All food and cocktails were hosted.

Asparagus
Truffle Oil, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, Lemon
8

Burrata
Apricots, Basil, Prosciutto
10

House Pickled Vegetables
Cucumber, Cauliflower, Carrots, Pear Onion, Fresno Chili
8

Olives
Citrus and Herb Marinated Olives, Grilled Baguette
12

Farm Egg
Morels, Fava Beans, Peas, Baguette
12

Watermelon
Soy Sesame Vinaigrette, Chives, Caviar
12

Pomme Frites
Caviar Aioli
12

Prince Edward Island Mussels
Saffron, White Wine, Fresno Chili, Parsley, Grilled Bread
16

Blini Sampler
Trout Roe, Salmon Roe, Caviar
12

Fig and Brie
Walnut Bread, Arugula, Honey
12

Prime Flat Iron Crostinis
Watercress, Caramelized Onion, Garlic Aioli
18

Boutique/Patio Menu:
Mon – Sat

5 PM – 11 PM

Happy hour: Mon – Fri, 4 – 7 PM

Menu available in the boutique & on the patio

Petrossian West Hollywood
321 N. Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.0576

New Chef and New Menu Bring New Favorites at Petrossian

Truffle Fontina Agnolotti | Asparagus, Mushrooms, Parmesan Foam, Prosciutto

The other night, I again had the privilege of visiting Petrossian on Robertson – the caviar boutique that doubles as a dining hotspot with a clean and casual ambiance. I know the space well from my numerous visits to Chef Benjamin Bailly and have even had the honor of judging a cold soup Dine LA Quickfire Challenge (recap) held in the boutique area.

But things have changed since the end of Chef Bailly’s year-long tenure as Executive Chef. He has moved on to Fraiche in Culver City and now, Giselle Wellman has taken over the kitchen. She has some big names on her resume, including New York’s Del Posto and most recently Beverly Hills’ Bouchon. Armed with just a basic pasta recipe by Tony DiSalvo, she taught herself how to make 20 kinds of pasta at his Jack’s La Jolla for the purposes of its reopening as an Italian restaurant – quite a feat that would be perfected by working in Mario Batali’s kitchen thereafter.

Smoked Sturgeon Risotto | Chive, Apple, Pressed caviar

And the agnolotti that I had at Petrossian happened to be my favorite dish of the evening. The house-made pasta was tender and the filling was perfectly cooked – with fontina being one of my favorite cheeses, of course. The pasta was topped with perfect prosciutto, accompanied by fresh asparagus and extremely flavorful mushrooms while finished off with a further savory, non-frivolous parm foam. Everything in this dish worked together extremely well in no small part by top-notch ingredients and good execution. Not bad for a chef in her new kitchen. (She still has Ben’s pistachio creme for the Pistachio Creme Brulee.)

My second favorite dish of the evening was the Smoked Sturgeon Risotto with pressed caviar cooked into the dish in order to fully integrate the eggs’ flavors. The topping of sliced apple slices was an elegant, sweet reprieve from the rich risotto. Everything on the plate made for a really delicious combination while the risotto itself was amazingly complex in its richness. If I weren’t so full, I might have licked the plate.

Of course, we had to have dessert and with a vendor like Petrossian and their delicious chocolates, it’d be premature to leave their dining room without having done so. Giselle was especially excited about her on-theme espresso pearls, which, of course, look like caviar. She showed us a video of her making them by dropping the espresso mixture into clear liquid with an eye-dropper. The result? A glorious topping to spread over panna cotta.

Vanilla Panna Cotta | Espresso Beads, Cardamom Shortbreads

The beads weren’t especially potent but they were indeed novel and well, espresso goes extremely well with vanilla. The cardamom shortbreads had good spice and were a nice, crunchy side note. This is definitely my go-to dessert at Petrossian.

Overall, I was impressed with Giselle’s new but solid menu – especially given that she just moved in a few weeks ago. It seems like she’s fitting in well into the space at Petrossian and will continue to evolve in that space, given her unbridled passion for cooking. I can’t wait to revisit to try more dishes, which she’ll have time to perfect. The blogger-friendly boutique-restaurant hybrid has great things to look forward to.

Also, Petrossian is participating in Dine LA (going through Friday this week and Sunday – Friday, January 30 – February 4 next week). Fortunately, the risotto, agnolotti and espresso panna cotta I’ve mentioned are all on that menu so this is the opportune time to try them out.

All food and wine were hosted.

Mon – Fri: 11 AM – 10 PM
Sat: 10 AM – 10 PM
Sun: 10 AM – 4 PM
Happy Hour: Mon – Sat, 4 to 7 PM

Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
321 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048-2415
310.271.6300

French Women Don’t Get Fat. They Eat At Petrossian.

Petrossian Caviar, Fingerling Potato

In a collaborative effort that is decidedly Francophile, Mireille Guiliano - former CEO of Clicquot and author of New York Times Best Seller, French Women Don’t Get Fat - will be hosting a special caviar tasting dinner at Petrossian on Robertson Blvd. Diners will be celebrating Guiliano’s follow-up book, Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire as well as partaking in the fruits of James Beard Rising Star Chef semi-finalist Chef Ben Bailly’s culinary talents.

A caviar presentation will kick off your night. And when the courses start rolling out, brace yourself for delicious menu tems like Caviar Surprise with King crab, Apple Jelly and Caviar; or Green Bean Salad with Burrata and Caviar. Wash those down with a glass of Champagne alongside Mireille herself, and it’ll be a night to remember. You’ll go home with a signed copy of her new book for a keepsake. Call Petrossian to reserve your spot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

7:30 PM

$125
Includes 3 course dinner, caviar presentation, glass of champagne & signed copy of Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire

Petrossian West Hollywood
321 N. Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.6300