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

Petrossian’s New Cocktail Menu and the Caviar-tini

The Caviar-tini ($18)

If one could eat luxury, one should also be allowed to drink it, too. Petrossian in West Hollywood thought as much as they recently have expanded their liquor license and integrated vodka flutes and cocktails into their menu. It may be as obvious to bacon lovers as bacon salt; for caviar lovers, Petrossian created the Caviar-tini.  

Thank you.

Salmon Sandwich | Capers, Caviar, Onions, Mixed Green Salad

Two and a half ounces of vodka with a half ounce of dry vermouth and maybe a dash of orange or Angostura bitters are the martini, but the skewer with 1 Petrossian caviar-stuffed olive, a cocktail onion and 1 Petrossian Caviarcubeâ„¢ – essentially caviar pressed into a cube – make it the Caviar-tini. It was the perfect amount of dirtiness. I saved the skewer for the last few martini sips and found my patience rewarded me well.

There are other cocktail options like their Basil Gimlet ($12), Vodka Sunrise ($12) and Russian Cider ($12). (Don’t worry – there’s also a Cosmopolitan [$14] for you Carrie-types.) Their Hibiscus Champagne ($12) will remain available – just don’t forget to eat the flower, too. If you were thinking straight-up, choose a vodka flute of the European variety from Beluga or Russian Standard Premium (Russia), Linie Aquavit (Norway) or of course Jean Marc XO (France). Belvedere and Chopin are your Polish options.

Chef Ben Bailly’s menu is reason enough to get you in the door – now you can wash down each bite of his dishes with a complementary, caviar-topped cocktail. Because you don’t need vermouth to make a martini dirty.

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 Boutique & Restaurant
321 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.0576

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

All the Indulgences at Petrossian’s Industry Night

Pork Belly Slider

Pork Belly Slider with Carmelized Onions

On my first visit to Petrossian on Robertson, the famed boutique of renowned caviar and a one-stop-spot for diners with tastes more sophisticated than and unfazed by the star power of The Ivy, it happened to be Industry Night. It was a night meant to familiarize Petrossian with the heavyweights in the LA culinary scene and I was happy to crash the party.

Butternut Squash Soup with Chestnuts & Pecans

Butternut Squash Soup with Chestnuts & Pecans

It was a long-overdue visit: My taste buds would no longer be tantalized but titillated and everything Chef Benjamin Bailly sent out from the kitchen would do just the trick. A perfectly floral and barely-sweet hibiscus champagne helped wash down the sliders and soups – and yes, the hibiscus at the end was delicious, thankyouverymuch. Sweet pork sliders with carmelized onions were alternated with juicy cheeseburger sliders; you just had to have both. The tiny butternut squash soups had chestnuts, pecans – and of course, bacon – in it, and while I have had many butternut squash soups, this had to have been one of my favorites (my other favorite is from Neal Fraser’s Grace Restaurant). Next time, I’m getting a full order.

Hibiscus Champagne

There were other classics like the bacon-wrapped date and a gazpacho, the latter’s consistency of which left me curious (you need a spoon). But when the dessert came out – a strawberry cobbler topped with pistachios, I was in heaven!!

And talk about “industry night” – there was no shortage of familiar faces. My Last Bite (Petrossian coverage), Hanhonymous, Daily Wine, Social Domain, JoAnn Cianciulli and Maya of ShopEatsleep were all on hand to experience Petrossian.

I was lucky enough to follow Chef Benjamin Bailly into the kitchen and try mother of pearl spoonfuls of absolutely luxurious caviar, including a kind that literally melted in my mouth. Do want (my own)! I’ve also yet to try selections displayed in their case up front – which included beautiful chocolates and desserts all elegantly presented. But of course – I’ll be back, industry night or not!

Further reading:

Petrossian’s Industry Night – ShopEatSleep

Petrossian Coverage (1 & 2) – MyLastBite

Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
(one block north of Beverly Blvd)
321 N. Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.6300

@chefbenbailly

Maya, Lisa, Jo & Hanh

Shop and Sample at Petrossian

Photo credit to LA Times

We may be in a recession – but that may be the very reason to start your holiday shopping now, just to “spread things out,” if you know what I mean. Then again, if you’re gifting from Petrossian’s Boutique, a place to get rather decadent delectables, let me first commend you for your great taste and second, give you my info so you can put me on your list.

Petrossian – a place that prides itself on bringing otherwise-inaccessible luxurious items to everyone – is having a one-day-only holiday shopping event on Sunday. Staff will be on hand to help you shop. Pick one of the pre-made gift baskets, starting at $115 or customize your own. The point of the shopping event is to try what you may gift – like caviar, foie gras, fine olive oils, smoked salmon, french chocolates and truffles. Complimentary champagne will be provided and samples of “Tsar Cut Salmon, Trout and Salmon Roe, and Chocolates” will be available.

You may or may not know the Petrossian name as a leader in the caviar industry through three generations – but I’d say of any occasion this would be the day to stop in and see what you’re missing.

Besides, it’s a much better reason to visit Robertson than Kitson.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

12 – 5 PM

Petrossian Boutique & Restaurant
321 North Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.0576

@PetrossianWeho