February 15, 2010
After that first meal at Petrossian, I had to go back…So I did. Immediately.
A little over one week after my dineLA-cum-7 course tasting menu, I was already back in the restaurant, sitting by the same window, scanning the same menu and wondering what to order for my second time around.
The circumstances for this meal were different than the last: I was here for a light brunch with a friend and wanted to try the one or two dishes I missed the last time around. Overwhelmed by the menu, I had the opportunity of asking Ben for his opinion:
“What do you think about the caviar pizza?”
“I was thinking about the croque madame too.”
“That’d be great for brunch.”
“Well…what about the foie gras salad? Linden (The Gastronomnom) says it’s even better than your Napoleon tartare.”
“Oh, did he? You should get it then.”
Wow. That was helpful.
My dining companion was just as useless, but agreed to split whatever dishes I decided to order. So, after much inner debate, I finally settled on the foie gras salad and the caviar pizza, with an order of the truffle mac and cheese instead of the croque madame. (There’s no way I could turn down the mac and cheese!)
Once again, Ben surprised us with an order of the blinis to start. They were still as delicious as I remembered (a memory of which was still fresh in my mind at that point).
The foie salad was brought out next – a slice of a foie gras terrine placed atop a bed of haricot vert and walnuts.
(“You should get it”, he says. And so I did.)
The fresh green beans were a welcome start to my sunny Sunday morning, and I loved the crunch of the walnuts hidden in the pile. The rich foie terrine smeared over toast points was that day’s butter and toast.
After touting Petrossian’s mac and cheese throughout my conversation, it finally arrived – picture perfect as always. Again, each bite was heaven, with the bacon flavor a bit stronger this time around. Although I adore this dish, I’ve decided that it’s best enjoyed at dinner; it’s just too hearty for a morning brunch.
The caviar pizza, on the other hand, was the ideal dish for such an occasion.
The combination of ingredients is surprising. The menu may have described it as a pizza with creme fraiche, red onions, chives, capers and caviar, however, it fails to include the finely minced hard-boiled eggs (which are key, as I soon discovered). The eggs add smoothness, the onions add sweetness and, of course, the caviar and capers add that final punch of salt.
I ended my meal with the strawberry panna cotta and the pistachio creme brulee. I favored the panna cotta before, I favored it again.
Now that I’ve eaten all the favorites at Petrossian, you may think I’d be satisfied for a while. Not quite – my friend can attest that, during our converastion, I was frequently distracted by the dishes ordered by the patrons outside (you know, the more standard brunch fare like the hand sliced smoked salmon, the 321 salad or my foregone croque madame). I may have been enviously eying them then, but I’ll try them myself soon enough.