Petrossian Caviar in Beverly Hills recently re-opened under the creative direction of executive chef Benjamin Bailly, a distinguished and talented chef. Benjamin, having recently worked at Ortolan and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, has worked side by side and traveled with Joel Robuchon in his many restaurants around the world. It was an absolute treat and privilege to have him prepare an extravagant tasting menu for my friend’s birthday party recently.
If you know the old Petrossian Caviar space, you’ll be amazed by the transformation. The expanded space feels even larger and brighter with the floor to ceiling glass walls that look out onto Robertson Boulevard. The dining room has plush comfortable black leather banquettes, tall ceilings, and riveting black and white photos of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlon Brando on the walls that are simply irresistible. What a grand feeling to be sipping on champagne and nibbling on caviar with these Hollywood stars!
The other section of the restaurant houses the open kitchen, a large communal table and display cases in a similar contemporary layout. The communal table is a warm and inviting place for people to gather, and you can get a perfect view of the bustle of the kitchen.
Petrossian Caviar has been a leading purveyor of caviar since 1920 when it first opened shop in Paris. You can find an amazing and complete selection of precious caviar here, from the local Californian farm-raised Royal Transmontanus Caviar, to well-known Ossetras and Sevrugas, to the ultimate indulgence Imperial Special Reserve Stellattus for $617/ 1 ounce. They also sell a wonderful array of smoked fish (salmon, sturgeon, cod), foie gras, truffles, chocolates, jams, wines and champagnes.
Our wonderful dinner commenced with a new Petrossian signature drink- hibiscus champagne. Each glass contains a whole organic wild hibiscus flower in syrup with champagne. The hibiscus flower gives this drink a beautiful crimson color and a delicious sweet fruity flavor. This was one of the most surprising discoveries and delightful drinks that I have had in a long time. The best part of this drink was eating the champagne-soaked hibiscus at the end.
One cannot leave Petrossian without eating their signature caviar blinis. The sharp and robust Transmontanus caviar on soft tender warm blinis and dill crème fraîche is simply divine. These small black pearls have fierce powerful flavors that permeate into the depths of my taste buds with supreme force. The salmon roe blinis were also a joy, but oh, the sturgeon caviar!
Next we had shots of their classic cold borscht and cantaloupe gazpacho. I loved the bright pink borscht- the sweet dense earthiness of red beets with a tart cherry vinegar finish. A lovely and refreshing soup that can instantly rejuvenate and energize- this would be perfect after a long day at work. The cantaloupe gazpacho had a wonderful balance of fruity sweetness and a tart ginger kick. This is the perfect complement to a hot summer day.
My favorite dish of the evening was the foie gras and black truffle paté with fleur de sel on toast. How can you go wrong with foie gras and black truffle? Well, actually it is an art to prepare these delicacies, and Benjamin was impeccable in his execution. The foie gras melted like butter in my mouth, and each additional bite awakened more of the energetic earthy aroma of black truffle.
The Petrossian Jell-o was a refreshing contrast to the savory foie gras. Yuzu marinated baby scallop ceviche with caviar, diced green apples, ginger and chives on a bed of green apple jell-o topped with apple foam. It was a delightful and pleasing play of textures, with the airy light apple foam, super crisp diced apples, tender scallops and soft jiggly jell-o. Dig your spoon all the way down to the bottom of the glass to get all of the layers of textures and flavors. The combination of yuzu, ginger and apples give this dish a fun tart citrus kick.
The green asparagus risotto with parmesan and pinenuts topped with salmon roe and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction was scrumptious. The green asparagus slices were cooked perfectly, still maintaining a slight crunch. The creamy parmesan risotto, salty salmon roe and mellow acidity and sweetness of the balsamic reduction was a winning combination.
The Scallops ‘a la plancha’ finished the savory portion of our meal. The black pepper-seasoned seared scallops were cooked perfectly, maintaining a tender, plump and meaty texture. They were presented on a bed of carrot purée, topped with orange foam and plated with balsamic reduction. The sweetness of the soft carrot purée, the intense acidity of the orange foam and the dark richness of the balsamic reduction made for an interesting and complex combination of flavors.
We had 2 absolutely wonderful desserts. The Sicilian pistachio crème brulée was superbly nutty, earthy and aromatic, and the caramel crust was perfectly crispy.
The vanilla panna cotta with white peach confit and white peach espuma was dazzling. There are 2 variations to this divine dessert- one with oven roasted organic granola in the center peach confit layer, and another with caviar on top. This was a very delicate and sophisticated dessert that wasn’t too sweet. Just like the scallop ceviche dish, it was fun to dig my spoon all the way to the bottom of the glass to get all of the different layers of textures and flavors in each heavenly bite.
Petrossian also sells a large assortment of delicate Parisian chocolates. Other dishes that were delicious on a previous visit to Petrossian were the Tzar Cut Trio (a trio of classic, black sea spice and dill marinated smoked salmon) and the succulent burger. The smoked salmon slices were served with toast points, crème fraîche and caper berries. A must try- I really loved the black sea spice salmon. The burger I had with caramelized onions and sun dried tomatoes was nice, but now they have revised it to a juicy Kobe beef burger with truffle cheese, onion marmalade and arugula.
Petrossian Caviar is now doing Happy Hour every day from 5-8pm. You can enjoy wonderful champagnes and delicious food in an inviting and open environment with friendly staff who will take good care of you. Whether you are looking for a casual lunch, after work drinks, Sunday brunch al fresco, or a formal elegant dinner, Petrossian Cafe and Chef Benjamin Bailly will please your senses.
Petrossian Paris Boutique and Restaurant
321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048-2415
Random trivia: Did you know that the only thing that genetically separates a peach from a nectarine is a recessive gene that expresses ‘fuzz’?