Saturday, September 15, 2012

Caviar Martinis and Curried Squid Ink in the Land of Spoiled GIrls

When my best friend told me she loved Petrossian’s (and that she’s been to both the one in Beverly Hills as well as the one in New York) I should have known it was going to be a girlie place. She’s the type of woman who always has perfect nails and perfect poise and an insider’s bluebook in encyclopedic detail in her brain when it comes to finding the perfect champagne – lady’s lunch – boutique experience on a dime. I know because I have been on many of these jaunts with her. Granted, I am usually the only one dressed in black and she’s usually flecking things like paint and lint off my clothes as we walk through pristine, polished glass doors at these place that remind me of aquariums. 

So when the Cute Gardener and I decided to go for dinner at the Beverly Hills location last week, we were both a little bit like fish out of water. But we had a reason: this particular place isn’t only white and regal and queen-like feminine, it happens to have a menu crafted delicately around the almighty ingredient caviar. That’s right, the regal fish roe appears in at least one half of the menu’s offerings from drink to appetizer to entrée.

We had signed up for a caviar class, which I will no doubt be writing about in a few weeks, and had received free blinis…

…that coupled with the CG’s desire to try their burger on his Los Angeles burger hunt (which he thought was very good) had us sitting across from each other on a random Wednesday.

We basically had the whole place to ourselves save for two women in their 20s who couldn’t stop complaining about how miserable their lives were and how they were tired of their cheating and lying men while dripping in gold and sipping a $100 bottle. We, on the other hand quite less monetarily endowed yet enjoying each other’s company, splurged on $18 caviar martinis that went perfectly with the blinis. They were speared with a trio of caviar salt cube, caviar stuffed olive and a cocktail onion. Nothing quite like salty pearls on the tongue with a swish of cold vodka down the throat.

It’s definitely a place for girls with means who want quick, luxurious lunches mid-shopping, society dames and those who crave old fashioned sounding dishes like caviar egg tartines and egg royale (a decadent and fluffy looking egg pie that arrives on a silver plate dolled up with both caviar and crème fraiche and that I spent a good deal of time ogling so I can recreate it at home.)

But it also pleased a quirky, artistic foodie like me with a one-time meal that I will remember even if I am not prone to return for another. My big pile of “oddly adventurous” (the description I heard about this dish from two different people) squid ink pasta floating in a shallow pond of delicious curry and topped with a generous amount of briny uni seemed to be created for just my funky palate.

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