Founded in Paris in 1920, family-owned and operated “Petrossian” remains synonymous with “caviar.”
The historic Alwyn Court, an architecturally important building, though touted as “gaudy” by some, housed the now “Temporarily Closed” Petrossian Restaurant. The ostentatious “see and be seen” restaurant of the mid-1980s (Petrossian founded the restaurant in 1984) and 1990s was and still is housed officially (although current “operations suspended”) at 182 West 58th Street, just one block from picturesque Central Park.
Parisian born Chef Richard Farnabe, whose credits include working under Chef Jacques Maxim in France and Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten in America before joining Petrossian. Farnabe had the goal of broadening American appreciation for caviar and seafood. He did not disappoint.
The finest in foie gras terrine, smoked fish, oysters and of course – caviar – was on the menu. I fondly recall the marble, the sculptures and the smoked salmon. I had my first caviar at Petrossian around ten years of age (it did not go well, as fish eggs and children sometimes do not) but the décor is as clear as yesterday in my memory.
Years later, as an adult with an arguably more sophisticated palette, I was able to enjoy the menu with the owner and be taken on a “tour” of sorts without leaving my side of town. The reason for the temporary closure, other than the obvious high rent has not been confirmed.
Around town, the word is that Petrossian Restaurant will be back, and is “renovating.” This remains to be seen.
Petrossian NYC Boutique
In the meantime, you can still experience the culinary indulgences at the New York Petrossian and West Hollywood Boutiques and Cafes in the United States as well as in Paris, Brussels and Dubai. Also, important to note, is the Caviar and Champagne bar located at LAX serving top-shelf champagnes and over 20 vodkas. This makes me want to hop on a plane now, just to see it and come home, which very well may be a fun winter adventure.
I paid a visit to the Petrossian NYC Boutique, located just next door to the restaurant at 911 Seventh Avenue to see if the boutique could come close to meeting my immense expectations. The ‘specialty take-away’ is simply blowing my mind. The Holidays are around the corner and who does not like to be given the gift of caviar? If you are like me and host the Holidays or host friends to celebrate Wednesday, Petrossian Boutique and Café will help you to satisfy even the most hardened culinary connoisseur.
Upon entry, the décor is nowhere near 1930s art-deco of the restaurant. As a matter of fact, the one thing that I was left feeling a little lackluster about was the décor, largely because I equate the restaurant with that experience. If you do too, do not let that hold you back from exploring.
The small space is a showcase for the gourmet food, with a very small, simply decorated second level loft-like dining area in the back of the boutique. Upon entry, no space is left untouched by decadence. The window, decorated for Halloween includes pastry, Parisian Nougat de Provence and cakes on the left and fresh-pressed olive oils, caviar and caviar tools to the right. Entry to the boutique follows the same arrangement.
On the left I saw, and sadly did not eat, Chocolate Pecan Cookies that looked incredible and will be making the way to my Holiday table. The Double Chocolate Cookies will also be in my home. They are both crispy and thin and smell decadent. The French breads look beautiful and the smell is divine.
Petrossian Fig Jam is prominently on display, no doubt a “must have” for your charcuterie board, alongside Gold-Leaf Honey and Petrossian Chocolate Pears.
On my right, was where I could not take my eyes away, or make my decision.
The smoked fish and specialty food segment of the boutique showcases smoked halibut, salmon, Chataluga Prestige Caviar and Petrossian salmon cubes made it difficult for me to decide what to bring home.
Before I could make that decision, I must discuss the caviar.
- Royal Kaluga Huso Hybrid, Tsar Imperial™ is my favorite, as I love the fruity taste.
- Special Reserve Ossetra, known for its rich and nutty flavor and…
- Royal Ossetra bold, nutty and fruity…are just a few options for caviar lovers to explore.
Caviar powder, caviar chocolate, caviar butter, caviar cream, and pressed caviar are all available to satisfy your caviar craving.
Do not forget the tools
Presentation tools including Large Caviar Scepter Presentoirs, Petrossian Vodka Flutes and Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoons are available for your caviar extravaganza at home.
Don’t forget the Champagne!
Champagne for sale includes Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc, 2005, from the foundations of Forest-Forneaux, established in 1734 and the third oldest wine producing house of Champagne, known for its citrus notes and roasted hazelnut flavors.
Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2008, a Champagne family founded in 1776 in Reims, France and one of the rare family owned companies still managed by the Roederer family, the taste of cherry, orange zest and honey are a delightful pairing for the caviar of your choice.
I have found my place for all that I need for a delightful evening of decadence in one location and I could not be more thrilled.
If you do not live near a boutique, fear not. Petrossian.com provides a comprehensive selection with thorough descriptions to help guide you with your selections in the virtual world.
Visit live or online, quickly and bon appetite.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.