Petite 4 may be closed, but Owner and Chef Sarah Kelly is hard at work prepping food for take-out orders. Lately, demand has gotten so high that the restaurant has increased production, but the popularity of the bistro is such that it continues to sell out its menu—just not as quickly.
“Obviously we’ve been playing the hustle game and trying different things out,” said Kelly. “Basically we had to lay everyone off but one person, so by doing pop-ups and ordering online we’re staying open and trying to appeal to everyone.”
The restaurant is open for online ordering Mondays-Wednesdays every week, and there are different options offered Thursdays-Sundays. By having people order online the restaurant is cutting down on food costs and able to offer a little something for everyone, no matter the budget. Kelly is also rolling out a hot-lunch to-go day next month.
Thursdays are throwback Bluebird sandwich days. Kelly has pulled into her menu staples from the former downtown sandwich shop like the Frenchy baguette with ham and brie, but she said she's getting bored, and that this month, she'll experiment with some more elaborate creations. This week there’s also a blackened chicken salad and gravlax salmon sandwich, in addition to tomato and butternut squash soup. All sandwiches are around $12.
On Fridays the chef is serving date night dinner for two that starts at $75. This week features an end of summer menu. People can choose from pork piperod with a tomato and pepper confit, duck sausage with a summer bean salad or a seafood Louie. All dinners come with a salad and dessert. People can also order a bottle of wine and specify red, white, rose or sparkling, and Kelly will pair it to go with your meal.
“I want to make it approachable for everybody,” said Kelly. “That’s why we made so many options but we still follow our principles of creative and quality food. This food isn’t as fancy as the in-house stuff because it can’t be. We are tailoring the food to the need.”
Having different options also makes the restaurant more accessible to people. Kelly said that this way people who thought they might not be able to afford the food can try them out. On Saturdays Petite 4 serves coffee and donuts out of the side window and it’s the only day pre-ordering isn’t necessary. For around $3 people can get a cup of joe and a half dozen different donuts. This week Kelly will have orange-blossom Madelines, zucchini bread, bouchons (little chocolate corkscrew-like brownies) and the ever popular fresh ricotta donuts.
On Sundays people can order a chicken dinner for four starting at $85, either fried or baked. All orders get a veg and starch as well as a loaf of in-house baked brioche and a dessert. This week the starch is mashed red potatoes with corn gravy and an oatmeal apple crisp.
In October, Kelly said the restaurant will change it up a bit as the Kellys see patrons' responses to the menu. The restaurant will for sure add quarts of stews and soup. On Fridays, Petite 4 will start a hot-lunch counter out the side window, the first week in October will feature either meatballs and marinara or gnocchi and marinara and will be under $10.
“I’ve always said at Petite 4 people can make it as fancy as they want,” said Kelly, “so that everyone could give us a try and that’s carried over to this model. This system ensures we can still be open and sell quality items in a safe and affordable way.”