Petite 4 serves up big-city quality with small-town comfort
When Bleubird closed in January, Boise went into mourning. The sudden evaporation of the city’s finest sandwich shop felt like a nightmare.
But help was on the way for fans of its food.
In April, Sarah and David Kelly, the power couple behind Bleubird’s massive success, opened Petite 4. Named after its diminutive size and location at 4 N. Latah St., the new restaurant aimed to bring “French bistroinspired dishes to the Boise Bench.”
Petite 4 has inherited much of its stylistic vision from Bleubird. A striking kitchen forms the heart of the restaurant, and every member of the staff looks dapper in a pinstriped apron.
The restaurant has also inherited Bluebird’s fervent fan base; the dining room was packed at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday in October. It’s no secret that reservations are highly recommended unless you plan on fighting for space at the bar.
And I understand why the Kellys decided to close Bleubird and open Petite 4. Bleubird was popular because it was the best possible version of a sandwich shop, but the type of food and the hours of operation created inherent limitations.
Petite 4 does not suffer from those limitations. It can grow and change endlessly in service of Sarah Kelly’s unique culinary vision. It can bask in the classy-yet-casual atmosphere that David Kelly seems to conjure by simply existing — his energy, charm and encyclopedic memory make you want to visit again and again.
The menu itself is pleasantly simple, with starters, vegetables, seafood and meat on one side, cheese and charcuterie on the other, and a separate card for daily specials.
Menus are updated seasonally and when inspiration strikes. Regular visitors will be excited to find a new fall menu, which retains popular items while introducing impressive new dishes.
SAMPLING THE FOOD
The restaurant may be petite, but the portions are not. The starters are generous and the meatier entrees are approximately the size of a family sedan. And when you consider the vastness of some of these meals, the prices are closer to a brewery than a steakhouse.
You’d be wise to start your meal with a cheese plate ($15), which features a rotating assortment and