Petite Maison's Halloween Offal Dinner Puts Elegant Spin on Spooky Animal Parts

James Porter Petite Maison.jpg
Nikki Buchanan
Porter at Petite
For some people, offal (pronounced OAF-uhl) is as cringe-worthy as a slasher film.That's surely why James Porter, chef-owner of Petite Maison, decided two years ago to create a tongue-in-cheek Halloween menu built around animal organs and the occasional odd part. He knows that for the squeamish, livers and kidneys can be seriously spooky stuff.

See also:
Shock Your Palate with Petite Maison's Offal Halloween Menu
Petite Maison's Sunday Brunch a Fine and Frenchy Affair

Now here's the shocker: Porter's first offal dinner, held on Halloween in 2010, was a sold-out hit with adventurous diners who obviously don't think offal is awful at all. Porter made a sequel last year, offering the prix-fixe menu for three days. And this year, he brings us Halloween 3, Season of the Offal, for an entire week, October 25-31. I ate it Thursday night and here's what I thought about it.

Petite Maison--head cheese.jpg
Head cheese, which isn't cheese at all
The four-course dinner (priced at $60 per person, an additional $15 for paired wines) begins with an amuse bouche of head cheese, served with grilled bread and a smear of whole grain mustard. If you already know and like head cheese -- which looks a bit like a lunch meat mosaic of meaty parts, suspended in a gelatin of meat stock -- you will love Petite's denser, richer version, still chunky but somehow closer to pâté. I could snack on this all day.

Petite Maison --tartare.jpg
Lamb heart tartare
Lamb heart tartar -- diced raw lamb heart mixed with white anchovy, preserved lemon, capers and tabasco -- comes topped with a cold poached egg instead of the usual raw one. We spoon bright red meat, made richer by golden egg yolk on toast points of pumpernickel. Yum!

Petite Maison--cockscombs:kidneys.jpg
Cockscombs and rabbit kidneys
I've never had cockscombs (those pointy red topknots on a chicken's head) or rabbit kidneys, but I loved them both (and together) in the second course. Porter says he braised the cockscombs in chicken stock for hours, making their naturally gelatinous texture more soft and yielding. Mild-tasting with an unctuous quality I like, they're completely compatible with lightly breaded and sauteed rabbit kidneys -- mild, sweet little nodules of goodness. Shaved black truffles add an earthy bottom note while frisee provides crispness and faintly bitter counterpoint.

Location Info

Petite Maison

7216 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Margi Phalon Wolfe
Margi Phalon Wolfe

"Some people" enjoy whatever you are writing about, Nik!!! Really enjoyable piece on eating some unfamiliar anatomical bits :))

Now Trending

From the Vault