Peter Woolsey Explains Menu Changes at Bistrot la Minette

Peter Woolsey is in the process of updating his menus for Bistrot la Minette. Rather than turn over the entire menu all at once, he prefers to update three or four dishes at a time in two-week intervals, which allows him and his staff to tweak and perfect each new dish over the course of several weeks. Like most chefs of his caliber, seasons play a large role in the changes, but to hear him explain it, that’s just one small factor. “Sometimes its not so much about what’s in season, its just your whim at that moment,” Woolsey told Grub Street. “There are a lot of reasons you change a dish. Maybe it reminds you of someone and you hate that person.”

“Right now, it’s entirely a tomato thing,” Woolsey said. “I’m extremely big on tomatoes. My father grew tomatoes every summer. Growing up no matter what we ate, there was always corn and tomatoes on the table for like a three-month period every year. It’s kind of ingrained in me.”

The menu updates that go into effect today include a beet salad that’s’ been transformed into a tomato salad. Grilled sardines are replaced with a grilled octopus that’s stewed in tomatoes before it goes on the grill. A vegetable tart is now a tomato tart. Woolsey also switched the menu’s steak offering, but that has nothing to do with tomatoes. “That’s just me being annoyed with it,” he said. “Its not so much about what it tastes like, this one I’m just tired of.” Below is the entire menu.

Mise en Bouche
(First Course)

Soupe d’Asperges / Asparagus soup, morel mushrooms, white-truffle whipped cream 11

Pâtes Fraîches aux Truffes Noires / Fresh pasta, crème fraiche sauce, black truffle 13

Vol-au-Vent / Puff pastry, American sauce, lobster, shrimp, crayfish, scallop, English peas 13

Caille Farcie aux Poireaux / Roasted quail, Leek Stuffing, Vinegar-Shallot Jus, Watercress 12

Pieuvre Grillée / Grilled octopus, lemon and tomato stew, heirloom cherry tomatoes 13

Œuf du Pêcheur / Fisherman’s-style poached egg, mussels, tarragon cream sauce 11

Flammenküche / Alsatian “pizza”, caramelized onion, lardons, crème fraîche 10

Escargots de Bourgogne / Nine Burgundy snails, herbed butter, crouton 12

Salade de Tomates / Heirloom tomato salad, mache, beaufort cheese, Banyuls vinaigrette 11

Salade Verte / Bibb lettuce, mustard vinaigrette 7

Plats Principaux
(Main Course)

Poulet aux Noisettes et Champignons Sauvages / Roasted half chicken, Basmati rice pilaf, toasted hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, wild mushrooms 21

Tarte à la Tomate / Heirloom tomato tart, crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, endive salad, white truffle vinaigrette

Halibut avec sa Croûte de Citron et sa Sauce au Safran / Pan-seared halibut, lemon crust, saffron sauce, herb purée, haricots verts, fingerling potatoes 26

Filet de Daurade à la Poêle Sur Son Lit de Fenouil / Pan-seared daurade, baby carrots, fennel confit, walnut-caper vinaigrette 24

Lapin en Civet / Red-wine spice-braised rabbit, house-made tagliatelle, onion, lardons, mushrooms 24

Magret de Canard aux Pruneaux / Seared duck breast, red-wine prune sauce, potato confit, mushrooms 26

Gigot d’Agneau et Ratatouille / Roasted leg of lamb, Baud-family ratatouille, lemon Jus 25

Faux Filet aux Fèves et Girolles / New York strip steak, fava beans, chanterelle mushrooms, olive oil-crushed red bliss potatoes, thyme and shallot jus 29


Gratin Dauphinois / Scalloped Potatoes 6

Gratin de Pâte “à la Peggy” / Macaroni and Cheese 7

Haricots Verts aux Echalottes / Sautéed Green Beans, Shallots 6


Gateau l’Opéra / Multi-Layered Almond Sponge Cake, Chocolate Ganache, Coffee Butter Cream, Crème Chantilly 8

Tarte Tatin / Upside-Down Apple Tart, Caramel Ice Cream 8

Riz au Lait / Vanilla Rice Pudding, Red Fruit, Raspberry Sauce 8

Tarte au Citron / Lemon Tart, Cassis Sorbet 8

Mille Feuille aux Framboises / Carmelized Puff Pastry, Vanilla Pastry Cream, Raspberries 8

Glaces et Sorbets / Daily Selection of House-Made Ice Creams and Sorbets 7

Assiette de Fromages / Served with salad and toast
Peter Woolsey Explains Menu Changes at Bistrot la Minette