201 Main Street . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 979-7647
Why Petit Pois?
Many Charlottesville restaurants have seasonal menus. In a town so committed to local sourcing, Mother Nature demands it. But, few restaurants transform themselves with the seasons as much as Petit Pois, the more casual and more affordable sibling of Fleurie located in the center of the downtown mall. It’s like several restaurants in one. In winter, it’s the closest thing in Charlottesville to a French bistro, serving hearty French classics, faithfully prepared, in a cozy 25-seat dining room. In warmer months, a 65-seat patio draws crowds for optimal people-watching, epic lunches, and breezy dinners of lighter takes on locally-sourced French fare. Any time of year, there are few spots in town as reliable for a great meal.
Petit Pois received a boost in 2017 when owner Brian Helleberg, one of Charlottesville’s most accomplished chefs, welcomed Jose de Brito back to his other restaurant Fleurie, allowing Helleberg to spend more time in the Petit Pois kitchen. As a result, Petit Pois is as good as ever.
What to Order
Though the menu changes seasonally, some dishes are year-round fixtures. Below are our favorites, the chef’s picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a chef or personality has named a Petit Pois dish one of the best in town.
- Soupe à l’Oignon
- Mousse de Foie de Volaille
- Skate Wing
- Steak Frites
- Soupe à l’Oignon
- Chilled Pea Soup with creme fraiche and shaved radish
- Moules Marinieres (Prince Edward Island Mussels with beurre blanc, mirepoix and grilled bread)
- Tuna Nicoise Salad (hard boiled Polyface egg, tomato, green beans, potatoes, Nicoise olives, mustard vinaigrette)
- Bourride (aromatic shellfish broth with fennel, saffron, clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and scallops, grilled bread and rouille)
- Profiteroles (Pate au choux with house made vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce)
Five Finds on Friday Picks
- Focaccia and Poached Eggs – Robin McDaniel (The Alley Light)
- Mousse de Foie de Volaille — Chris Humphrey (formerly, Rapture); Carol Davidson (Mum)
- Beef Tartare — Philip Gerringer (formerly, South Fork)
- Escargot — Walter Slawski (Shebeen)
- Steak Frites — Mike Yager (formerly, Glass Haus Kitchen and Palladio)
- Profiteroles — Richard Ridge (formerly, Restoration)
- Sausage Bechamel – Nick Moon (formerly, Brasserie Saison)
- Frisee Salad – Will Curley (Braserie Saison)