Update: The grand opening of Petite Galerie will be on Friday, March 16, with dinner seating available 5-9:30 p.m. Lunch will be available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays, and dinner will be available Tuesday-Saturday. Find out more here.
Petite Galerie has been a long time coming for chef and owner Rob Sevcik.
The New American restaurant on East Madison Street is set to soft open with a Prix Fixe for Valentine’s Day, and officially open before March. Sevcik said the menu will have French and Italian fine-dining influences.
“I don’t want to open until everything is perfect,” he said. “I’m hoping to strive for French Laundry or Per Se, these extreme fine-dining establishments.”
The Midwesterner cut his teeth in San Francisco and Portland before coming to Seattle and working in the kitchen of Thierry Rautureau. He served as chef de cuisine in both dearly-departed Rovers and in Loulay.
Unlike Rautureau’s classical training, Sevcik made his own way, working up from a “high-volume” restaurant line cook to sous chef and on. As a result, his bearing and style of cooking is fine-dining without an extreme air of pretentiousness.
He left to start Galerie 23, a home-catering and cooking class business, but jumped at the opportunity to start his own restaurant when two adjacent businesses vacated from an East Madison Avenue shopping center.
He has converted the former Au Chocolate location into the restaurant and the catering business next door is the kitchen.
“I came to Seattle eight years ago and I just fell in love with Madison Park,” Sevcik said. “I met my wife while I was working here It’s special to me.”
Megan, Sevcik’s wife, owns Honey Skin Spa. That business shared a courtyard with Rover’s. The couple now share a home in Queen Anne with their toy poodle.
His personal feelings for Madison Park aside, the menu he is crafting will showcase his kitchen’s skill with multiple elements.
“Lunch will have some more recognizable elements, salads and sandwiches,” Sevcik said. “But dinner I’m going to divide the menu into four sections: Heaven, earth, sea and land.”
Those will have somewhat of a theme, i.e. heaven would be poultry or other dishes which might inspire thoughts skyward.
Sevcik said diners can look forward to five or six different entrees with a good amount of vegetarian options and desserts. While classic French influence will be apparent, he has shown in the past that new takes on culinary mainstays are what he wants to make his mark with.
Some of his courses for Galerie 23 included king salmon belly tartare with poached quail egg, geoduck sashimi and pan-seared foie gras with Szechuan peppercorn honey.
As for Petite Galerie? Sevcik said he is still crafting the perfect menu.