When chef Jorge Guzmán began planning the menu for Petite León, the new restaurant at 38th & Nicollet, he envisioned it as a comfortable place for people to hang out and enjoy some seriously good food.
But when the restaurant opened Oct. 23 among a spike in cases of COVID-19, it did so with a deep focus on takeout service.
“The current circumstances of the world around us have caused us to adapt, but our passion for our restaurant has never waned,” Guzmán said in a release. “We are full of tenacity, grit and a sense of hopefulness.”
Guzmán, known locally for leading Surly’s Brewer’s Table, has tweaked the planned menu to focus on portable, reheatable dishes influenced by flavors of the United States, his native Mexico, Spain and France. The menu includes red chile pozole, roasted beets, lamb meatballs and a French-inspired “le petite cheeseburger.”
At Petite León, Guzmán has partnered with beverage specialist Travis Serbus, who will for now hold off on his cocktail menu to focus on beer and wine pairings for takeout.
The kitchen is also playing host to a pop-up concept called Pollo Pollo, which will focus on family-style pollo al carbon, or charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken.
Starting in December, Petite León plans to host a series of small dinner parties available by reservation only where customers can try a wide range of the restaurant’s menu in a socially distanced setting.
For now, the restaurant is open for takeout from 4:30-9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with orders accepted online.
3800 Nicollet Ave.