Chow Bella

James Porter's Third Anniversary Dinner at Petite Maison Rocks The (Little) House! And You Can Still Get in on the Celebration.

See also: Embedded at Petite Maison: Zach Fowle in the Kitchen See also: Petite Maison's Sunday Brunch a Fine and Frenchy Affair

James and Wendy Porter are celebrating Petite Maison's third year in business this week with a special Third Anniversary Dinner, which started last night and runs through Sunday, August 26th. And I'm telling you right now, no matter how over-scheduled you may think you are, you're going to want to clear a little space on the calendar for this one.

Porter (pictured above) is in the mood to celebrate, and there's ample proof on his three-course, prix fixe menu -- priced at $38 per person (plus tax and tip), $55 with wine pairings, $75 with Sommelier's Selections.

The meal begins with a complimentary plate of hot-from-the-oven gougères -- lightly browned puffs of choux pastry (think airy eclair dough) filled with flecks of melting Gruyère. Oh my!

The first course offers four choices, all given playful names:

Chicken of the Sea: big eye tuna carpaccio -- yuzu -- bonito

Green Eggs and Ham: crispy poached duck egg -- braised jowls -- grain mustard

A crisp-edged, ultra-flavorful hunk of pork cheek, topped with a soft-centered, herb and panko-dusted duck egg, the plate swirled with grain mustard. This is hog heaven.

Hide and Seek: truffle ravioli -- creamy egg yolk -- Parmesan snow

Not Organic, Orgasmic: watermelon -- crispy goat cheese -- roasted beets -- Banyuls vinegar

An elegant interplay of sweet melon, salty, panko-crusted goat cheese, peppery arugula and earthy roasted beet, accented with syrupy drizzles of Banyuls wine vinegar.

Yes, it'll cost you an extra $12, but Breakin' the Cali Law -- a simple but oh-so-effective supplement of seared Hudson Valley foie gras, served with Mission fig confit and sweet threads of agave nectar -- is not to be missed. Especially with a tiny glass of Sauternes.

The second course offers just two choices:

My Last Meal: butter poached lobster -- vanilla and lobster risotto -- sweet peas

This is the dish Porter told me in his Chef Salad interview he'd want for his last meal on earth, and I can see why. It's lovely. But for MY last meal, I might seriously consider the...

Duck, Duck, Goose -- duck confit croustillant -- lacquered duck breast -- seared goose liver

Five spice-scented duck confit wrapped in crackling phyllo dough, sided by a molasses and honey-lacquered duck breast, topped with a buttery knob of seared foie gras. Oh, I could go out happy on a bellyful of this stuff.

Porter calls the dessert course "It's My Party and I"ll Bake What I Want To" Birthday Cake, so he's actually going to serve whatever strikes his fancy that day. There very well may be no cake involved. But who cares? Not me when there's a ramekin of bruleed chocolate mousse, a petite serving of ultra-tender Crepes Suzette and a mini Grand Marnier soufflé, swimming in crème anglaise.

A party wouldn't be a party without the wine, which, like this entire meal, represents a screaming deal. Porter is pouring some really good stuff (how does a 2009 Bordeaux grab you?), so partake.

He was packed inside last night (still too hot to sit out), so you'd be wise to call for reservations: 480-991-6887.

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Nikki Buchanan