LA: Mélisse (Dec. 2012)
Exec Chef: Josiah Citrin
Date: December 22, 2012
-My friend Simon was in town for a day before going to San Diego for a short vacation, so we decided to make some plans to eat! We made reservations for a first dinner at Mélisse and then a second dinner at The Bazaar. (We figured that we might as well eat as much as we could while he was here!)
-Overall, it was an enjoyable meal with solid service and very well-cooked food. Thankfully, we weren’t too full after. We finished at about 9:30 p.m., 30 minutes before our Bazaar reservation, giving us time to prepare our stomachs for more eating!
-Hemisphere of grape, goat cheese, and pistachio.
-Spherical Concord grape.
-Kushi oyster with cucumber granite and frozen green strawberries.
Soft-poached egg, lemon crème fraîche, and American caviar.
This is one of the classics at Melisse. There’s yolk at the very bottom, and it’s kind of fun to dig to the bottom and mix the yolk with the crème fraîche. It reminds me quite a bit of the egg caviar dish at Jean-Georges. I think I like the JG one more, though; that one is much creamier.
Poisson Cru (“Raw Fish”)
Japanese yellowtail with daikon radish, plaintain, black truffle, and yuzu.
Honestly, I thought this course was a bit forgettable. The yellowtail was fresh, but the other ingredients didn’t really add too much for me (with the exception of the black truffle—but I feel like you can’t really go wrong with black truffles).
Stinging Nettle Soup
with aerated smoke trout (basically a mousse).
The soup was good, and the two ingredients (mousse + velouté) worked really well together. I don’t really have any other thoughts.
Torchon of Berkshire Pork
with wild arugula, crisp brioche, and mustard vinaigrette.
Apparently, Chef Citrin just got the pork, and we were one of the first customers to try this dish! It was REALLY good; the pork was delicious, and the other ingredients worked together really well.
True Day Boat Scallop
with celtuce, persimmon, and wood sorrel purée.
The wood sorrel purée was absolutely necessary with the scallops, and the persimmon helped add a different kind of, but very welcome, sweetness to the dish.
6A. (Victor and Chris)
One-year-aged Acquerello risotto rice with mascarpone and shaved white truffles from Alba.
They shaved the white truffles in front of us.
You can probably tell that this was amazing haha.
6B. (Simon and Renee)
Hand-cut tagliatelle with grated white truffles from Alba, parmesan, and brown butter truffle froth.
I have the same thoughts as with the risotto.
Wild Atlantic Halibut
with king oyster mushrooms, broccoli velouté, and roasted walnuts.
This was well-cooked; the velouté was delicious and paired really well the halibut. Unfortunately, I thought the king oyster mushrooms didn’t really add to the dish at all.
Millbrook Farms Venison
with “flame” carrots, black trumpet mushrooms, and wild grass.
This venison was probably my favorite dish! It tasted just like beef. It was juicy, and the texture was just right. (Then again, it was likely made via sous-vide, so it’s not exactly hard to get it perfectly right.) The black trumpet mushrooms paired AMAZINGLY well with the venison, too. If they were a guy and a girl, you’d be 100% sure that they would get married and last!
Fourme d’Ambert (some kind of bleu cheese)
with Seckel pear tart, wild watercress, and peppered honey.
The tart and honey helped cut down on the strength of the cheese and made it enjoyable to eat. Chris kind of suffered a bit because he dislikes strong cheeses and for some odd reason decided to try some of it by itself…
Molten Chocolate Tart
with peppermint sorbet.
The tart was okay (reminded me a bit of Jean-Georges’s lava cake), but the peppermint sorbet was DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the dessert as a whole was that amazing. I guess I just didn’t think that the tart worked too well with the sorbet; I think I would have preferred something less sweet with the sorbet.
Popcorn sherbet, peanut butter crunch, and caramel wafer.
Now this was a fun (and delicious) dessert! It was exactly like eating a cracker jack! It had the crunchiness (the crunch and the wafer) with all the flavors (the popcorn, peanut, and caramel) of Cracker Jacks. It was fun to try each ingredient and see how they all mixed together.
-Dark chocolate cookies.
-“Once Upon a Tea” macarons.
These were all really well-made; I don’t really have any other thoughts.