Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The date went well.  I will definitely be seeing him again.  This decision was not swayed in any way by the shaved and/or grated truffles that accompanied each dish during our 4 course meal at Mélisse.  Let's just say that all aspects of the night far surpassed my expectations.  I mean, committing to a Saturday night date is kind of a big deal.  Neither of you has to work Sunday morning, which means the only reason you'd be turning in early is because one of you wasn't feeling it.  

So back to the food.  Mélisse offered either a 4 or a 10 course menu.  I was very impressed.  What didn't impress me were the pictures I took of the food: they don't do it any justice.  And I didn't want to make my picture taking a big production because you have to act like you've been there before, right? So tadaaa...my mediocre pictures of a most spectacular dining experience. The dishes were almost too beautiful to eat...but after my first bite, I concluded that I had found utopia.  It exists at 1104 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica (310.395.0881).

First Course - Red Monterey Abalone (ok, maybe truffles didn't come with every dish) with Celtuce, Salt Cod Cream, Abalone Broth

Second Course - Maine Lobster "Flavors of Thermidor" 2011 

Third Course - Tagliatelle and Risotto with Truffles

And if the first three courses (plus plenty of full-bodied red wine and an amazing selection of gourmet bread rolls) weren't enough, we ordered the Rotisserie Chicken stuffed with Summer Truffles and Morel Mushrooms, Root Vegetables, Sauce Albufera

We learned that ordering this entree actually brought Chef Josiah Citrin out of the kitchen to personally carve our chicken tableside!  

And to everyone's surprise, Chef accidentally dropped a deliciously roasted-to-perfection chicken breast onto the floor.  I didn't know whether to burst out laughing (which was my initial reaction...I was a bit tipsy) or to honor the 5 second rule and dive down to the ground and dust off my breast.  He was fuming and didn't hide it well.  When I saw the reaction of the wait staff, who were silently thanking the heavens it wasn't their fumble, I decided to make light of our somewhat formal and tense surroundings and tell them that I actually preferred dark meat to light.  True story.  I'm sure Chef wouldn't appreciate me blogging about his botched carving job, but I have to say that it only makes him human.  

The food at Melisse will take your breath away and if you haven't been, GO. You'll be talking about your experience for years to come.  I know that I'll also close every Melisse story I tell with, "And they actually charged us for the whole chicken."

But it was well worth it.  As were the calories in the sticky toffee pudding.


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