Capo Hits a Triple

Restaurant: Capo [12, 3]

Location: 1810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, Ca. 310-394-5550

Date: September 14, 2011

Cuisine: Italian with Cal influences

Rating: The food here is really very very good.


Capo is an occasional favorite of mine and I’ve reviewed it before HERE and HERE. They have a particular high end (but not formal) blend of California style (Farmer’s Market ingredients) and Italian tradition. But it’s not a strictly traditional Italian, more interpreted through a vaguely Tuscan / California vibe.

The intimate dining room.

They have very good bread at Capo, particularly the crispy things.

Capo always puts out this little humus-like spread. I suspect it’s fava beans. It’s addictive though.

We settle down to examine the MENU, which is big, and always a difficult decision because there is so much great stuff on it. They have an odd menu format, in which each item is identified by only it’s principle ingredient, forcing you to guess or ask how it’s actually prepared. Plus they have “fill in the blanks” on the menu which are filled in by a separate sheet of daily specials. No big deal, but it’s kind of bizare. Doesn’t matter though, as the food is great.

I got this 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva at the vineyard in Tuscany. It was just released as it’s aged for 5-6 years in old oak. “From vines in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, is gorgeous, layered and elegant in its violets, tar, licorice and cherries. The finish is long and impeccable, but this is a somewhat ethereal style, with aromas and flavors that are already a touch forward relative to most 2004 Riservas. Ideally the wine is best enjoyed within the next decade. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.”

It’s worth noting that Capo has a peculiar corkage policy (I rant on it here). In short, you can bring one and no more than one bottle, and that it must not be on their list.

The amuse, a cone of tomatoes. Essentially like a tomato bruschetta — in a crispy cone.

“Heirloom tomato vegetable salad.” Very fresh Farmer’s Market vegetables.

The same salad, but with Burrata. Which, like bacon, makes everything better.

“Burrata black truffle bruschetta.” Besides the shaved vegetables and the bread underneath this is a big blob of burrata, fresh truffles, and a whole poached egg! It was pretty good, but decidedly rich. In some ways similar to my special eggs, in some ways like the famous Melisse truffle egg.

“Steak tartar.” The fries and aioli are obvious. The meat was delicious! There was a lot of pepper in there, and olive oil. But mostly it just tasted of wonderful raw beef. One of the better tartars I’ve had. Maybe a little shaved parmesan would make it even better!

We killed the first bottle (from my cellar) and bought this one off the list. It makes a horizontal of sorts, being another 2004 Brunello Riserva. It was good, but not quite as good as the Potozzine. “The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as lean and powerful in its expression of red cherries, tobacco, spices and earthiness. The aromas aren’t perfectly clean and the wine’s structural components seem to have the upper hand over the wine’s density and richness of fruit, suggesting the tannins will ultimately dominate the wine’s overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018.”

“White corn ravioli.” You can’t beat fresh pasta in a butter sauce.

This is “buccatini with lamb ragu,” and it’s one of the best pastas I’ve ever had.  I’ve come back like three times for it. I love a good ragu, and the buccatini (spagetti with a tiny hole in the middle) is perfect. The dish is rich and meaty, divine. I always order it.

Capo has an impressive wood fire in the corner that they cook a lot of the entrees on. The prices are pretty punitive, but they’re good. Plus the fire lends a wonderful wintery smell to the whole dining room.

Bronzino, grilled, with vegetables.

Dover sole.

Veal chop, nice and rare.

This is the “chocolate soufflé,” an excellent implementation of the classic. You have to preorder it at the beginning of the meal.

And they add a big dollop of fresh whipped cream.

The “chocolate volcano cake,” also with whipped cream, also preordered.

And this. This was to die for. “Meyer lemon semifreddo,” with a blueberry or blackberry sauce. Everything about this was spectacular, one of my all time favorite deserts. The cold-soft texture, the bright lemon flavor, and the tart sweetness of the berries. OMFG!

A nice plate of little petit fours, not so usual at American Italians, more french. In Italy sometimes you’ll get treated to little almond cookies and shots of grappa or sambuca.

So to conclude, Capo is hands down delicious. The food is VERY VERY GOOD, and the service is top notch. The intimate little atmosphere is great also. It’s just very expensive — definitely not a good value — perfect if someone else is paying :-).

Two other Capo meals HERE and HERE.

For more LA dining reviews click here.

Or for a legion of great eating in Italy itself, here.

Peace in the Middle East? – Mezze

Restaurant: Mezze

Location: 401 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. 310.657.4103

Date: May 31, 2011

Cuisine: Modern Middle Eastern

Rating: Really tasty!


For a long time in the 2000s Sona was my favorite restaurant in LA, and I was sad when they closed last year. Mezze is a totally new restaurant that opened in the same space. It’s much more casual, a modern middle eastern with a mostly tapas style menu and an emphasis on farmer’s market ingredients. I love middle eastern flavors, so I was excited to see what they’ve done with the concept.

The chef,  Micah Wexler, has a star studded pedigree too, having worked variously in LA at Vincenti, Melisse, Patina and Craft.

All the wines are from my cellar as usual. I had gotten a case of this Cal Pinot in 1997 at the vineyard and I noticed it in the corner of the cellar while picking wines. This was the last bottle — most of the rest probably having been drunk over a decade ago — and it turned out that the extra years really served it well. Having been well cellared its entire life the wine came out of the bottle like a middle aged burgundy, slightly brick in color and deliciously pinot fruity.

The menu. Even the “large” plates aren’t that large. We ordered around three things per person and it was about right.

The old Sona space has been opened up and repainted, lending a lighter more casual style.

“Spring Tabouli, Green Garlic, Fava bean, Pancetta, Almond.” A very nice tabouli, made richer by the addition of big ham chunks. This is from the grain school of taboili, some are a bit stronger on the parsley/mint thing.

“Beet Salad, Chickpea, Sheep’s Milk Yogurt, Haloumi.” Beet salads are a menu staple in recent years, but this one was as good as any with the yogurt serving well as the “fat.”

“Wild Salmon, Purple Onion, Rye Bread.” This dish was made entirely by the fish, which was sashimi grade and top notch.

“Fluke Crudo, Cherry, Green Almond, Tahini.” This dish was just a little bland. The cherries were yummy, but the fish, while impeccably fresh, didn’t have a lot of flavor.

Parker gives this Chateauneuf du Pape a 95. “Bottled at what I suspect is the whim of Paul Feraud, the 1989 and 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Laurence were tasted side by side with the Cuvee Reservee. Although the Cuvee Laurence is no better than the Cuvee Reservee, they are more evolved, with more complexity from the extended cask aging. Ultimately, I think the Cuvee Reservee will surpass them, since the development of that wine will take place in the bottle, not in wood, but it is more backward and less evolved. The 1989 Cuvee Laurence is slightly sweeter, richer, and more opulent than its younger sibling. However, both wines are enormously constituted, thick, rich, classic, old style Chateauneuf du Papes the likes of which are rarely seen today. Both wines carry 15+% alcohol. They will be worth a special effort to find and purchase.”

We also ordered a series of flatbreads (aka pizza). This one is “Green Cauliflower, Moroccan Olive, Feta, Golden Raison.” The feta/raison thing worked: sweet and salty.

“Flowering squash, syrian cheese, zatar.” This was good too, but more mild.

“Merguez Sausage, Fontina, Tomato Jam, Aleppo Pepper.” I had high hopes for this one, but it just didn’t have enough punch. There was nothing wrong with the flavor, but the sausage was too mild, and the tomato muted.

“Grandma’s Chopped Chicken Livers, Sour Plum Mostarda, Challah.” This tasted exactly as advertised, like homemade chicken livers!

The challah is a perfect bread for it too.

“Soft Shell Crab, Heirloom Cucumber, Gem Avocado, Smoked Egg.” Nice and interesting combo, although it was a small dish and split by 6 people resulted in merely a bite.

“Shawarma, Amba, House Pickles.” Nice little meat, pickle and flatbread sandwich. Although I would have liked the meat to punch out a bit more in the flavor department.

“Poached Egg Shakshouka, Yogurt Emulsion, Sweetbread, Pita.” I liked this dish a lot. It tasted mostly of tomato and yogurt, a bit like “ricotta and gravy.”

“Lamb Shoulder, Green Wheat, Dukkah Spice.” A very nice lamb dish. The meat had that full on lamb flavor. This was not a sweet lamb prep like some middle eastern ones, but more on the salty/meaty side.

“Sea Urchin, Israeli Cous Cous, Lemon, Mint.” Very soft tapioca type texture, with a some sea urchin flavor — very pleasant.

“Veal Manti, Almond Milk, Black Lime.” Manti are a type of dumpling, like Afghan Mantoo (see here). While we each only got a bite this was a very good dish.

“Hashweh Risotto, Lamb, Burnt Onion, Fried Lemon.” Nice. Rich too and gooey.

The desserts.

Parker 94. “The 2007 Laurel, a blend of 65% Garnacha and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, is deep purple-colored with a bouquet of wet stone, Asian spices, black cherry compote, and incense. Dense and sweet on the palate with tons of spice, it is super-concentrated, rich, and smooth-textured. Give this lengthy effort 2-3 years of additional cellaring and drink it from 2013 to 2027.”

This is an amazing wine, deep grape.

“Semolina Pound Cake, black lime, Indian lime, mulberries, hibiscus.” This was my least favorite of the desserts, although there was certainly nothing wrong with it — just a mild sweet cake with fruit.

“Roasted Aprium, honey, basil, pistachio.” Aprium made me think of a Latin noun, but they’re just apricots crossed with plums. In this particular incarnation however, they were wonderful — and the ice cream went perfectly!

“Lebne Cheesecake, rainer and brook cherries, rose.” A wonderful light cheesy fluffy, which went classically with the cherries.

“Strawberry Parfait, sasame, sumac, halvah cream.” This was probably my favorite. The strawberries were really intense and the cream — well exceedingly creamy.

“Rose Malabi, rhubarb, market berries.” Also fantastic, this was basically rosewater (which I love) flavored pannacotta with berries.

We recieved a little parting gift of spicy saseme bright. I totally dug this stuff, and it had a bit of a burn.

Part of the surgery done on the old Sona space is opening up the kitchen.

Overall, I was very impressed by Mezze. Not every dish was spot on, but they varied from good to great and they get serious points for having a big menu full of interesting flavors and a tapas style format that really favors sampling a lot of stuff. The prices are pretty reasonable too considering the quality of the food and how much we pigged out.

For other LA restaurants, click here.

Melisse – How much would a Woodcock…

Restaurant: Melisse [1, 2]

Location: 1104 Wilshire Blvd.Santa Monica, CA 90401. (310) 395-0881

Date: December 15, 2010

Cuisine: California French

Rating: Awesome. Top of its game!


My foodie friend EP wanted to do a final Foodie Club night before he left for year end vacation so we hastily (24 hours) gathered a few like-minded gluttons. It took a bit of calling to find someplace that had space and was willing to allow the mega tasting menu on short notice. This same group had gone to Melisse last March, and we arranged to return. Chef Josiah Citrin promised to mix it up, and do something extreme. We were game! (hint hint)  The result is this modified Carte Blanche Menu ++ special edition.

The first amuse is a Melisse staple. Grapes two ways. Out of the spoon are half grapes coated in goat cheese and pistachio. On the spoon sphereized grapes dusted with pistachio. The first has a nice contrast of the sharp cheese and the fruit, the second is an explosion of grapeness.

There were four of us, and I had brought 3 bottles of red, but the Sommelier wisely suggested I pick a white off the list to start. Knowing the chef I opted for this Chablis. I love good Chablis. Parker gives this one a 93.  “The Dauvissats’ 2006 Chablis La Forest (a.k.a. “La Foret” a.k.a. “La Forets”) smells effusively of peony, citrus, and peach. It is strikingly bitter-sweet in its alternation of peach and citrus with peach kernel-like cyanic bitterness; displays deep chalkiness; and finishes with amazing grip and length. Past the nose, this is one of the least generous of 2006 Chablis, being remarkably tight and for a young 2006, but very impressively concentrated. The 2005 rendition was almost severe in its concentration, yet also very impressive. It should merit following for 10-12 years, and is probably best rested for a year or two. The 1999 tastes glorious, and youthful today; the still almost sharply-citric 1996, like liquid chalk and white truffle.
Vincent Dauvissat’s 2006s were finished with both alcoholic fermentation and malolactic transformation by January. Overall – and particularly in the Grand Cru range – Dauvissat’s 2005s are marginally less exciting than his 2006s, and in certain instances, surprisingly, more opulent and exotically ripe. In both recent vintages, Dauvissat’s wines (even the generics) are pushing 14% alcohol, although in tasting the 2006s in particular, you’d never guess this.”

And there is perhaps nothing better in the world to pair Chablis with than a bit of oyster. This “Carsbad Del Sol Oyster, Finger Limes and Chives” was as Chef Citrin called it, “essence of oyster.” Dominated by a pleasant brininess, like early morning at the sea side. This is not for everyone, but if you are a seafood lover like me. Oh boy. And the mineral tones of the Chablis just sang with it.

Next up is this “Hokkaido Scallop, Santa Barbara uni, Cauliflower, Lemon.” Pretty isn’t it? The scallop was luscious, but the uni was to die for. Not even a hint of fishy, it had a rich nutty tone. I was temped to lick the dish.

Because this is such a delightfully elaborate (aka EPIC) meal, I’m going to show the sequential presentation of many dishes. This “Artichoke soup, Parmesan Fritters, white truffle” begins with the solid ingredients. There is a bit of relish underneath the fritter.

Then the soup is added. The soup itself was the perfect infusion of cream and artichoke. Every spoonful counjured up the vegetable. The fritter was a little cheese explosion. Bravo!

No trip to Melisse would be complete without the classic, “Egg Caviar, Lemon Creme Fraiche, American Osetra Caviar.” It’s a classic for a reason. The Creme Fraiche is so good, and there is raw egg yolk at the bottom. Amazing combo, particularly with the little toast stick.

We killed the Chablis during that round of “starters” and it was time to move onto this bad boy. The 1991 Hermitage La Pavillon! 100 points of perfection. “This is a Le Pavilion of mythical proportions. Produced from extremely old vines, some dating from the mid-nineteenth century, with yields averaging under 15 hectoliters per hectare, this is the richest, most concentrated and profound wine made in Hermitage. The 1991 Ermitage Le Pavilion follows the pattern of the 1989 and 1990-it is another perfect wine. The saturated black/purple color is followed by a compelling bouquet of spices, roasted meats, and black and red fruits. Enormously concentrated yet with brilliant focus and delineation to its awesomely endowed personality, this extraordinary wine should age effortlessly for three plus decades. Very powerful and full, yet displaying silky tannin, this is a seamless beauty! Anticipated maturity: 2001-2035.”

And the bread arrives. I went for a piece of bacon, and a  basil brioche.

“Seared Foie Gras & Pheasant Consomme, Foie Gras Agnolotti, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Shiso Infused Pheasant Consomme.”

The soup is added. The ingredients themselves were great. But it was the broth that was mind boggling. Combining the rich taste of pheasant, with the bits of fat melted off the fois in the consomme, with the bright tones of the Shiso (a leaf I adore, in the mint family). Oh my. It was incredible. It reminded me of the broth from the Urwasawa meal we had 10 months ago.

And the hits keep on rolling. “Santa Barbara Ridge back Prawn, Pummelo, Shellfish Jus.” The sweet meat of this puppy meshed perfectly with the citrus butter tang of the sauce. I  had to use the remains of my bread to mop it all up.

What is an epic French meal during truffle season without some fresh white truffles!

“White Truffle Risotto, Carnaroli Rice, Mascarpone, Shaved White Truffles.” There is a little Risotto under that sea of truffle foam. It had a nice soft cheesiness to offset the delicate Umami flavors of the truffles.

Now we’ve killed half a bottle each and it’s time to go bordeaux. Parker gives this 96 points. “What sumptuous pleasures await those who purchase either the 1996 or 1995 Pichon-Lalande. It is hard to choose a favorite, although the 1995 is a smoother, more immediately sexy and accessible wine. It is an exquisite example of Pichon-Lalande with the Merlot component giving the wine a coffee/chocolatey/cherry component to go along with the Cabernet Sauvignon’s and Cabernet Franc’s complex blackberry/cassis fruit. The wine possesses an opaque black/ruby/purple color, and sexy, flamboyant aromatics of pain grille, black fruits, and cedar. Exquisite on the palate, this full-bodied, layered, multidimensional wine should prove to be one of the vintage’s most extraordinary success stories. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2020. The 1995/1996 vintages are two of the greatest back to back efforts Pichon-Lalande has ever produced, including the 1982/1983 vintages.”

Erick and Simon are starting to show the wear and tear of the evening’s pleasures.

“Eastern Tile Fish ‘Amadai’, Kohlrabi, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Carrots, Cucumber Infused Consomme.”

As the consomme went down the sensuous summer smell of cucumber wafted back at us. The fish was perfectly done, but it was the consomme that I really found marvelous here.

And now for the main event. Two roasted Scottish Woodcocks!

“Scottish Woodcock, Truffled Brioche, Navet, Sauce Perigourdine.”

After saucing. In the front is a bit of breast on the brioche, at the back half the head and beak, and on the right the thigh and leg (and claw). First of all, the sauce had this rich truffle quality that was just outstanding. Then the breast was a perfect medium rare example of poultry at its finest. Chef Citrin informed us that these puppies had been aging for 3 or 4 weeks! It was wonderfully gamey. Seriously gamey. Intensely gamey. The thigh had a rare almost bloody quality. But oh so good.

Chef Citrin shows us off an example of the bird (he’s the white sleeved arms). Wild caught in Scotland. He personally plucked the feathers on ours.

I have to show off the remains because you can see the bird brain a bit better. That long sticky thing by the knife is the beak, and there the skull with half the brain. We were pressured into sucking on the brain, some of us with more gusto than others (Erick!). It had a rich taste, not unlike bone marrow.

The game goes into overtime with the final savory, “Venison Loin, Juniper-Praline Yam, Chanterelles, Chickory, Poivrade Sauce.”

Sauced. This venison was perfect, incredibly tender and flavorful. The Yam was like a desert, incredible, almost like pecan and pumpkin pie together.

Les Fromages.

Spiced pears and candied cumquats.

One of my favorite cheese in the world, Eppoisses. Strong, gooey, stinky!

Lower left: Pont-l’Eveque

Orange center: 18 month aged Gouda

Lower right: Fourme d’Ambert

Right center: Bourgogne (i think)

Upper right: Epoisses de Bourgogne

Upper left: Selsurcheres (sic, couldn’t spell well enough to find on google), goat cheese

“Vanilla Yoghurt, Strawberry Compote, Strawberry Sorbet.” I’ve had this before, but I didn’t mind. Basically strawberries and cream. Yum!

After warming up with the 1995, we rolled back to the 1989 Lalande. Incredible! “Speaking of superior vintages, Pichon-Lalande’s 1989, although not as profound as the 1995, 1994, 1986, 1983, or 1982, is a beautifully made wine. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a sweet, roasted nose of rich cassis fruit, herbs, and vanilla. Lush and round, this medium to full-bodied, nicely-textured, layered Pichon-Lalande possesses low acidity, outstanding ripeness, and beautiful purity and balance. It is already drinking surprisingly well, so owners should not hesitate to pull a cork. It should continue to offer rich, seductive drinking for another 15+ years.”

Another dessert repeat — but again we didn’t mind. “Chocolate, Chocolate, Coffee, Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch, Coffee and Mascarpone.” The souffle gets its little injection. All are great, but the coffee and the crunch are my faves.

I’ve had passion fruit desserts at Melisse before, but this was a slightly new take. “Passion Fruit Parfait, Lemongrass and Coconut.” There is tapioca in the “soup” beneath. Very interesting complement. Very south east Asian in flavor profile, and refreshing.

The petite fours. I’m not a huge cannelle fan. The fruit with Creme Fraiche was great though. I’d have preferred the classic marshmallows and pate de fruits myself, but this is about my only “complaint” with the entire meal, so I think I’ll survive.

Our special custom menu.

Reuben and I before the meal. I neglected to get a photo of how we looked 4.5 hours later!!

Chef Josiah Citrin pulled out all the stops for this meal, and it showed. Hands down spectacular! The restaurant has two Michelin stars, and it deserves every ounce of them. Personally, I’d put this meal up against any I’ve had in France at a three-star. The service is amazing too. The setting is not as fully formal as some French three-stars, or the service quite so orchestrated (that level is more amusement than actually pleasant), and there are no zany carts for teas and sugars, but the food and creativity demonstrate Melisse’s deserved position as one of America’s top kitchens. Not only were the ingredients worthy of a Roman Consul’s plate, but  the masterful command of flavors were in full view.


For another Melisse meal, click here.

Or for other Foodie Club meals, click here.


Food as Art: Melisse

Restaurant: Melisse [1, 2]

Location: 1104 Wilshire Blvd.Santa Monica, CA 90401. (310) 395-0881

Date: March 3, 2010

Cuisine: California French

Rating: Awesome, but heart stopping.


I’ve been going to Melisse for years but I could never convince a whole table to try the chef’s “Carte Blanche” menu. Even my ever-patient wife wasn’t up to it. So I went last March with two other glutton gourmands (my Foodie Club) and we went to town. We even added in some supplements. This meal was 7-8 months ago so I apologize for lapses in my memory, hopefully made up for by pretty pictures.

The first Amuse was grapes done two ways, on the right covered in goat cheese and a nut, and on the left spherized.

I brought wine from my cellar as usual. A meal of this magnitude called for a Grand Cru burgundy. In this case a 1995 Mazis-Chambertin. I’ve long been a burg-hound, and this didn’t disappoint.

Melisse has excellent bread in the modern French style. I’m particularly partial to the bacon bread. This meal was also used by both my friend Erick and I as beta testing for our DSLR based food photography. After having to stand back from the table and annoy other guests with a big flash I went out that week and bought a 50mm compact macro lens and a macro flash ring. Now I’m golden. Food is a tricky subject because while it doesn’t move, the natural habitat is often dark and it’s a small subject that must often be filmed from very close (normal lenses don’t like to focus under two feet).

I can’t say I remember what this amuse was, but the Japanese pottery is pretty. If I had to guess I’d say herring or mackerel of some sort.

I think this was Fennel Flan, Valencia Orange Gelee, Cashew Froth. This is the kind of dish Melisse excels at. Things involving cream.

I can’t remember this either, but it’s a good bet here that when something looks creamy or buttery, it tastes great.

“Egg Caviar, Lemon Creme Fraiche and American Osetra Caviar.” A Melisse classic. This has a wonderful creamy/eggy ness.

“Trio of Melisse Foie Gras. Dated Confiture, Pineapple Gastrique, Tarragon.” Because one fois isn’t enough.

In no time the three of us had plowed through the Mazis-Chambertin and I had to pull out the 1989 Lynch Bages. This was the first great wine I ever bought when I began serious collecting (and drinking) in ’96. It’s remained a nostalgic favorite of mine ever since. Parker gives it 95 points and says, “The style of the two vintages for Lynch Bages parallels the style of the 1989 and 1990 Pichon-Longueville-Baron. In both cases, the 1990 is the more forward, flattering, and delicious to drink wine, in contrast to the more massive, backward, tannic, and potentially superior 1989. The opaque purple-colored 1989 is less evolved and showy. However, it looks to be a phenomenal example of Lynch Bages, perhaps the finest vintage in the last 30 years. Oozing with extract, this backward, muscular, dense wine possesses great purity, huge body, and a bulldozer-like power that charges across the palate. It is an enormous wine with unbridled quantities of power and richness. The 1989 requires 5-8 years of cellaring; it should last for three decades. These are two superb efforts from Lynch Bages.”

This is the “Truffle Egg.” It wasn’t on the menu, but I’ve wanted to try one for some time. We were going to each order one but the waiter wisely convinced us to share. It’s a crazy poached egg like thing in a truffle butter sauce with a buttery foam on top. Then…

Fresh black truffles are shaved on top.

Voila! It tastes as good as it looks.

This single shrimp and single stalk of asparagus from a specific California farm was quite excellent. The shrimp was almost lobster-like. Buttery sauce of course.

I think this was a mushroom/scallop soup with a Japanese-like flavor pallete.

And this was a monkfish with various vegetables and sauces.

Sonoma duck, config of leg, and breast. Quail egg. This was really tasty, particularly the breast and everything when smeared in the egg yolk.

Beef of some sort, including the marrow.

And the Carte de fromage. My favorite. Melisse has always had one of the best cheese carts in town.

Get a look at that runny Vacheron or Epoisses in the middle (the orange round one).

We ended up with these.

This was basically strawberries and cream. It was amazing. The strawberry is in gelato/sorbet form.

I think this was “Frozen Passion Fruit Souffle. Pistachio, Coconut, Lemongrass Broth.”

Lest we forget the chocolate, we each got like five kinds. The soufflé had it’s own injector. It’s called “Chocolate, Chocolate, Coffee. Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch, Coffee and Mascarpone.”

Here in tripple form. Remember this is but the third of several deserts, after the cheese!

Wafer thin mint anyone? These petite-fors were actually a bit lackluster, but who had room anyway. The wild strawberries and creme fraiche were good.

We started at 8pm and left close to 1 am. Look how the dining room appeared during our final courses. This was a very (modern) French meal in a lot of ways, following the classic rule of “never too much butter, never too much cream.” It’s very very good though, if a bit on the rich side.

For another Melisse meal, click here.

Or for other Foodie Club meals, click here.