Marilayne | Jul 23, 200309:41 PM     2

The only thing I can say about our 20th Anniversary celebration at the fifth Floor is Absolutely Fabulous. The décor in the bar area was rich with subtle lighting that just made you feel sexy. We were warmly greeted and seated as per our 8 p.m. reservation which we forgot to make and the concierge made for us from Hotel Palomar tow months ago. The dining room was more subdued with a splash of pattern in the zebra carpet giving way, I think, to the real floorshow to soon appear on our table. I would just like to mention that even though we were dressed in evening attire there were many patrons that were quite casual. On a side note this led to a discussion on what to wear to nicer restaurants and I had to concede that sometime when traveling you don’t always know where you’ll end up and may not have packed the kitchen sink. It was a special occasion for us so dressing up just made it feel more special.

I want to thank every one who has posted here because I could craft a most scrumptious dinner for the evening. Unlike most meals my DH and I have we ordered exactly the same except for the entrée. I knew specifically what I wanted and it was not the tasting menu.

We had cocktails at the table before dinner and our brilliant server, Robert, brought my Cosmopolitan in a shaker, shook and served it tableside. We made a few jokes, and were all amused. This set the tone for the wait staff so they knew we were not stuffy and could relax and enjoy.

I did not take notes but we started with an amuse of an oxtail ravioli and a crab gele`e something-or-other. I knew from the first bite I was in for something special. We then had the Sea Scallop, Sauvignon Blanc reduced with passion fruit, topped with sautéed cauliflower. I’m so glad I ordered from the menu because there were 3 scallops and two bites from the tasting menu would not have been enough. The juxtaposition of the creamy tender scallop combined with the just crunchy lightly browned cauliflower and the acid of the passion fruit was a delight.As heard many times on Iron Chef, “it made me happy”.

Next, we had Lobster Cappuccino. The lobster was served in a bowl then a few dollops of a savory cream with lemon zest and a lobster reduction sauce poured over that to make a kind of lobster bisque. I can’t describe the flavor other than you know when you’ve had the best of a dish you’ll ever have. I told my DH he would have to speak up because I was so elevated off the chair.

Our third course was the Foie gras “Chaud Froid” roasted with bee pollen and cured with Buddha’s hand and Hawaiian salt. Simply divine Foie gras perfectly done and nicely roasted with a hint of sweet to the tongue, maybe the bee pollen.
The other foie was cured with a gelee and complimented the warm foie and I found myself going back and forth, from one to the other.

I was very happy I ordered the Squab Breast roasted with almonds and asparagus with chicken and foie gras terrine because it seemed a lighter entrée after what I had already eaten. The squab was tender and juicy and a wine reduction of some sort poured over it tableside. Although I didn’t really need the two other pieces of chicken I can see how it makes a nice portion for an entrée.
The terrine was cool and refreshing with plenty of foie gras, which my husband helped me, finish. His Niman Ranch Pork Belly was very rich and delicious, he said, but was not my cup of tea.

The service was impeccable, every time I got up I had a new napkin waiting for me, the water was always filled and the army of wait staff for one table was spot on. I had ordered a Pinot Noir and Robert brought a taste, I didn’t like it and he brought a Bordeaux that was much more to my liking. He didn’t blink an eye.

I knew I would be too full to order dessert but my husband had ordered Peaches and Apricots something?. The last one of the evening was brought to the table next to us (who were seated much later than we were) as Robert gave DH the bad news and told him he would take care of it. A few minutes later we were given two desserts, a Fuju Apple braised in Riesling and vanilla with a green apple sorbet and Brookdale (?) Cherries with cream and nougatine. Oddly enough they gave DH the apple which he loves and me the cherries which I love. These were complimentary as they had run out of the peaches. This was followed by a napkined bowl of Madeleine’s and Macaroon’s.

The only glitch to the service was the charge of the desserts which Robert promptly took off.
This was truly a stellar meal which will be remembered on the all time great list of ours.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

11 Cocktail Ingredients You Have Hiding in Your Kitchen
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Cocktail Ingredients You Have Hiding in Your Kitchen

by Pamela Vachon | Making a cocktail doesn't have to involve esoteric mixers and nine different kinds of alcohol, as...

How to Make a Fall Herb Garden, No Matter Your Living Space

How to Make a Fall Herb Garden, No Matter Your Living Space

by Kelsey Butler | Think growing your own is over with summer? Not so. Here's everything you need to know about planting...

9 Ways to Use Your Loaf Pan Besides Banana Bread

9 Ways to Use Your Loaf Pan Besides Banana Bread

by Camryn Rabideau | With the arrival of fall, baking season has officially recommenced, but if you're not ready for another...

11 Sheet Pan Dinners for Easy Meals with Effortless Clean-Up
Food and Kitchen Hacks

11 Sheet Pan Dinners for Easy Meals with Effortless Clean-Up

by Vanessa Simmons | Need an easy dinner that involves just one pan and hardly any clean up? The choice is obvious: sheet...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.