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Melisse last week... a little LONG - but aren't all my reviews?

woo! | Jan 4, 200508:31 PM

So last week (Thursday?) my wife and I, along with another ‘hound and his wife went to dinner at Melisse. Great. Fantastic. Had a wonderful time.

Didn’t realize I was going to write it up until the meal was almost over, so I don’t have great notes, but here is what we ate and drank:

Amuse – Tomato Tart w/Crème Fraiche

Amuse – Shot glass w/Cucumber Gelee & Lobster Tartare

Course 1 – Poached Egg with Cauliflower Sauce, chive crème fraiche topped w/caviar – One of my FAVORITE things that Josiah makes. REALLY GOOD.

Course 2 – Foie Gras Two Ways – Torchon (and it was a PERFECT torchon) with apricot puree/jelly, Seared with a lemon zest and a Sauternes reduction sauce

Course 3 – Lobster with a black truffle sauce – done perfectly. The lobster melted in our mouth. It was great. Did I mention that the foie gras torchon was perfect?

Course 4 – Smoked Sturgeon with Celeriac topping – wow. Great piece of fish. Perfectly cooked with a good, but not overpowering smoky taste.

Course 5 – Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. OK, not quite. Holy cow this was good chicken. It’s his famous chicken. We asked that it be done as part of our tasting menu, and they obliged. The chicken was done PERFECTLY, and I mean PERFECTLY… getting truly perfect chicken is not as common as one would like to think. I think fowl enters a “zone” right after getting cooked through but before getting DONE too much, and this bird was in the zone. The potatoes were actually pureed potatoes with browned butter and they were DIVINE. The “gravy” was more like demi-glace, rich flavor, really great. And the veg/beans were perfectly cooked. Sounds like a pedestrian course, but it really took chicken to heights past a mere chicken. Am I crazy, yes a little bit. Oh I almost forgot, there was one other little thing they did to the chicken. Yup. They stuffed sliced black truffles into the bird between the skin and the meat so it had a great yummy truffle flavor infused into the skin, flesh and fat. Not mention we had sliced black truffles. There are worse things. 

Course 6 – Beef Tenderloin stuffed with foie gras, served with escargot on arugula and a red wine reduction. Perfect steak. Made better by foie gras… doesn’t foie gras make everything better?

Course 7 – We decided we wanted more truffles, so they made a simple Risotto and covered it with white truffles. Amazing. How come we can’t eat truffles everyday? Seriously good.

Cheese – Great cheese cart. Had probably 8 or 9 different cheeses.

Strawberry Sorbet

Dessert - Chocolate 3 ways. I can’t remember too much right now, but it was good.






That’s about it. Great evening. Great food. Chef Josiah really does try and perfect everything… and I appreciate it. We’ve eaten at Melisse many times and have never had a bad meal.

Oh wait, the wines. They were great, but I had a bad thing happen that I’m trying to block out of my mind…

What we drank:

1997 Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes – Great white Burgundy. Loved it. All chardonnay should be white Burg. Bought from Melisse.

1998 Chateau d’Yquem – What else are you gonna have with foie gras. Ridiculously young and early to open it, but also ridiculously good.

1989 (I think vintage?) Volnay En Caillerets Clos des 60 Ouvrees – Seriously folks… wines like this is why we have people who are crazy about Pinot. And why we let our hearts be broken by mediocre pinot noir all the time. You buy Bordeaux with your brain, but Burgundy with your heart. This one was magnificent.

1995 Chateau Haut Brion – What a great wine. Classic first growth from a great vintage. TOO BAD IT WAS UNBELIEVABLY CORKED. Yes it was, I’m not kidding. Heartbreaking. Came right out of my perfectly temperature controlled cellar too. Bummer. I’m sad. Things happen. Oh well. So of course we bring back ups… a little young, but….

2001 Araujo Eisle Vineyard Cabernet – Hopelessly new world. Hopelessly California. Hopelessly wonderful and fruity and killer and great and tasty and will last a long time. REALLY GREAT California cab. Not a bad back up wine.

That’s all folks. Good meal with pals. Not bad. Now I’ve got to run we’re meeting the same couple for dinner at Dal Rae…

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