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Restaurants & Bars 3

Michael's Santa Monica Saturday Night

WLA | Aug 15, 200510:33 AM

We were taken, (along with another couple) to Michael's Saturday night in celebration of my business partner and her husbands 11th wedding anniversary. I took along a bottle of the 1996 Billecart-Salmon Brut Vintage Cuvee Nicholas Francois Billecart for a little before dinner toast.

First of all we sat out on the patio. This has to be the most romantic, beautiful and quiet patio I have had the pleasure to dine on.

The highs were the patio and service and my appetizer, (seared Hudson Valley foie gras with roasted persimmon, organic polenta and caramelized garlic jus) which were all wonderful.

The main courses were all just okay. I had the crispy maple duck breast and let confit, (as did my bus. partner's husband). The duck breast portion was cooked quite nicely but the leg confit was a bit overdone and the little wild rice and Brussels sprouts mix it was sitting a top was eh, (supposedly flavored with blood orange Grand Marnier sauce but the taste was so mild as not to be noticeable).

My bus. partner tried the Organic Jidori Chicken breast, which was a bit overdone as well and consequently a little bit dry, but the major fault was the dish was too salty.

My wife had their veal chop which was probably the best of the mains. The side of mashed potatoes was again a bit on the salty side, but flavorful.

Desserts were the warm valrhona chocolate fudge cake, (okay but not great), the strawberry shortcake (pick of the litter) and a cookie and confection plate..eh and the mango sorbet which was fine but pretty unexciting.

I had a glass of their "mixed" Bordeaux with dinner and it was good.

I didn't get a look at the check so I can't report on the tab.

Corkage on the champagne was $20, (and I had actually dropped it off earlier in the day and added $10 for a gratuity as well) and the waiter was right there after we all sat down to pour, and he came back and topped off glasses on time and unobtrusively). The champagne was an outstanding one and I intend to buy it again for the next special occasion dinner I go to.

Again, the service and setting were absolutely wonderful, but for the price the food was just not what I was expecting, (and as others have noted previously, the portions are on the small side).

Michael McCarty stopped by the table and was gracious and was holding court near the front as we went out and was again very engaging.

Overall I would have a hard time going back as the food just doesn't quite justify the price, despite the brilliant service and lovely setting.

Link: http://www.michaelssantamonica.com/

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