Spago tasting menu - report
Finally got to Spago on Friday, and my fiancee and I did the tasting menu:
Amuses: The tuna cone and a hamachi ceviche.
-Oyster gratin w/ Osetra cavia - not usually a fan of cooked oysters, but pretty good.
-langoustines with a curry sauce
-lamb with a beet puree
-chocolate bread pudding.
Overall, probably the best tasting menu I've had in L.A. (comparing to Sona, Melisse, and Providence). Very impressed, and will be back to try the Schnitzel. I was impressed by the creativity - seemed very different from the menu itself. Also, they were very accommodating (my fiancee does not eat meat); she had scallops, striped bass, and fatty tuna instead of the three meat plates.
I had a similar meal a couple weeks ago. menu says 7-course tasting for $105, but we definitely got more.
Amuses: Tuna cone, hamachi ceviche, and one other thing i can't remember.
1: same oyster gratin. oyster was BARELY cooked
2: same langoustine
3: same sweetbreads (with a sweet sauce)
3a: 2 people didn't like sweetbreads, so they received gnocchi with rabbit ragu, which was amazing.
4: celery root agnolotti with shaved black truffles (awesome)
5: seabass with a bouillabaisse type sauce (seafood/saffron sauce)
6: filet mignon of venison (incredible. best venison ever(
7: 3 cheeses (Montbriac, Brin d'Amour and one other belgian cheese, I believe)
8: Sticky Toffee Date pudding with praline ice cream
9: 12-layer chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet
great stuff. I think the tasting menu costs more during white truffle season and a little less during black (or summer truffle) season...
My husband and I went last night for our first year anniversary. Our tasting menu was basically the same as listed above but our amuses were different. In addition to the tuna cone, we had bacon en croute, salmon and salmon caviar on blini with crème fraîche and dill, and a squab liver pâté on brioche with a sliver of gherkin. That last amuse was amazing. It was the first time the kitchen has served it and I highly doubt it will be the last. And they were very liberal with the black truffles on both the agnolotti and the venison filet.
We also opted to get the wine pairing and, boy, were we happy with that decision. I thought the only misstep was the fish course, as our fish was red snapper with the bouillabaisse, rather than seabass. I didn't think the texture of the red snapper worked. Also, the lobster in the bouillabaisse was slightly overcooked. But a minor quibble in what was one of the best meals of my life.
I think we're going to have to make this an anniversary tradition. Although, we may have to go sooner since our server told us to come back in the fall for the white truffle menu and, hand to God, as sated (hell, "stuffed") as I was at the end of the meal, the mere mention of "white truffle" got me salivating.
Ahh, the salmon blini... that was our third amuse! sounds like the squab liver pate may be a replacement for their foie courses/amuses (i've had a fruit tar with foie mousse as an amuse there twice).
black truffles on the venison, too? wow, we didn't get that... it was fantastic without them; i can only imagine how good it was with the truffles... *drool*
actually, a couple interesting notes:
first, they usually have a foie gras amuse as well as a seared foie on the tasting menu. not this time, and it apparently wasn't on the regular menu, either.
second, i noticed that in the original poster's menu, he didn't get black truffle pasta, but got kobe beef instead. Sounds like they're trying to give you the same price value regardless of what they serve you.
The celery root agnolotti with black truffle are worth the price of admission alone, IMO. Compare the Spago tasting menu to other tasting menus and you'll see that Chef Lee and Wolfie really are in a class of their own.