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Ortolan, Bastide or Melisse?

o
Obessed Mar 7, 2008 10:10 AM

Help us decide where to celebrate our 3 year anniversay. My first choice was Cut - but I waited too long to make a reservation. Thanks in advance!

  1. o
    Obessed Mar 11, 2008 12:32 PM

    Any thoughts regarding ordering the tasting menu at Ortolan versus regular menu? Any specific recomendations? Thanks in advance!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Obessed
      n
      New Trial Mar 11, 2008 06:34 PM

      If you have the time for it, the tasting menu is a terrific way to experience what Monsieur Eme can accomplish; however, if you go for the regular menu, I am partial to his duck and fish dishes (including fantastic scallops), as well as the beef and the venison. The rabbit, when available, is also wonderful. I have not been thrilled with any of his pork dishes, though--they tend to be dry. For starters, the crispy langoustine and the escargot are my favorites.

      1. re: Obessed
        Maxmillion Mar 11, 2008 08:25 PM

        Of your three choices, I have only been to Ortolan (twice) and was blown away.

        Very spendy, tho...

        With Eme, you could ask for a special menu just for you. I know he'd love to do that, given enough notice. He is such a creative and enthusiastic chef.

      2. o
        Obessed Mar 7, 2008 12:56 PM

        Thanks for all the recos...looks like I can only get a reservation at Ortolan (did I mention I want to go next Friday the 14th) so I think that's where we're going to go. While I really want to try Urasawa at some point, it's a bit over our budget for the time being.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Obessed
          p
          poggibonzzi Mar 11, 2008 08:17 PM

          I haven't tried Bastide; never been disappointed by Melisse, always walked away feeling that was a great meal; tried Ortolan once, never again. A year ago we hit Ortolan on a Wednesday night, had their tasting menu and a couple of drinks. The tab including tip was over $400 for two and the food was easily the worst I've had at that price level. The restaurant was near empty, no more than 4 other tables were occupied thruout the evening, the lights were not even turned on for one side of the restaurant. I liked our table by the herb wall near the bar. I have to grant the food was presented with flourish but the temperature, the taste, the freshness of the food were all sadly off. The quality would be consistent with that of food left sitting around and then reheated just before serving. Given the good reviews Ortolan usually gets, my friend and I were mystified by the mediocrity of the food. My speculation is neither chefs were on hand that evening (Wednesday... few diners) and we were served not freshly prepared food. Maybe the fancy serving contraptions are supposed to distract diners. Whatever... total rip off. Jamais.

        2. n
          namstermonster Mar 7, 2008 12:41 PM

          yes but sometimes it's not necessarily the physical atmosphere, rather the whole experience and in that sense i'd think urasawa would be awesome... small, quaint, INTIMATE.. :)

          1. n
            namstermonster Mar 7, 2008 10:33 AM

            i haven't been to bastide so betw. the other two i'd say that personally i like melisse's food. however, if you're looking for more haute cuisine go with ortolan. i don't like the atmosphere there.. too chilly and not aesthetically pleasing IMO. if it's ur 3yr anniversary, why don't you try urasawa?? :)

            1. a
              AndrewS Mar 7, 2008 10:29 AM

              I hit Bastide for Valentine's Day and was blown away by the food, ambience, and service. The food is interesting, strong flavors, with very solid technique, emphasizing the strength of the ingredients, the patio seating was lovely, and the service was almost comical in its extent (not quite Diaghlev, but close). Very much what one wants for a special occasion.

              Andrew

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