Cache - First visit
Dinner last night with friends. Promptly seated at one of the semi-outdoor tables. Waitress very pleasant and attentive. Cocktails to start (Hendricks martini for me and one friend, alas no blue cheese stuffed olives). Menus and wine list brought in a timely manner. Wine list with several interesting choices, usual mark-up. We shared several appetizers, a salad, a flat bread, and one entree. We began with a mason jar of which they offer several. We had the duck confit, almost like a rillettes, very tasty and a good texture. They also offer a fois gras parfait, eggplant caviar and others. The mussels with frties were next, slightly spicy, well cooked, good broth; we all liked it. Wood grilled calamari were very tasty, served with some chopped tomatoes, well seasoned but a little skimpy portion, afterall it is calamari. The roasted marrow was delicious, a nice piece of roasted marrow bone served with toast points covered with a mushroom tapenade-like paste, very good. We had a sort of disassembled salad that was a nice contrast to the other dishes, with romaine, hard boiled eggs, and I can't remember what else. Our flatbread choice was caramelized shallots with garlic and arugula. the crust was crispy but not too thin, the ingredients were assembled well, good arugula added obviously just before serving so nice and crisp and not too wilted. We also tried an artichoke gratin as a side for our shared entree, it was unremarkable. The entree was the night's special, a rack of lamb carved into three nice chops and served rare with basil chips. It was nicely prepared and very tasty, good quality Colorado lamb cooked just right. In the interest of full disclosure the chef knew our friends and sent out some asparagus, green beans and an order of pommes frites all of which were delicious, especially the frites. We skipped dessert. We had a bottle of 2000 Savigny Les Beaunes and a 2006 Chinon, I can't recall the producers, both were very good. The bill before tip but with the 4 cocktails and wine was a reasonable $300. I would definitely return as the service was very good and there are other interesting things to try.
Sounds like he's trying to be the westside's answer to Church & State. I don't know, I love Walter Manske, and only have a slight appreciation for Josiah Citrin. I know he's good, but I believe Manske's got him whooped.
Decent prices, tho but again, being you were dining with those who "know" him, that could have been a factor.
Thanks for the report!!
"Sounds like he's trying to be the westside's answer to Church & State."
Why would you say that? Before Church & State there was Comme Ca and Anisette. Is he trying to emulate those too?
Palate in Glendale had potted meats too - is he trying to emulate that?
Rather that say "he's trying to be..." shouldn't it be considered a good thing when a chef tries something, likes it and does his own version of it? (Or not his own version, just offers it). I've been to Church & State three times - thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it, but there's little on the menu that is original - and to be honest I really couldn't care less. That's not what Church & State is all about and neither is Cache.
I love Walter Manske...
FYI - yes, he's great, but it's spelled Manzke.
...and only have a slight appreciation for Josiah Citrin. I know he's good, but I believe Manske's got him whooped.
I'd put them both in the same league, but in all fairness Melisse is dine dining restaurant, Church & State is not. If you really think one could whoop the other in a culinarly smack down, go to the 5x5 dinners. You t Go to a few and then decide if one "whoops" the other.
I think you mean whupped, since whoop sounds more like someone being goosed.