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Mar 8, 2011 07:48 AM


Looking to take my wife out for her birthday. Need great food, and also looking at romantic picture...altho food would be #1 priority. Really want this night to be special. Should I be thinking about tasting menus ? Plese help, I'm counting on you guys !

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  1. There are a few threads if you check the search function for this type of thing. More importantly though, what does your wife like?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chezwhitey

      We are open to all food types She loves seafood, Japanese, and we both love fine dining. Money will not be an issue as I am looking for SPECIAL evening. I know there are other threads but some of them seem to be dated. I was thinkink of the tasting menu at Spago or Providence but wanted to hear other ideas. Thanks

      176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    2. Saddle Peak Lodge. Rustic romantic and timeless. Wonderful food.

      and here is their tasting menu

      Saddle Peak Lodge
      419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

      3 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        looks wonderful Have you tried this tasting menu?

        1. re: sdv231

          I have dined at Saddle Peak and love their food (their elk is incredible) but have not had the tasting menu yet . It looks great.

          1. re: wienermobile

            I've tried the tasting menu there and it was great, but the chef Adam Horton recently left though. Hopefully their kitchen can still keep up.

      2. It sounds like Providence is perfect.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jaykayen

          Agree, if she loves seafood go with a tasting menu at Providence.

          1. re: Nicole

            Yea, Providence is wonderful. And if you let them know it's a special occasion, I'm sure they'll work with you to make it even more so. Really nice people....

            1. re: perk

              Once I went there for my birthday and we got an extra free dessert with a candle in it. :) A nice touch that I definitely don't expect from a high-end restaurant. Service was excellent, as always. You might also note that you want to be seated in the main dining room when you make your reservation. The last time I was there they seated us in the bar area, which is not nearly as nice (this is the only time this has happened). They were unable to accommodate my request for a different table, but were gracious about the problem and at the end of the meal they gave us a nice box of chocolates (which were incredible!) as an apology.

              1. re: Nicole

                Agreed, had the tasting menu 3 years ago and still remember it very fondly.Great choice if you want a special, memorable evening

                1. re: RoxyGrl

                  Went to Providence two or 3 years ago for our anniversary, and it was a disaster. I know it gets glowing reviews on this board, but the treatment we received couldn't have been farther from what is portrayed here. And the food was hardly destination restaurant fare. The highlight was the mojito gelee amuse bouche, which was admittedly tremendous. The lesson I took from this is that what makes the special occasion is the company you are keeping, and its better to put the evening into the hands of one of your tried and true places. Experiment on a new restaurant some other evening...

                  1. re: lawdog262

                    Providence IS a tried and true place for many of us. I have been there several times for special occasions and never left disappointed.

                    1. re: Nicole

                      My point is that even a restaurant with a reputation like Providence can screw up a special occasion, particularly for those who aren't regulars. i'm not going to trust the boards for special occasions again. i'll trust my own experience. BTW, I went to Providence for my anniversary specifically because of the extraordinary praise it got on this board for service and food. What I got out of that was having to convince my wife we shouldn't walk out about 1/3 of the way through dinner. Not really the romantic experience I was trying to create...

        2. The first 2 places that come to mind are Piccolo and then after reading your reply, Mori.

          1. I'll throw in Maison Akira in Pasadena. For my husband and I, this has always been a special and romantic destination. I think because it's so quiet, unhurried, and formal in an old-fashioned way.

            In case you're not familiar with the food, Chef Akira is Japanese but trained in French cooking. So the very fine menu has elements of both. I always get the miso marinated sea bass, which the menu proudly notes was served to the Emperor and Empress of Japan when they came through town in 1994. The restaurant also offers small plate versions of most of their dishes, so you can sample different things, and they offer a couple of tasting menus.

            Maison Akira Restaurant
            713 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101