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Birthday Dinner with Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing

moyzington May 25, 2011 06:01 PM

I am celebrating my 26th birthday next weekend and am looking to have a great tasting menu with fabulous wine pairings. I have been to Bazaar for my past two birthdays and although I love it, I want to try something different. I have been considering Melisse (I actually have reservations), but I am not sure if the $350 per person is going to be worth it.

There will be 4 - 6 people in our party. We are good friends with a sushi chef, so other than sushi I am open to anything, but prefer New American, French, or Italian.

Any thoughts?

  1. Phurstluv May 31, 2011 09:19 AM

    We just had an incredible chef's tasting menu at The Tasting Kitchen. The cocktails we enjoyed first were sublime. The wine with dinner was a wonderful German pinot noir and when we ordered a white that I thought was a different vintner, it was taken back without pause. Then he opened a second Pinot noir and let us drink that by the glass. The food was outstanding. It was five courses plus dessert, and there was a minimum of two plates per course.

    Tasting Kitchen
    1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

    1. Kitchen Queen May 28, 2011 11:43 PM

      If I had the money, for me, it would be either Providence or Saddle Peak Lodge!

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kitchen Queen
        foodiemahoodie May 29, 2011 12:08 AM

        Really? I'd never put them in the same category. Has Saddle Peak Lodge improved dramatically that past five years? (which is about the last time I went).

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

      2. r
        Robert Thornton May 27, 2011 03:49 PM

        Also agree on Providence and re: 5 vs. 9 courses, I'm not the hugest eater so the 9 is way too much food for me. You can do the 5, which has the awesome rollback pricing, then add another course or two if you want. But if you have a big appetite, you might want to go 9.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Thornton
          Johnny L May 28, 2011 01:51 AM

          For me the difference between the 5 and 9 course is minimal in terms of extra food.

          The extra courses of the 9 course were the uni in egg shell, sea trout, lemon sorbet I loved the uni but the extra desert was really lackluster and the sea trout was alright.

          I would rather have added my own courses off the ala carte menu to supplement the 5 course.

        2. t
          TailbackU May 27, 2011 02:25 PM

          Providence is what you're looking for

          1. j
            Jwsel May 26, 2011 12:03 PM

            I love Melisse. Is the $350 for the carte blanche with wine pairings? I've never done that tasting, but given the quality of food at Melisse, I can't imagine it wouldn't be spectacular. Melisse does have other menus that are less expensive, which I believe can be paired with wines. Most of the other menus allow you to pick and choose items from the different menus (sometimes with supplements). I remember once having the four-course menu (appetizer, fish, meat, dessert) and we wanted to try the lobster bolognese, so they did that as a separate course. (We skipped the cheese course that night.)

            Spago's tasting menu also is fantastic and is less expensive than Melisse's. The last time we went, a friend made a special request that we get one course of the sweet corn agnolotti, which they did. And on a prior visit, we had the best rabbit dish I've ever had. Lee Hefter told us that he only got enough rabbit to use at weekend prix fixe dinners, and I plan on seeing if we can request a rabbit dish on my next visit.

            176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jwsel
              ipsedixit May 26, 2011 08:28 PM

              Is the $350 for the carte blanche with wine pairings?


              Yes, although price varies.

            2. perk May 26, 2011 10:22 AM

              Providence is doing a "rollback" prices on tasting menus. It's either though June or starting in June, so you might want to check. But it's a wonderful restaurant, and at those prices....amazing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: perk
                samtron608 May 26, 2011 10:26 AM

                Providence is the way to go, but make sure to skip the 5 course tasting menu and go with the next one up.
                if not, Hatfields is a decent bargain for their tasting menu (i consider it one of the better "budget" tasting menus)

                1. re: perk
                  TailbackU May 27, 2011 02:25 PM

                  Discount only applies to the 5 course menu.

                  9 course and chef's tasting prices remain unchanged.

                2. m
                  msmd310 May 25, 2011 09:10 PM

                  Providence FOR SURE!!!!

                  1. goodhealthgourmet May 25, 2011 08:55 PM

                    ipse gave you 3 great options.

                    other considerations:
                    Scarpetta (i *think* they do personalized tasting menus on request)

                    8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                    225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                    1. ipsedixit May 25, 2011 08:15 PM

                      In no particular order of preference ....


                      The Royce



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