Those succulent little heralds of Spring, white asparagus, have arrived from Provence in all their plump, sweet glory and are currently featured as the stars of the menu at Josiah Citrin’s Melisse in Santa Monica. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try them in their signature dish, White Asparagus “Cocotte” with Morel Mushrooms and Yellow Wine Sauce as well as other preparations. Time is extremely limited so move fast… melisse.com
Mélisse in Santa Monica, in keeping with its visiting chef series, is hosting a special event with Chef Sinichi Sato of Passage 53 in Paris. Sinichi, who hails from such luminaries as Gagnaire, L’Astrance and Aida, and is the first Japanese chef in France to receive 2 Michelin stars, will be presenting his modern French Ten Tasting Menu for two nights only: Tuesday, November 27th and Thursday, November 29th. To score a reservation, call 310.395.0881 just as fast as your little fingers can dial…
Alas, we find ourselves woefully between truffle seasons. But those desperate for the fabulous fungus can rejoice: Melisse in Santa Monica has procured a stash of Australian black truffles (fully in season) and is offering an 8 course truffle tasting menu for $345. But they are also offering their signature dishes à la carte as well including: Fresh Tagliatelle (grated black truffles, parmesan brown butter truffle froth), Truffle Risotto (carnaroli rice, mascarpone, shaved black Australian truffles), Sweet White Corn Ravioli (brown butter truffle sauce, shaved black Australian truffles), or the classic Truffle Egg with toasted brioche. melisse.com.
It’s no secret that Josiah Citrin is against the upcoming July voter-approved ban on foie gras. Last night, May 14th, Citrin’s Santa Monica Michelin two-starred restaurant Melisse (melisse.com) held a $200 six course fundraising foie gras dinner with part of the proceeds going to C.H.E.F.S. (Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards), an organization of local chefs dedicated to fighting the California ban. In response, a number of animal rights organizations including the Animal Protection & Rescue League (www.stopforcefeeding.com) held a peaceful protest outside and a media circus ensued. Present were a number of local television stations, Santa Monica police, about 30 protestors, and a few bewildered patrons. Here a few photos of the melee:
This Sunday, April 29th, begins the “5 X 5” Guest Chef collaborative that introduces guest chefs to 5 restaurants in LA. Melisse kicks off the series of dinners over the course of the next few months by hosting a special dinner on Sunday with Chef Ludo Lefebre, who will provide a course “in the style of the Host Restaurant”. The other participants in the 5 X 5 program are:
Monday, May 21, 2012: PROVIDENCE, with Guest Chef Jeremy Fox Monday, July 16, 2012: ANGELENI OSTERIA, with Guest Chef Michael Tusk
Monday, August 20, 2012: BOUCHON, with Guest Chef to be announced
Sunday, September 16, 2012: ink., with Guest Chef Chris Cosentino
Cost is $150 per person plus gratuity and tax and a portion of the proceeds goes to Special Olympics. Make a reservation at Melisse by calling (310) 395-0881, and make future reservations at the home restaurant.
Josiah Citrin’s new book, In Pursuit of Excellence, is just about to be released. To celebrate, Josiah will be hosting a function at his flagship restaurant Melisse on Sunday December 4th from 4pm to 7pm. Hot off the press, the books will be available for signing, as well as food and drink. Space is extremely limited… But if you’re a fan of Citrin’s, why not try your luck by sending yours and one guest’s name to Jannis Swerman at email@example.com.
1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90401 (310) 395.0881
For those of us who make reservations instead of cranberry sauce and pie for Thanksgiving, good news! It’s that time of year when LA restaurants roll out their holiday menus. The first to catch my attention is Josiah Citrin’s elegant Melisse in Santa Monica. His three course menu offers a variety of traditional and non-traditional choices, and at least one vegetarian option available for a main: wild mushroom, sweet onion and burrata torte with a choice of sides including praline pecan yams, szechwan green beans, fresh cranberry sauce. Dessert choices include an apple pie, a pecan pie, a chocolate souffle cake and a pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream and sauce “terre et mer” (“land and sea”… your guess is as good as mine). Cost is $89 for adults and $42 for kids 8 and under. Dinner is served from 3:00pm to 7:30pm on Thanksgiving, November 24th. Make your reservations by calling (310) 395-0881. More information at melisse.com.