Given that the restaurant was the only dining establishment in that area, Gram and Papa's was fairly easy to find with ample street and lot parking. A lot of the food bloggers were already there sipping on champagne and excitedly chatting away about the amazing meal to come.
burgundy escargots, garlic flan, green jus, yellow flowers
Ludo's preparation of the escargot was not as buttery as other preparations I have had. Although I did miss over indulging in the wonder that is butter, I thoroughly enjoyed the garlic flan and green jus. Garlic, for me, makes everything better - just don't tell bacon I said that. The snails were paired with a bright Spanish white wine which was full of citrus notes. By this point, I was getting really full and a bit tipsy - so please forgive me that I forgot to take a picture.
2007 Palacios Mencia, "Petalos," Spain
columbian river king salmon confit, spring cabbage, orange skin & juniper berries
Next up was poached salmon with cabbage cooked in red wine. The salmon was so moist while the skin was perfectly crispy. However, the bitterness of the cabbage and juniper berries, for me, seemed disconnected from the dish. I did appreciate the spicy notes from the wine which I thought went nicely with the salmon and cabbage when eaten together.
poached jidori chicken, crispy skin with hazelnuts, garden vegetables, bacon royale
Our last savory course proved to be the strongest and one of my favorite dishes of the night. The chicken, having been poached without the skin, was unbelievable moist and juicy, while the crispy bits of salty skin provided the perfect amount of crunch and flavor. The bacon royale was dangerously addicting and the leek salad gave a mild onion flavor that I always yearn for. This dish was paired with 2008 Benaza Godello, previously seen with the escargots. By this time, I had about three different glasses in front with three different wines. I'd be lying if I told you I paired this dish with the correct wine - all I knew was that this dish made my soul cry.
2006 Jo Pithon "Les 4 Villages," Coteaux du Layon, France
brie chantilly napoleon, honey comb, balsamic, frisee salad
I have a lot of "favorites," and cheese is very high on that list. If you speak with any one of my friends, they will tell you that I am a bonafide cheese "freak." One of my favorite things to eat is cheese and honey on a cracker. I felt like this cheese course was specially made for me! Okay, I know that may not be the case here... But when food speaks to you in such a way, you can't help but wonder if there is some cosmic supernatural force working to bring you and such a dish together. The creamy whipped brie with the honeycomb was fantastic and I loved the presence of the frisee salad, making this a real cheese sandwich. The dessert wine was sweet, but not overly sweet especially when paired with the cheese.
2003 Pietri-Geraud Banyuls, "Cuvee Mediterranee," France
dark chocolate souffle, black pepper milk chocolate ice cream, chocolate cream
For our last dessert course, we were presented with our very own impressive chocolate souffle. The souffle was so light and airy. It went superbly with the fruity notes from the wine. The black pepper ice cream was really overwhelming when eaten alone. The souffle and chocolate cream did tone down the strong black pepper flavor, but it was still too strong for me.
This being Chef Ludo's 4th installment, I have to say with much confidence that it has become my favorite installment of his so far. This epic meal was unforgettable and I cannot thank Chef Ludo, Krissy, the staff and the kind people at Fooddigger enough for providing me with such an awesome experience. Thank you also to DomaineLA for the wonderful wine pairings that greatly enhanced the meal. Always pushing the boundaries and constantly searching for innovative ways to provide his fans with soul-satisfying food, Chef Ludo has a gift in making our foodie dreams into reality.
I am so excited that I made my own reservations in late May as I know he will be changing up his menu towards the end. I cannot wait to see what else he adds onto the menu and until then... thank you and happy eating!
Ludobites @ Gram & Papa's
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015