Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Providence: Anniversary Tasting Menu

Chef Michael Cimarusti has clearly made a name for himself working from the original Spago in Hollywood to his seven-year stay at Water Grill. Now, being owner and chef of two Michelin star-rated Providence and having been on Bravo TV's Top Chef Masters, Chef Cimarusti is a chef's chef. Greatly respected and yet ever so humble, his passion for food is clearly portrayed in every single dish.

During the month of June and July (I know I'm late!), Providence was having a fabulous special: 5 courses for $65. What a great deal! My last trip to Providence was almost a year ago, but remained one of my most memorable meals so far. Having had the full 16 course chef's tasting menu last time, I thought five courses would be a breeze. Joining J and I for dinner was one of our favorite couples and avid foodies, T and F. It was their last nice dinner before their beautiful baby girl was due.



Koshihikari Echigo
Prosecco


bacon roll 

nori foccacia

sourdough

As usual, my favorite bread out of the three was the bacon roll. The nori was delicious, but J liked the usual sourdough which was surprising since he loves bacon.

amuse bouche: gin and tonic, margarita and Tasmanian salmon



During my last visit, I really loved the greyhound and mojito spheres, so I was excited to try the margarita. It had a nice kick due to the tequila and was quite refreshing. I also loved the gin and tonic gelee due to its acidity, but J was not fond of this at all. The salmon was his favorite, which had a great crunchy texture from the rice crispies. He sure loves his crunchy food.

course 1 (supplement): kumamoto and malpeque oysters, traditional mignonette, cocktail sauce consomme

T suggested we start off our meal with some oysters. I love oysters, so I happily obliged. Kumamotos are my favorite oysters and they were briny, creamy and sweet - just plain fantastic.The malpeques had more body than the kumamotos but were only slightly briny with a clean finish.


course 2: kanpachi, rice cracker

The first course out of the five from the anniversary menu was the kanpachi served with a mayo-based sauce with endives and rice crackers. The cut on the kanpachi was nice and the fatty flavor was delicious. The endive and crackers gave a nice contrast in texture compared to the silky fish.


course 3: black island scallop, light curry sauce

Our next dish was a perfectly cooked scallop in a light curry sauce. The sauce was flavorful yet not overpowering, which worked harmoniously with the scallop and the salad on top. I really enjoyed the salad and thought the mild onlin flavor from the scallions and a mint finish really brightened the dish.

I also ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio that I forgot to snap a photo of. But, I do remember the wine being velvety and crisp in the beginning with a bitter finish.

course 4: halibut, basil sauce, olive tapenade

Here was another perfectly cooked piece of fish at Providence. Not surprising.While the fish was cooked beautifully, the dish was a tad too salty for my taste. The flavor of the olive tapenade was also forefront and almost too prominent to my liking. I did enjoy the basil sauce, which went well with the fish.

course 5 (supplement): foie gras ravioli with truffle

One of my favorite dishes of the night! I'm a little upset I did not have this during my previous visit when I had the full chef's tasting menu. From now on, this dish will be a staple in every one of my visits to Providence. The earthiness from the truffles pair so well with the richness of the foie gras. While this dish looks a bit rich, it was not heavy at all. Maybe because I only got one piece of ravioli...

course 6: veal tenderloin, maitake mushrooms, sweet peas, almonds

Our last savory course of the evening was another one of my favorites. While Providence is known for their seafood, I was surprised to find myself in love with this veal dish. The tenderloin was impeccable! The herbaceous greens to the earthy mushrooms and crunchy almonds, this dish was an amazing way to end our savory courses.


Hibiscus Esoterica (with a picture of our server behind the glass)

A lover of port, T inquired about some dessert wines and our server suggested the Hibiscus Estoeria. I had a taste and it was delicious. It was sweet and honey-like - very nice.

course 7: lemon curd with raspberry jasmine sorbet

We ended our dinner with a great dessert course, something I always look forward to at Providence. The lemon curd with raspberry jasmine sorbet was tart and fruity - a nice change from the veal. The marhsmallow reminded us of a sweet popular Asian candy. Even though I was incredibly full by this point, I still managed to clean my plate.

minigardises: banana nougatine, caramel chew, chocolate macaron

We were given minigardises of banana nougatine, caramel and chocolate macaron at the end of our meal. The macaron was my favorite, but hey, I just love macarons.


I was really full by the end of the meal and with only seven courses deep, I was quietly thinking to myself how I ever got through 16. Even though it has been quite some time since my last meal here, this meal still confirmed how much of a big fan I am of this restaurant and especially of Chef Michael Cimarusti. His food is beautiful, tasty and sophisitcated. You also might spot a celebirty here as we saw Conan O'Brien dining with friends while sporting a full beard. And during my previous visit, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake with friends sat right next to us, but TMZ was nowhere to be found. If you haven't had a chance to dine here yet, please go now and if you get the tasting menu, don't forget to add the foie gras ravioli!



Providence on Urbanspoon

Providence in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170
http://www.providencela.com/


10 comments:

Gastronomer said...

A killer feast! Your supplemental dishes looked and sounded phenom.

Anonymous said...

OIshi-so. Especially that foie gras ravioli.

Looking forward to the Tokyo report as I'll be using it as research for my trip in December. Head on over to Ice Cream City, try the unagi ice cream, and report back!

JM

Marie said...

Swoon. Would love to eat here someday.

nelehelen said...

cathy - the foie gras ravioli and veal made my night! killer indeed...

JM - Ice cream city?! why haven't I heard of this place yet? I'll definitely research and hit it up. Thanks for all the great tips!

Marie - You must go!

bagnatic said...

i hear they are having another 5 courses for $65 in october. the wheels in my head are turning....

Diana said...

Danny from Kung Food Panda and I went to the anniversary dinner at Providence in June too! I looooved it. Food is top notch, service is top notch, there's bacon brioche.... yep, definitely a happy place! :)

food je t'aime said...

oh man that foie gras ravioli is SO on my to-do list!

nelehelen said...

amy - really? when in october??

diana - i know! i saw danny's post haha! your meal looked epic!

christina - the foie gras ravioli was orgasmic! lets go grab dinner soon!

Pandalicious said...

omg.. everything looks good!! the halibut looks so succulent! i still need to try providence.

bagnatic said...

Providence "October Fete"
October is traditionally a month of gustatorial celebration. Beginning October 1st, 2010, Providence is reintroducing our popular 5-course tasting menu at $65 per person* for the entire month of October.
October Fete Five-course Tasting Menu $65.00
(exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages)
*parties of 10 or less only
Menus change daily

October is also the beginning of white truffle and wild mushroom season! Chef Michael will be featuring these fleeting delicacies in a number of dishes throughout the month of October.
Advance reservations are available at by calling(323)460-4170. Join us for a festive and delicious October!

happy eating!

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