Ever since I read Gastronomy’s post about the dessert tasting menu at Providence, I’ve been mentioning it on and off to Husband and whoever else would listen. Along comes my 10th 21st birthday and Husband arranges to have dinner and dessert here with some friends. Awwww…what a keeper!
Husband and I arrived about 20mins early for our 8pm reservation due to misjudging just how bad traffic would be on the side streets… Turns out, our side-street route was faster than the freeways! Muhahaha! LA traffic can’t stop us! Anyways, there was a private party at the bar area so we couldn’t hang out there but our table was ready so we were seated….in the middle of the room. It was a little conspicuous being just the two of us at a table for 10.
We started off with a couple of cocktails while we waited for the rest of the group. I don’t recall the name of our cocktails or even what went into them (bad me!) but mine was something a little fruity without being overly sweet. Husband got something I consider more “girlie” due to the fact that it was in a martini glass with a little flower. I don’t think he liked his as much as I liked mine, though, because he switched to something else as his next drink. I stopped after one since I figured I was going to end up driving home. Plus, I was getting a bit fuzzy from it. I’m a lightweight. Plus, I came with an empty stomach.
I did notice they had a Dark & Stormy on the list which is a drink I want to try due to friends raving about various versions they’ve had. It was also recommended by one of our waiters. Next time….
Once everyone arrived, we started perusing the menu. A variety of bread was served – warm bacon rolls which were quite good, regular rolls and a nori focaccia that was yummtastic! A plate of butter and a little bowl of salt with the cutest little scoop accompanied our bread.
Despite knowing that I was about to down 8 courses of dessert, I decided to indulge. After all, I only turn 21 for the 10th time once… I ordered oysters as a starter and the foie gras ravioli as my main course. Husband opted for chowda and the prime New York steak. Most of our table ended up ordering just an appetizer to save room for the dessert tasting menu.
Before our orders arrived, everyone at the table was served an amuse bouche. This consisted of a house-made marshmallow dusted with wasabi, a cheese-stuffed bread bite and an incredible little glass filled with fish (I think the waiter said trout?), caviar, some crunchy little bits and edible gold. The marshmallow was a pleasant bite with the wasabi being a sweeter version than the more familiar hot one. The cheese bread was delicious, a little tart. The concotion in the glass was one of the highlights of the evening’s meal for me. I absolutely adored this…so much so that I ate Husband’s and another friend’s since they weren’t fans of the fish. I think I would have licked the glasses clean if I weren’t in public….
Our appetizers showed up a short while later. Oysters! *slurp slurp slurp*. There were 6 oysters in this order, served on ice with seaweed decorating the plate. Very fresh, a little briny, and served with two different vinegars, these were excellent.
I stole a couple of bites of Husband’s chowda and oh my gosh, so good! Thick, creamy, just like a proper clam chowder should be. There was definitely a good amount of clam and it was grit-free. I don’t know how many times I’ve ordered clam chowder only to encounter a little grit here and there…or a lot. Seriously, nothing ruins a good chowder like grit…
There was a cheese cart that we spied that had all sorts of amazing looking cheeses so some of our table ordered a plate to nibble on. The selected cheeses were served with bread and complimentary fruits like fig, apricot and apple. The variety was quite impressive – sheep’s milk, blues, soft and hard cheeses, an herbed goat cheese, cheese with truffle bits in them. I tasted one of the blues which was mild for a stinky cheese. The herbed goat cheese was okay but not my favorite. I adored the truffled cheese though. So delicious…
One of the couples split the Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna. I have no idea how this dish tasted but if appearances are anything to go on, this must have been a spectacular dish! The tuna looked to be barely seared, just kissed by flame. The sungold tomatoes and blossoms really added nice color contrast that makes this bowl look more like a work of art. I’d be hesitant to dig in…but only for a split second.
It was main course time. My foie gras ravioli dish was placed in front of me and the waiter shaved a black summer truffle over it. Um…more, please? In fact, I’ll just take that whole truffle… This dish was amazingly decadent but didn’t feel heavy considering what was in it. The pasta was the perfect thickness and cooked beyond al dente without being mushy. The little bits of vegetable in the sauce added a crunchy texture contrast. It was fabulous.
Husband’s steak didn’t wow him. It was good but it was too “fancy” for his taste and didn’t care for any of the veggies that garnished his plate. The bite I tried had was cooked at the requested medium well and wasn’t melt in your mouth but was still tender and moist. But I think I agree with Husband that the best steak is still at Mastro’s.
One of our friends ordered a black winter truffle risotto while her boyfriend got the salt roasted Santa Barbara spot prawns. Like the foie gras ravioli, they shaved truffle over the risotto. The prawns were quite impressive. They came out in a skillet covered with salt. Rosemary had been added as well and you could smell it. Everyone at the table was taking deep breaths because it was just so deliciously fragrant. Each prawn was fished out and split table-side. I was offered a bite and these were fantastic. The prawns were cooked perfectly and you could taste the rosemary.
At this point, I was pretty much full but dessert was still to be had! Stay tuned for part 2 – the 8 course dessert tasting menu! Yup, I still went for it…
You can find more pictures on my Facebook page.
So far, Providence gets 5 NOMs in my book.
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Filed under: 5 NOMs, fine-dining, Los Angeles, restaurant review, seafood | Tagged: 5 NOMs, amuse bouche, appetizer, birthday, bread, cheese, clam chowder, cocktails, dinner, fine-dining, foie gras, Los Angeles, oysters, prawns, Providence, ravioli, restaurant review, risotto, seafood, steak, truffle | 5 Comments »