Posted by: guythinks | February 23, 2010

Vinoteque on Melrose

By now Valentines day has come and gone. Love was in the air…for that one day of the year. Isn’t that ridiculous? Whoever came up with that idea must have really not loved their special person. Anyway, for Valentines day I had the pleasure of dining at a small wine bar/restaurant by the name of Vinoteque on Melrose. The reason for the “on Melrose” is because their original location was in Culver City, but they moved to the location on Melrose in 2009. For Valentines day, the menu was prix fixe at $55/person with an optional $15 wine pairing.

The concept of the restaurant is to offer and serve many wine bottles along with small plates. They have a vast array of wines that are all on display inside on their wall of wine. They have a very interesting way of offering wine by the glass. If there is a bottle of wine you like but they don’t serve it by the glass, as long as you purchase two glasses from that bottle they will serve you and then offer the rest of the bottle up for anyone else who wants a glass. They let you know which bottles of wine are on the “communal table” by displaying it on a board inside.

Sadly I had forgotten my camera at home on this night so I had to take pictures with my iPhone. So please accept my apology for the poor photography.

First amuse bouche: Kumamoto Oyster, mojito granite & micro mint. This was the very first time I had ever eaten an oyster. Surprised? Well it was definitely a whole new ball park of flavor. At first I got the strong salty flavor of the ocean and then after I was able to taste the mint and the oyster itself. I enjoyed it very much.

Second amuse bouche: Big Eye Tuna Crudo, green peppercorn vinaigrette, micro cilantro, watermelon radish. The tuna was so soft and fresh it melted in my mouth and the avocado had such great flavor and was seasoned so well, but unfortunately overpowered all the other flavors on the plate. I wish it was a smaller amount of avocado so that I could get a taste of everything else.

First appetizer: Kabocha Squash Soup, creme fraiche foam. The soup was thick and smooth and was full of squash flavor. The creme fraiche added a nice lightness to the soup. I didn’t think there was anything that stood out about the soup but it was good.

Second appetizer: Mizuna Salad, pomegranate dressing, satsuma oranges, prosciutto, crispy shallot rings. This salad was packed with flavor and texture. The sweet and tart oranges were similar to mandarines and the pomegranate dressing also had about of tanginess. The prosciutto gave the salad a bit of a saltiness and the crispy shallot rings added to the texture for the finishing crunch. A well balanced salad.

First entree: 28 Day Aged NY Steak, truffle pomme puree, rippini, bone marrow bordelaise. The truffled potato puree was really creamy and had a nice smooth taste. The truffle didn’t really stand out to me, probably because they used truffle oil. The rippini was seasoned really well and cooked al dente. Not too soft but not raw. As for the steak, it was cooked really well and seasoned really well. I only wish it was served a little warmer because by the time I was on my last piece it was almost cold.

Second entree: Pan roasted squab, glazed baby carrots, chipolini onions, cherry. When taking a quick glance at the plate as they placed it on the table, the first thing I noticed was the three bite sized pieces of squab and the single glazed baby carrot. I was a little disappointed with the quantity on the plate but the flavors were great. The squab was pretty gamey, but the flavors from the sweet chipolini onions and the sweet/tart cherry glaze helped mask the gaminess.

Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse, passion fruit puree, almond brittle ice cream. This was probably my favorite part of the dinner. Even though  white chocolate is not my preference, the mousse in the cake was quite good and together with the passion fruit puree which was a bit sour was such a great combination. My favorite thing on the plate however, was the almond brittle ice cream. So delcious, I wish I could buy a pint. The sweet ice cream and the crunchy almond brittle really hit the spot.

Petit four, Lemon Creme Coconut Macarons. This was a last minute change to the menu because originally it was supposed to be petit four chocolate truffles. Nonetheless, a nice way to finish our meal.

Lastly, we were given a breakfast chocolate muffin to go. I ate it the next morning and it made for a great breakfast! Not too sweet but you could definitely taste the chocolate and very soft.

Vinoteque on Melrose

7469 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA.  90046

(310) 860-6060

http://www.vinotequela.com

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Responses

  1. yum!! looks great.


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