Today is: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Ortolan Restaurant Review
Picture a romantic retreat in the French countryside where days conclude with
fireplaces and elegant meals, and you have the essence of Mille Fleurs.
which is located on West Los Angeles, offers a warm and charming atmosphere that
plays host to stunning haute cuisine. Christophe Émé, executive
chef and owner’s
menu, which changes daily, delicately melds European culinary traditions with local
California ingredients. The result is sensational and exquisite fine dining which,
as evidenced by numerous awards and national recognition, makes Ortolan one of the
most significant dining establishments in Los Angeles.
As we were escorted into the dining room I felt as if I was entering the country
home of a good friend and gracious host. A roaring fire glowed on the hearth, and
flickering candles sat on every table. High crystal chandeliers while rich covered
the upholstered chairs and carpeted floor. After ensuring that we were comfortably
seated, our server began a graceful dance from table to table, entertaining and
checking on guests with ceaseless energy and gregarious charm.
Executive Chef Christophe Émé
We were soon greeted by Christophe Émé, executive chef and owner, whose own enthusiasm
and attentive service would prove to greatly enhance our experience. Eager to allow
us to begin our meal, he offered to bring a glass of Montadon French Brut before
bringing the menu. This champagne, he explained, had been a mainstay
on Mille Fleurs’s
wine list for years, continuing to elicit enthusiastic feedback
from diners. The
gently effervescent brut lived up to its reputation—offering
a hint of creaminess,
crisp acidity, and a subtle but lingering finish.
Our server then presented the menu, which Executive Chef Eme revises daily, explaining
new dishes and encouraging us to ask questions. The tasting menu
a seven course
meal of two starters, two entrees, sorbet, a cheese plate and dessertsounded
intriguing, especially when our server described the
chef’s intent as presenting
“a crescendo of flavors.” However, we knew
of his reputation for certain dishes,
and spying a few on the day’s menu
that were not offered as part of the tasting,
we opted to order a la carte.
We began with an amuse bouche, a petite offering Egg and Caviar Cooked in Hot Ash
Whipped Cream and Vanilla Rich yet delicate, one bite was full of complexity
elegance. Perfectly composed, the flavors and textures worked in harmony so
the delicate taste of the egg was mirrored in the delicate texture of
the egg shell,
almost a tease that left us wanting more.
Our first course Langoustine Crispy Langoustines was described to us as
awakener” that would pair perfectly with the Montaudon.
We eagerly looked forward to our next course, as Chef Eme’s soups have
a bit of fame. The soups itself spoke of elegance and harmony,
with layers of flavor
and a complexity not unlike a fine wine.
Roast Duck Suprème with Cherry Tomato
We immediately discovered why; the evening’s Roast Duck Suprème
with Cherry Tomato
was a masterful concoction that was
at once comforting, intriguing, and intense.
Roasted Lobster With Black Truffle and Salsify
Next we tasted the Roasted Lobster With Black Truffle and Salsify, each bite tasted
of the essence of lobster, with a hint of earthiness and a subtle suggestion of
so rich with flavor I twice closed my eyes to fully savor a sensual spoonful.
the soup’s complexity and elegance was unrivaled, we found our wine pairing
close second; a Paraiso 2004 Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, while Californian,
evoked the romance of Burgundy. Well structured, with fruit
balanced by smoke, it
was by far one of the better pinot noirs I had tasted.
As our second course was cleared, I glanced at the full dining room around me.
in the evening, the restaurant had filled quickly, and black-clothed staff
gracefully and effortlessly around the room. The staff was so attentive,
date’s yet-unused fork, which had inadvertently become the target of
a stray drop
of soup, was quickly noticed and replaced without missing a beat.
Such formal, elegant
service offered a refreshing taste of old-world tradition.
Roast Rack of Lamb with orange Reduction
Looking forward to our main course, we perused the extensive and award-winning wine
list. I ordered a glass of Chateau Pont St. Martin Bourdeaux, which promised
match the elegant complexity of the Roast Rack of Lamb with orange Reduction. My
date, eager to sample Chef Woesle’s famous Wiener Schnitzel ordered
a E. Guigal
Cote Du Rhone, hoping for a bit of boldness.
The lamb was brilliantly inviting—three succulent ribs spanning out in a broad array
atop Savoy cabbage, with a golden brown honey mustard sauce and a trio of fresh
herbs. The lamb itself seemed rustic, bursting with character of Provincial France,
while the elegant preparation transformed the ingredients into refined haute cuisine.
The duality of the dish—simple ingredients combined in heightened complexity, seemed
to embrace the soul of French cuisine. The Bordeaux was a grand accompaniment, mirroring
the lamb in refined complexity with layers
of spice and dark fruit, and for one
moment I truly felt
as if I was in the French countryside.
With each bite offering the satisfaction of comfort food, the amazing dishes
made me realize that everyone should at some point visit Ortolan,
their knowledge of French cuisine or fine dining.
Our dessert, almost dainty in its elegance, proved the perfect conclusion to our
truly astounding meal. The Panna Cotta Lavander and Blood Orange Caviar. Together,
the elements combined in gentle harmony, the quark infusing richness into a delicate
cake-like consistency. As we savored the light dessert we felt our palates slowly
cleared of the complex flavors we had been privileged to experience.
Having reached the end of our leisurely meal, we found our visit to have been filled
with graciousness, warmth and charm; the harmonious combination of atmosphere
cuisine working to transport us to another time and place. While we found ourselves
reluctant to return to reality, we were thrilled to have experienced Ortolan,
magical establishment that for over 3 years has continued to offer one of
exquisite, enjoyable, and evocative meals in Los Angeles.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at www.ortolanrestaurant.com
Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx
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