Today is: Saturday, August 19, 2017






Ortolan Restaurant Review

Picture a romantic retreat in the French countryside where days conclude with
glowing fireplaces and elegant meals, and you have the essence of Mille Fleurs.
The restaurant, 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 quite 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
and elegance. Perfectly composed, the flavors and textures worked in harmony so
that 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
a “palate awakener” that would pair perfectly with the Montaudon.

We eagerly looked forward to our next course, as Chef Eme’s soups have
garnered 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 cream
so rich with flavor I twice closed my eyes to fully savor a sensual spoonful. While
the soup’s complexity and elegance was unrivaled, we found our wine pairing a
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.
Early in the evening, the restaurant had filled quickly, and black-clothed staff
wove gracefully and effortlessly around the room. The staff was so attentive,
that my 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
to 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
that made me realize that everyone should at some point visit Ortolan,
regardless of 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
and 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,
a magical establishment that for over 3 years has continued to offer one of
the most 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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