Location: 5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. (323) 460-4170
Date: August 7, 2017
Cuisine: Cal French
Rating: Awesome food
It’s been almost 3 years since I last went to one of LA’s few remaining “formal” restaurants and so the Foodie Club ended up back at Providence.
Providence mysteriously persists in a somewhat annoying corkage policy. They do have “no corkage monday”, which is nice, but it isn’t really no corkage, it’s “no corkage on 2 bottles but don’t bring any more.” We managed to bring a few more, but still they are sticklers with the limit. I don’t mind the corkage but hate the limits. Anyway, this wine was off their list:
NV Drappier Champagne Rosé Brut Nature Dosage Zero. BH 90. The color is paler than that of the regular brut rosé. A pretty and slightly more elegant nose features a similar aromatic profile but with more evident yeast character. There is fine intensity to the delicious and vibrant flavors that are supported by a firm and definitely finer mousse, all wrapped in a bone dry and youthfully austere finish where a hint of bitter cherry pit appears. This won’t be for everyone as the dryness is pronounced; I happen to like it but it would be fair to say that this is not a charmer. With that said, a few years of bottle age should serve to round off the austerity and add a bit of depth as well.
Truffle foie bite. Best amuse, and an amazing (and rich) bite.
Seb brought: 2005 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Chambolle-Musigny. VM 90. Good medium red. Dark raspberry, coffee and spicy oak on the nose; this wine’s flamboyant ripeness almost came as a shock following the more reticent 2006s. Big, round, plush and ripe, with spicy dark raspberry and chocolate flavors and considerable density for village wine. Quite smooth and harmonious at the moment: Roumier volunteered that this is not as closed yet as he expected it would be.
From my cellar: 1993 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares. BH 92. Earthy, deep and wonderfully fresh fruit leads to dense, solidly tannnic, beautifully delineated and focused, rich flavors of exceptional purity and length. While the finish is firm, it is by no means hard and there is excellent buffering sève all underpinned by vibrant acidity. There is plenty of wine here but this is a wine for the patient and it should live for years to come.
Dusty brought: 2010 Promontory Red Wine. VM 95+. The 2010 Promontory is rich, powerful and intense, with a core of inner sweetness that is compelling. Today the 2010 is quite exotic in its aromatics, but is less available and forthcoming on the palate. I would prefer to cellar it for a few more years.
One of the 3 entree choices:
Another light wine:
Larry brought: 2000 Harlan Estate. JK 96+. The 2000 Harlan Estate is in a beautiful place today. Soft, open-knit and nicely mellowed by age, the 2000 is absolutely gorgeous, with soft contours to match is engaging personality. Mocha, black cherries, leather and spice are all quite forward in this succulent Harlan Estate. The 2000 might not be a profound Harlan Estate, but it is a striking wine that is peaking today and that should continue to drink well for at least another few years.
Petite Fours of pate de fruits, chocolates, and macarons.
This was a great night and lots of fun. I was so full from the butter factor and the supplements that I couldn’t handle the cheese course. Sigh.
The food was very good, but the format is long and heavy, and they do use A LOT of butter. After growing used to the more rustic and less buttery more casual places that dominate LA these days Providence does feel a bit old school. I still like the tasting format, particularly in Europe at playful top places like Azurmendi.