Restaurant: Republique [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
Location: 624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036. (310) 362-6115
Date: December 16, 2015
Cuisine: Modern Bistro French
Rating: Nice (loud) space, tasty hip food, great service
OMG, Republique again! This time with the Babykillers group for some serious old Nebiolio. Gaja and Giacosa, 1990s, 1982s and older!
1996 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésimé. VM 93. Musky, pungent, leesy nose hints at spice, fresh hay, chlorophyll, toast and Sancerre-like gaminess. Very rich and full, with superb concentration and density and a solid dosage Crushed stone and lime skin flavors carry through on the tactile, gripping, almost dusty finish. This struck me as distinctly Krug-like, as in Krug Clos de Mesnil, but then this chardonnay specialist is also located in Le Mesnil. A superb example of the ’96 vintage, offering an uncanny combination of sheer material and stylishness.
They had dug into a charcuterie plate before I arrived and these pates were about all that was left of it.
It’s also worth noting that tonight we ordered off the menu family style, while normally I’m upstairs in the private room with a set dinner. So this fare is (menu and season allowing) exactly what you can get just walking in.
It might be an old B dinner, but you still have to have some Chard.
2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières. Burghound 91-93. A spicy, cool and airy nose of slightly exotic white orchard fruit, acacia blossom and Asian tea nuances leads to rich and palate coating medium-bodied flavors as there is plenty of dry extract that adds a real sense of volume to the mid-palate. There is really lovely intensity and detail to the lemony and bone dry finish that is presently notably austere. This beauty will also require extended cellaring.
2012 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières. Burghound 90-93. Strong reduction. The mouth feel here is slightly finer than that of the Charmes with a bit more minerality as well to the relatively broad-shouldered flavors that are shaped and supported by a firm acid spine on the impressively long finish. This is more refined but not quite as complex though both wines are lovely and worth your consideration.
Escargots en Croûte. garlic, parsley. These are an awesome updated take on the classic snail prep. The snail is underneath, with all that garlic goodness. You can basically use the delicious puff to soak up the sauce.
Charcoal-Grilled Mediterranean Octopus. asian pear, pomegranate, cabbage, pistachio, chile, lime. This looks like a chickenless Chinese salad. It tastes vaguely Vietnamese. And while pretty good, the octopus is hardly to be seen.
Gruyère & Potato Beignets. tarragon, mustard aïoli. Curtsey of the house! Super gooey and cheesy inside. Yum!
1961 Gaja Barbaresco. Agavin 93. Really in great shape. Still tons of fruit and it opened up with classic Barbaresco nose.
1978 Gaja Barbaresco. Agavin 86. We had 2 bottles of this. The first was cloudy, and had a weird nose at first, but opened up and wasn’t bad.
The second bottle. Agavin 78. Was corked and pretty nasty.
Pappardelle. Italian white truffles (minimum three grams – price per gram).
With shaved truffles. This was a nice buttery mild pasta. The truffles this year are a bit flat (not Republique’s fault). The pasta was perfectly cooked.
Cavatelli. black trumpet, chanterelle & porcini mushrooms, parmesan. An awesome pasta. Light, bright, with a nice textural bite.
Green Fettuccine with crab and uni. Not your ideal Barbaresco pairing, but actually the uni was very mild in this dish and it worked well. Very tasty pasta too.
New Bedford Sea Scallops. baby root vegetable slaw, red flame grapes, capers, verjus, brown butter.
1982 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco. agavin 88. We called this the “classico” or “villages”. It was a little weird at first, not funky, but off kilter, then opened up really nicely and balanced. It never got nearly as good as the single vineyard, but it was nice. Very tannic though, as all the 82s were.
1982 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Rocche Falleto. 92 points. Very tannic also, but much more expressive and complex than the classico.
1982 Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn. 94 points. The 1982 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn, on the other hand, was awesome. It revealed superb depth in its core of generous fruit, with superb concentration as well as balance. It was a memorable wine in every way. In the late 1970s and 1980s Gaja often waited to harvest until very late in the growing season in order to achieve the ripeness he was looking for. 1982 was the last vintage made with this method as subsequent vintages brought warmer weather than had previously been the case.
Mary’s Organic Rotisserie Chicken. fingerling potatoes, black kale, mustard, chiles, chicken jus. Good chicken. The sauce/kale was amazing. The only problem was that we waited exactly 56 minutes from our last pasta until this came 🙂 Republique was slammed, and totally full even on a Tuesday, and their kitchen does it right, but takes a while.
Cassoulet. white beans, pork belly, duck confit, sausage. Great stuff. Full of all sort of rich goodies and a really tasty bean sauce.
1990 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba. 96 points. WOTN. Just an awesome, young, complex Barolo. Massive still, but really nice long flavors. All Barolo nose.
From my cellar: 1990 Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn. VM 97. The 1990 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn opens with a wonderfully expressive, floral bouquet that leads to a finely-knot core of ripe red fruits, sweet tobacco and spices. Here the warmth and generosity of the vintage offer superb balance and fleshiness to the wine’s sculpted, well-articulated aromas and flavors. The wine’s overall sense of harmony is spectacular. agavin 95. So big, purple, brooding. Still tons of tannin but tons of powerhouse fruit. Not yet as integrated as the Giacosa. This puppy needs at least 5, maybe more years.
Sliced steak. A solid good steak.
Frites. Double fried. Awesome.
And some hollandaise or whatever.
Apple & Blackberry Tart. vanilla ice cream. I almost never have dessert here for a variety of reasons. Wine dinners with only cheese. Or like tonight, they take so long. So I just had Taylor bring this. It was a very nice tart.
Overall, a super fun evening.
Food was super delicious. It did take forever. It often does downstairs. You just have to be prepared for it. The kitchen is very on point though. Every dish was hot, fresh, and as it should be.
As usual Taylor did an amazing job with the wine service. We had new glasses for each flight. He decanted and opened with his usual expertise. Awesome.