We went to a Michelin-starred restaurant in Santa Monica called Melisse. Here are the highlights from that experience. We stayed at this lovely little boutique hotel called "The Ambrose" and they were nice enough to provide a car back and forth to Melisse.
Wade dressed for the evening...
...and Kimberly as well in front of the restaurant.
A little amuse bouche: a tomato mousse bite, and an heirloom tomato in a pistachio crust.
I feel so sorry for all you gluten-free people.
Another amuse bouche, this one a scallop.
The first course, and what a wonderful one: a soft poached egg, topped with lemon creme fraiche and caviar. Oh, and did we mention the wine pairings?
This is a foie gras terrine, actually constructed as a layered mousse. There are hazelnuts on top and Japanes yuzu fruit on the right.
Rosemary scented eggplant soup with turnip, potato chip (in the soup) and whipped black truffle. It doesn't look like much, but when the truffle aroma hits your nose, you know it is going to be a treat.
Their "Caprese" salad of heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese, green zebra coulis and white chocolate flakes.
Each time there is a choice, we have to get one of the regular and one of the upgrade. This is the regular course: a Santa Barbara spot prawn with cucumber and citrus chive butter...
...and this is the upgrade: truffle risotto with mascarpone cheese.
Santa Barbara black cod with mussels, pole beans, and a saffron rouille.
A shot across the restaurant for atmosphere.
Choice #1: the flat-iron steak with sweet onion and the most wonderful chanterelle mushrooms and a couple of gnocchi.
Choice #2: the Devil's Gulch rabbit "cassoulet", wrapped in ham as if it weren't rich enough.
I got carried away and started eating this before I remembered to take a picture. They call this a "cheese Danish": St. Agur, figs, Burgundy truffles, arugula, and honey.
Tarte au Fraise dans un Verre: strawberry tart in a glass with a strawberry sugar crust on top.
Don't look at the prices.