Thursday, December 16, 2010

La Cachette Bistro Switches to Tapas Menu for the New Year

La Cachette Bistro is switching to a French-Mediterranean tapas menu come the end of this month. In the meantime, though, you can start ordering items from the new menu as well as the current menu.

A couple of weeks ago, Chef Jean Francois Meteigner offered a tasting of about 10 items for $50 per person. I think I got a few extra dishes when I went, but since blogging about all of them would result in a very, very long post, I'll just give you the highlights (which were still almost all of them ...) to let you know what you can expect. A few were paired with wines chosen by their sommelier, who had to be on her feet since this was the first night Chef Meteigner served the new menu items. I'd say she did a good job, though!

Many of the current menu items make an appearance, just in smaller portions.
We started with the Foie gras terrine and duck rillete with fig jam. Paired with Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Baron de Rothschild Collection, Bordeaux, 2008.

Foie Gras and Rillette
Foie gras and fig, a match made in heaven.

Bacon wrapped dates
Bacon wrapped dates
Sure, bacon-wrapped dates are everywhere now, but I like how the bacon here is particularly crispy. This was paired with a grenache that I had originally thought to be too young, but in fact paired very nicely with each decadent bite.

Duck Saucisson and Figs
Figs with duck saucisson

Smoked salmon, saffron avocado rouille, pickled daikon radish
Lox Sandwich
This is a mini version of a sandwich they have on the current lunch menu, and I loved finding the creaminess of the avocado under the salmon.

There were a slew of well-prepared and well-seasoned shellfish, from mussels in spiced white wine to clams with ginger and butter.

Prawns in a surprisingly spicy lobster marinara sauce

Risotto with bacon, peas, and lobster, served in a mini Le Creuset pot.
Lobster Risotto
This was one of my favorites of the night. The al dente risotto covered in creamy sauce was a great base for the lobster, and what can go wrong with adding bacon?

Duck and lamb cassoulet, lamb sausage. Paired with Cabernet Franc, Domaine de Rocfontaine, Saumur Champigny, Loire, 2008
Just the thing for a cold night, a hearty bowl of tender duck, spiced lamb sausage and of course, tender beans.

Creamed Corn
Creamed Corn
You already know I'm a corn whore. This was less creamy than at most places, which I actually prefer.

Lamb Stew
Our last savory dish is also one from the current menu:
Lamb stew, merguez sausage, couscous, harissa broth.

Apparently, this is a North African specialty - Tunisia to be exact, as may be apparent from the use of harissa. This was another of my favorite, a hearty dish full of spices which I might actually enjoy more than the cassoulet.

The tapas tasting didn't come with dessert, but we couldn't pass up the this beautiful chocolate cherry souffle, served with creme anglaise.
Chocolate Souffle
The deep chocolate flavor was greatly enhanced by the marinated cherries. I only wished there were more of the cherries!

From what I heard, La Cachette Bistro will have the full tapas menu starting on the 28th. They had also enclosed half of the patio, getting ready for service in a heated outdoor area. For current diners, it seems that you do not have to worry as your favorite items will still be on the menu, just in smaller portions to leave room for you to try more things.

La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 434-9509



i wasn't too impressed with La Cachette Bistro about a year ago, but I like the look of this small plates menu

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital