Monday, February 14, 2011

Chef Ben Bailly Takes Over Fraiche Culver City

As I've mentioned in my recent Petrossian post, Chef Benjamin Bailly recently moved to helm the kitchen at Fraiche in Culver City. Kung Food Panda, an avid fan of Ben's, organized multiple tasting dinners for friends and I was able to join one of them. The meal consisted of a belly-stretching amount of food, so instead of going through every dish, I'll just tell you about some of them.

Our multi-course meal started with two jars of  Smoked trout rillette and chicken(?) pate.

It was hard to stop eating the pate, but after my last tasting at Petrossian with Chef Bailly, I've learned that I've had to pace myself.

Then, pretending to be healthy for a bit, we had a course of three salads. Never mind that one of the salads was topped with bacon and blue cheese ..

Frisee aux Lardons (Oeuf Pane, Bacon, Blue Cheese)
Frisee aux Lardons

Belgian Endives - (Coppa, Apples, Pecan, Goat Cheese, Truffle Vinaigrette)
Belgian Endives
This was the first hint of the multitude of truffled dishes to come. As you can imagine, the whole table went gaga sniffing the dishes.

The truffle spaghetti smelled amazing with tons of black truffles shaved on top, but I found the pasta to be too tough to really enjoy the dish. The creamy Sunchoke Risotto with Black Truffles fared much better.
Sunchoke Risotto with Truffles

A spread of seafood dishes followed.
My favorite of these was the Crispy Loup de Mer (Sunchokes Soubise, Mushrooms, Bordelaise)
The skin was very nicely crisped and the meat moist.

Seared Daurade Royale (Braised Endives, Orange, Black Rice, Farro)
Seared Daurade Royale

Seared Scallops (Cauliflower Puree, Roasted Cauliflower)
The scallops were great, but the star of this dish? The cauliflower puree.

Rabbit Garganelli (Leffe, Mustard, Prunes, Tarragon)
Rabbit Garganelli
This was Chef Bailly' father's recipe and was probably my favorite dish of the night. I absolutely loved the added sweetness from the prunes. This is one dish I would most certainly return for. Do get this one!

Hand Cut Maltagliati  (Pork Ragù, Scallion, Gruyère)
Maltagliati with Pork Ragu
Very flavorful and the wide pasta was great, but the sauce was a little too salty.

Duck Confit (Farro, Black Rice, Wild Mushroom, Baby Spinach)
Duck Confit
Tender, gamey duck confit, crispy skin.

We were stuffed by the time desserts came, but of course we had to taste everything.
Panettone Bread Pudding - Gianduja. Hazelnut. Mascarpone Gelato
Panettone Bread Pudding

Ben served an old favorite from Petrossian, the Pistachio Creme Brulee, and the accompanying Apricot Sorbet was just amazing. I'd like a bowl of this for myself next time - it was just incredibly refreshing after the heavy meal.
Pistachio Creme Brulee, Apricot Sorbet

Pots de Creme
Another dessert I really enjoyed was the meyer lemon pot de creme. The tartness was a nice ending to the heavy meal.

Even though we've tried so many dishes that night, there are still tons more that I've heard others rave about that I still need to try, like truffle burger and the squid ink taglierini with lobster. In the meantime, 2 words: Rabbit Garganelli!

9411 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 839-6800
Fraiche Culver City on Urbanspoon



I am so jealous of your beautiful well-lit photos!

Mine look like they were taken in a cave by a blind person.

Kung Food Panda

I approve your post! :P

Glad you enjoyed the meal. Let's go back, ok? :)

Right Way to Eat

Damn, I'm not a friend of Kung Food Panda. :(

Nom Nom on the food!

Joshua Lurie

The daurade and scallops look especially good.

Kung Food Panda

If Mike sees this: If you come out of your hibernation a la the Pandas, let's go! LOL

Fiona: Want to go back to Fraiche in March? :)

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital