As a follow-up to our 8th wedding anniversary celebration, MK took us to the Holy Grail of romantic dining: French cuisine.
Once in a while, one encounters true excellence, perfection and professionalism. This experience leaves one want to improve ourselves; to push ourselves in our daily personal and professional lives in hope to some day join in their ranks. Josiah Citrin’s Melisse is one of those places.
We have been to some great restaurants. But this place, Melisse, transported us to Paris. Or rather, Melisse transformed our taste buds to pursue perfection. The layer upon layer of tantalizing tastes exploded in our mouths. I sat there transfixed in my seat trying to decipher the various notes Mr. Citrin tried to teach us. In his latest book aptly entitled, “In Pursuit of Excellence“, Mr Citrin gifted us pages upon pages of food pornography.
Here are some of the most memorable dishes for me:
Egg Caviar: the juxtaposition of the salty graininess from the caviar with the warm soft poached egg was simply… heavenly.
Wild Japanese Grunt Fish “Isaki”: soft as cloud uni, fermented apricots and toasted buckwheat. I was never much of a uni person until tonight.
Truffle Risotto: big chunks of truffle shaved over freshly made creamy risotto at the table, enough said.
21 Day aged Liberty Duck: cooked to perfection in median rare; with black mission figs, forono beets, and black elderberry jus. I’ve eaten ducks from Beijing to New York, this is the best duck I’ve ever had.
Wild Copper River King Salmon: paired with Dungeness crab, razor clams, and morel mushrooms. I had to close my eyes to focus on one sense at a time.
Melisse tea: steeped in melisse,lemon grass, ginger. The aroma and taste of this ambrosia was the perfect send-off gift.
As we were leaving, I spotted our waitress. She is a middle-aged woman: elegant, polite, knowledgeable, and effortlessly efficient. She serviced six tables in our area, and the attention to the minutest detail she and her colleagues lavished on us was extraordinary. I walked over to give her a hug. I wanted to let her know how much her professionalism was appreciated. I don’t know about you, but I have never EVER felt the need to hug a waitress in a restaurant. But the perfection Melisse provided absolutely deserved one.
Now I don’t know where Monkey King is going to be able to take us for our tenth anniversary!
Just got back from Paris a few weeks ago and had the most exquisite dining experiences, in which one of the highlights was duck confit. A trip to Melisse sounds divine – and will spare the airfare expense…thanks!
I love duck confit too! Saving airfare expense! Thanks for putting it into the right perspective, Yvonne!
I love Melisse! Have been going for many years, sparingly as the prices are pretty high, but have never been disappointed
Oh absolutely! My husband won a “fine dining” gift certificate from his work, so we used that as our “down payment” for this meal ;) By the way, I love your blog “Campari and Sofa”! I am honored that you read mine.