The Bastide Experience
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Bastide was a wonderful french restaurant that opened a few years back to great acclaim and then suddenly disappeared for revamping. After several years, the restaurant reopened this September with a new chef (ex-Patina chef Walter Manzke) and a new look (still modern with lots of white, but less provincial than before), but the food is still as wonderful and special and the service as attentive as before. I was looking forward to this meal for weeks, and this is how the evening unfolded:
- We began with some rose champagne and spiced nuts - fruity and full-bodied, not too sweet, a lovely way to begin any meal.
- We were then escorted to our table in an intimate dining room. The menu choices were either (i) the 4-course prix fixe or (ii) the 7-course prix fixe. As we are horribly greedy eaters, we all opted for the latter choice.
- Then came the 3 amuses bouche - the first, a interpretation of the lobster taco with a shot of pure clear salsa, a bite of lobster with guacamole puree and a shot of tequila with lime sorbet, second, a hamachi sashimi with a spicy kick, and, the third, tuna tartar on uni gelee.
- The next course was the thai curry seafood soup - a bed of plump prawns and scallops, covered with a thai carrot and coconut soup, infused with garlic. Super delicious and comforting - i could have bathed in this stuff. I think this was my favorite!
- Then, grilled sea bass on a pea (?) puree, surrounded by grilled octopus and squid. The fish was so tender and delicately sweet; the grilled octopus and squid, perfectly smoky and plump.
- Then, pumpkin ravioli with pork belly and parmesan cheese, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar - the ravioli was lovely and sweet, the pork belly flavorful and the vinegar was so thick and syrupy ... yum... maybe this was my favorite...
- Then, short rib with small veggies - fork-tender meat that melted in your mouth.
- The cheese course followed - wonderful little bites from goat cheese, triple cream, blue cheese, etc. served with sweet accompaniments of jam, fruit, and warm toasty raisin bread.
- A melon cocktail cleansed our palates - lime sorbet immersed in a watermelon juice bath.
- then dessert - a chocolate souffle with green tea ice cream and coconut cream, and a shot of warm chocolate milk.
- as if that wasn't enough, we each got 2 pieces of homemade chocolates - I had earl gray and hazelnut.
At this point, i just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. :)
When we were ready to leave, we were treated with a visit to the kitchen to meet the chef.
the complimentary valet parking was a nice touch.
Bastide is a wonderful special occasion restaurant but it is expensive. The two menus are $80 (4-course) and $100 (7-course). Wine pairings are $80 / $100 respectively. But it's worth every penny.
The restaurant is located at 8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA.