Lyle's birthday is on Monday. In preparation for this monumental occasion, he has declared himself "King of the World" and this is now his official "Birthday weekend". So we kicked it off last night with a visit to the restaurant Providence.
Providence has consistently been ranked among the best restaurants by leading critics and Bon Appetit. Providence garnered a coveted James Beard nomination for “Best New Restaurant” in the United States, “Top 20 New Restaurants” by Esquire Magazine, and “World’s Top New Restaurants” by Travel and Leisure. Gourmet Magazine named Providence as one of the top 50 restaurants in the US. Providence was awarded two Michelin Stars in the Michelin Dining Guide for 2009.Let's just say, expectations were high. We were also going to be seated at the "Chef's table" which is a separate table in a room off of the kitchen that has a full window into the kitchen to see what is happening throughout the evening.
Our chef (and the owner) last night, Michael Cimarusti, is an “Iron Chef America” Champion beating his opponent, Masaharu Morimoto, and has appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”. He was nominated for “Best Chef: Pacific Region” by the James Beard Foundation in 2010. Recently, he was named “2010 Chef of the Year” by Angeleno Magazine.
We had the wine pairing with the meal. Please pardon me if the descriptions aren't as full and flowery as they could be. The night was full and blurry.
Two more amuse bouches came out separately. I saved them to photograph together. Abalone on a stick and grilled squid on a stick with chorizo.
Santa Barbra Spot Prawn tartar in a nasturtium leaf.
Santa Barbra sea urchin on toasted brioche.
Parsley panna cotte, big eye tuna sashimi, caviar and creme fraiche topped with gold leaf.
Our view into the kitchen.
Dungeness crab, meyer lemon gelatin strips, grapefruit, pine nuts and flowering cilantro.
Scallops with season's first asparagus served over a cabbage soup.
Lobster with pea tendrils, baby peas and butter foam.
A toast to this fabulous evening! Only halfway through!
Sweet breads with a red wine rosemary reduction.
Smoked eel on top of fois gras.
Australian Wagu Beef.
The action never stops in the kitchen.
Our sommolier gets cozy with the table.
And then the cheese arrived!
Is this picture too cheesy?
For some reason, the addition of the cheese in the room made everyone get a little serious.
I think we all knew there wasn't a chance of me being serious.
Our chef for the evening. We couldn't thank him enough.
And then desserts began. That's right plural, dessertS.
Lychee gelee, white chocolate coconut soy milk soup.
Panna cotte with rice puffs, and grapefruit foam.
The birthday boy.
Dark chocolate ice cream, graham cracker crumble, brandied cherries and marshmallows.
Peek a boo!
And just when you say to yourself and everyone else at the table, "I can't eat anymore! I'm stuffed!" it arrives...
Petit fours! Miso Caramel, chocolate brownie and a macaroon.
Oh, don't go just yet... we have a lovely parting gift for you,
a box of chocolates to take home.