I’ve long been a fan of our local Chez Melange, a French-inspired eclectic/international-cuisine eatery in Redondo Beach (South Bay area of Los Angeles - known for our surf, not our food). It’s been here for many years (over a decade surely) and just in the past few years has updated itself in a number of ways. I’ve been there a few times, both the old and new locations, and have even worked there a couple of times back when I did work for a local catering outfit. There’s typically a significant corkage fee but I happily pay it.
This Monday (I know, tomorrow) I’m going to my first “Trust the Chef” night. They pick and choose 5 courses for you, smaller in size I assume, and drinks are BYOB. Naturally I will take the chance to bring a wine or two. I’m short on whites, but wanted to ask the general group here: what would you bring not-knowing at all what will be served? …I have access to most varietals obviously… I’m thinking an 07 Littorai Cerise Vineyard PN, and a Syrah… haha… would you bring a white? what would be versatile enough but still impact-ful?
Something versatile that won’t get in the way of the food. An Italian white, perhaps. Champagne is a good choice, too. Perhaps a Gruner Veltliner. For red, I’d stick with something light-bodied and acid-driven: probably a Pinot. Aged Bdx. could probably be a good pick, too. Just stay away from heavy reds — i.e.: keep that Syrah at home unless it has some age or is a very lean cold-climate example.
Great, thanks guys. High-acid, so I think my original thinking is on-point… a high-acid Pinot and something similar in a white, high-acid and exotic. Chez Melange is known for fresh and contemporary dishes. Small plates with fresh new exotic ingredients…
You can’t go wrong with the broad-matching choices of pinot, bubbly etc. However, I like big reds (Bord, Cab, Rangers), and it seems to me that Chez is NOT decidedly light cuisine. We’re not talking Water Grill or Providence here. There is almost always at least one heavier meat dish, so a big red will probably do fine with courses 3 & 4. You certainly need a white, rose, or light red; but with one of those done early on I’d guess the latter courses will stand up to most reds.
Not that I know if the Trust the Chef is a departure from their normal cuisine.
A local! Awesome! … great to see a local fan on here.
From what I’m seeing, this weekly offering deviates somewhat from their normal fare. I managed to find a couple of sample “Trust the Chef” menu offerings… these of course will not be repeated… but take a look!
Octopus 3 ways
BBQ pork over a fried green tomato
Pork slider with potato salad
Chocolate bacon brownie with bourbon ice cream
Spanish omelet topped with Uni
Truffled crab salad on Spanish cookie with pea shoots and corn
-Salted Butterscotch pudding Creme Brulee with pretzel - Superb combination of salty and sweet, the one washing the other.
-Grilled New York Steak on a bed of mashed potatoes in a bordelaise sauce - perfectly grilled med-rare, juicy and flavorful.
-Hearts of Romaine with house-made dressing and croutons - nice, fresh, and zesty
-Shrimp Cocktail - simple outro to a nice evening
…The dishes got more simple as the meal progressed-my only complaint. I pictured the chef in the kitchen looking around… “What shall I serve them next??” … “Hmmm…” It was creative to serve a meal backwards, absolutely. And with these ingredients, it worked. Still, we craved the inspiring ingredients we’d heard adorned other Monday-night plates.
We will be reserving our spot for another Monday, rest assured.
Had with a 2008 Cold Heaven Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Viognier and 2007 Littorai Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - see notes on CellarTracker