Pinot Bistro - dinner - February 14, 2004
Pinot Bistro is a restaurant that we had been wanting to try, so since they had a special prix fixe dinner for Valentine's Day, that seemed the perfect opportunity.
We arrived in time for our 6pm reservation. Since the restaurant is located on busy Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, street parking is almost impossible during that time, so we opted for the valet service. When we went into the restaurant, which almost looks like it's set up in a former house, we were immediately taken to our table.
The menu for the evening was as follows:
First Course Selection
Terrine of roasted tomato and Humboldt Fog goat cheese with asparagus
Scottish smoked salmon with braised leeks, shallots and fingerling potato galette
Crispy porcini gnocchi with celery root and truffle-scented cauliflower coulis
Second Course Selection
Celery root soup with Main lobster and chanterelle mushrooms
Lasagna of turnip and sweetbreads with baby carrots and tapioca
Oxtail consomme with scallops and foie gras ravioli
Main Course Selection
Pan roasted striped bass with sweet peppers, clams, fennel and smoked ham hock sauce
Farm raised chicken three ways with cipollini onions, spinach and tarragon jus
Lamb sirloin with goat cheese gnocchi, artichokes and picholine olives
Beef Wellington classic-style with winter vegetable and red wine jus
Spiced layer cake with extra dark chocolate with red raspberries and chocolate sauce
$68 food only
As soon as we were seated, a server came by to ask us for our drink orders. Shortly after that, another server came by to take our dinner orders. Our first courses were brought to us fairly quickly. Since their regular menu was not available, our initial surprise was replaced with understanding that since there were only several certain courses available, service would probably be faster than usual in most restaurants. I had ordered the salmon, which I really liked. I generally prefer raw salmon as opposed to smoked salmon, but this salmon was only very lightly smoked, so it was quite good. It was pretty much just a pile of salmon on top of the potatoes. My husband had ordered the terrine, and he enjoyed that very much.
For a second course, I had ordered the soup. I wasn't sure about it initially because the thought of celery root soup didn't sound that great, but I decided to try it, and I'm very glad I did. It tasted wonderful, very smooth, with little bits of lobster and mushrooms sprinkled on top. My husband had the lasagna and liked that as well.
For a main course, I had ordered the Beef Wellington, which was quite good. The filet was perfectly cooked medium, still pink inside, and the pastry was quite tasty. My husband had ordered the lamb and really enjoyed it. I had a taste of it and thought it was quite good.
The dessert was a bit different than we had expected. The layer cake with chocolate was on top of a heart-shaped cookie, with a heart-shaped white chocolate ring on top and a heart-shaped white chocolate piece on top of that. Neither of us like white chocolate, so we opened the dessert up, removing the white chocolate to get to the inside, which was very good. The chocolate was almost of a richer mousse consistency.
The service during the evening was consistently good and attentive. As would be expected for a Valentine's Day on a Saturday night, the restaurant was quite busy, but our water glasses were repeatedly refilled, and our server came by to check on us after each course was served, and she was quite pleasant as well.
We finished up our dinner around 7:40, but we ended up waiting outside for our car to be brought. There were quite a few people dropping their cars off to the valet (which was shared with the Morrocan restaurant next door), and departing cars took some time before being able to pull into the Ventura Boulevard traffic.
All in all, we had a wonderful meal, and we're looking forward to returning to try their regular menu.
12969 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
To see Pinot Bistro's specific webpage on the Patina Group website, please click here.
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