Parting is such sweet sorrow....we had a wonderful dinner last night at The Royce at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. I just learned that The Royce will be closing it's doors today, January 26, 2013. I was very happy to be able to experience David Feau's creations one more time.
We all decided to order the The Chef's Tasting Menu; a six course meal with a few extras. They served us a nice complimentary glass of champagne followed by the amuse-bouche which consisted of a pureed mushroom soup, a radish with chilled white butter and deep fried salmon skin with tofu cute and bonito flakes with a ponzu sauce. We all could have eaten a much bigger chunk of the salmon skin. You just cannot imagine how great this was!
Our first course was the Beet Sorbet with Caviar. I have had this before and I just had to have it one last time. A refreshing sweet sorbet with the saltiness of caviar and creme fraiche was a nice greeting to my palate. The next course was Clam/Seaweed; steamed orange clams, grilled cuttlefish, blue lake and wax beans in seaweed broth.
This almost sounds unappetizing but I had faith in Chef Feau. We ordered it and we all loved it. This big clam had this green stuff on it, like moss...we scraped it and had the broth with the many little things in it and all we could say in unison was "hmmmmm".
The third course was the Halibut/Mushroom. Seared halibut cheek, celery fish stock, cauliflower tofu, hedgehog mushrooms and ginkgo nut. I didn't care if it was the jaw, nose, or ear of the halibut....it was delicious; again with all interesting ingredients in the stock. The more we ate, the more we craved the vary flavorful soup which was on the salty side which we all loved. The fourth course was the main entree. Our party of 5 was split on this one. Some ordered the Wagu and some ordered the Lentils.
I had the Wagyu/Spelt Berries. The very tender and tasty double seared wagyu was served with ginger braised brussels sprouts, spelt berries emulsion and bone marrow tempura. I have had this before and I just had to have a repeat performance. The other entree was the Lentils/Black Truffle. Green lentils "du puy" , sweet ragoutte, pumpkin seeds with shaved winter black truffles. The lentils were done to perfection. Aimee commented that usually, lentils are served overdone (mushy) but this was perfect. The truffles were wonderful and you could taste the flavor of the truffle throughout the lentils.
For the fifth course, Elliot, seated next to me ordered the Sushi Rice/Pear which was creamy vanilla sushi rice w/pear & cocoa. By the time I finished taking a picture of my cheese, he had already engulfed his dish so I didn't get a chance to try it nor take a picture. I had the Picandou/Du Lot; peppercorn rubbed fresh goat cheese with tomato jam & acacia honey. This was not your ordinary goat cheese. This was dense and had a strong flavor with the peppercorn. It was a perfect little bite as we headed towards the finale. But wait.....to cleanse our palate, they served an orange-persimmon sorbet. It was indeed very refreshing.
Before our choice of dessert was served, they brought out a plate with some dark chocolate, a lemon tart and a cheesecake. The cheesecake was not your typical cheesecake; it didn't have cream cheese, can't remember what kind of cheese he used but it was good; the crust was a homemade graham cracker with honey and cinnamon.
We were split on the desserts. Some ordered the Chocolate/Cafe which was a cocoa minute cake, cajeta caramel with warm chocolate curd and cafe glace. This looked amazing but again I didn't get to try it as Elliot, next to me inhaled his and my husband seated next to Aimee across from me ate his in 3 bites.
I ordered the Crepe Suzette/White Chocolate. It was not the Crepe Suzette I was accustomed to but it was still very good. It had white chocolate nougat, valencia orange and grand marnier served with a grapefruit ice cream.
This feast lasted almost 3 hours. What an unforgettable evening. Thanks to our host, Raymond.
Chef Feau came to chat with us. I wanted to know what he will be doing in the future. He is taking some time off but promised to let me know about his next project which will probably be in the same area in Pasadena. So although it's "Au Revoir" to the Royce, I say to David Feau: " a bientot".