Dine L.A. Restaurant Week Pick: GORGE

Beer Sausage

Beer sausage

There’s one more week left for Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, and if you’re going to go to one place, I suggest you try GORGE, a cozy house-made charcuterie and wine bar from Top Chef alumna Elia Aboumrad and pastry chef Uyen Nguyen (Le Cirque, Craftsteak, Restaurant Guy Savoy). GORGE is located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood just steps away from old-school rock hangouts the Roxy and Rainbow Room. Not exactly where one might expect to find such fine food, so all the more reason to patronize the place!

GORGE’s Dine L.A. menu¬†($45 for dinner) features some fantastic dishes. To start, the chicken liver pate, which comes with a clarified butter top sprinkled with paprika and sides of cornichons and baguette toasts, is smooth and clean-tasting. It’s wonderfully addictive.

Chicken liver pate

Chicken liver pate

The beer-cooked pork sausage (pictured above) served with savory fingerling potatoes, choucroute (French sauerkraut) and German mustard is mild yet satisfying.

The St. Honor√© cakes, traditional French desserts made with layers of flaky pastry and fluffy cream topped with small cream puffs, are fun to eat. Both flavors on the Dine L.A. menu — vanilla and the chocolate orange — are good, but the chocolate orange is richer and comes with a macaron on top, too. These cakes are like two or three desserts in one!

Chocolate orange St. Honore

Chocolate orange St. Honore

Other highlights from the regular menu include Belgian endive, which are poached in broth and served warm with a vanilla bean sauce and toasted almonds, and the pheasant pate, a well-balanced terrine of wild pheasant, black truffles and pecans served with a side of buttery potato puree and a simple green salad.

Belgian endive

Belgian endive

Pheasant pate

Pheasant pate

If you’re more of a purist, get the charcuterie plate, which can include red wine salumi with pepper and ginger, or varieties with garlic and sage or nutmeg, fennel and cardamom, as well as pork head cheese and pickled romanesco. Nothing is gamey; everything is satisfyingly palatable.

Charcuterie plate

Charcuterie plate

In addition to all the great food, GORGE has Master Sommelier Darius Allyn on hand to help you find the perfect drink to pair with your meal. For example, he puts Bordelet pear Granit cider with the endive, and the sweet notes in both dishes play off each other nicely. Allyn’s choices of Becky Wasserman et Fils sauvignon blanc paired with the charcuterie plate and Alsace pinot gris with the chicken liver pate are also nice, clean matches.

Between Aboumrad’s meats, Nguyen’s pastry and Allyn’s drink pairings, you can’t go wrong at GORGE.

Note: A meal here was hosted by the restaurant.

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Maya Meinert

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01 2013

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