Today, I want to chat with you about a newish (opened spring 2009) restaurant you should not miss. I first learned about Executive Chef Quinn Hatfield and wife (Pastry Chef) Karen before their arrival in West Hollywood. The first time I actually met Quinn was in Santa Monica, at a preview for the 2010 Taste of the Nation. I liked his attitude, heard lots of good things about their cooking and was determined to eventually visit the new restaurant. I never made it to that first venue, because they moved– to the location that once housed the renowned Citrus of Michel Richard. I enjoyed a birthday there a decade or more ago, and filed in the back of my head that I should get there when the Hatfields had their “soft” opening.
My next discovery was that the Hatfields had joined forces with my old friend, Peter Birmingham — sommelier extraordinaire! Peter and I met when he first opened up Norman’s on Sunset as General Manager. When Norman Van Aken retreated back to Florida , Peter moved to Sal Marino’s Il Grano as Sommelier. I was there for a big Burgundy tasting, which Birmingham handled in an extremely deft fashion. Now, he surfaced as Beverage Director and General Manager of Hatfield’s and once again I filed that information away for a future look see..,.
Guess what? My extremely intuitive and caring kids took grandpa to a wonderful birthday dinner at Hatfield’s. The chef-driven restaurant offered a tasting menu at $79, seasonal prix fixe dinner for $59 and a vegetarian dinner for $49. We unanimously took advantage of the seasonal offering.
Appetizers were all really interesting. Peter came to the table, appreciated the wines I brought to the party, and also joined us in tasting them. Dinner itself began for me with a frisee and smoked trout salad, with avocado, apple, and warm fingerling potatoes in a grainy mustard butter. Half our party enjoyed the Monterey squid. The wine paired with my first dish was the 2009 Vouvray from Pichot. Those enjoying the squid had the 2008 U Pastine Bianchetta Genovese from Bisson, a well-known winery located on the Bay of Tigullio near Portofino .
The second course, the Octopus choice, was paired with a 2007 Casta Baga fom Luis Pato. The wine here comprises 90% of the red varietals available from Biera, Portugal, and has a wonderful personality.
With my Black Cod en croute, a 2008 Omrah Shiraz from Plantagenet, Western Australia was poured. A beautiful big wine from a cool climate, the wine showed peppery fruit and mulberry — demonstrating ripeness and, as Peter perfectly pegged it, “restraint with the simple sophistication of Cod, black olive and reduced tomato. ”
The two red wines paired beautifully with the short ribs. I would eat this weekly, if but I could… Oh well, it was not only a most pleasant evening, it was a happy one.
With offerings both filling, yet lighter than expected, there was room for dessert. I had a fling with a Sorbet Trio, (Blood Orange, Elderflower and Green Apple Vermouth) accompanied by a satisfying Latte to finish the experience. And, it was an experience to be remembered.
No unhappy faces exited the restaurant. Make the trip, and see for yourself.
6703 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038