A six year old Tatjana watched Brad do my make-up, and insisted on doing his.

Brad Boles was actually my gay husband before Real Housewives of New York, Jill Zarin’s. In fact I don’t recall ever divorcing him, which makes him a bigamist in the nicest possible manner. We just spent a fun filled weekend together during his whirlwind trip to LA, and dined in splendor at Melisse in Santa Monica.

Stretching the truth (it was the first time I’d seen him since my birthday)

Always one to sweep a girl off her feet, Brad told the restaurant it was my birthday. Nice touch, darling, but you’re only two months late. The little gift box and it’s contents quickly made up for the fib.

Time for the B&B test now (freshly baked bread is a precursor to any great meal, and if the bathroom is clean, the kitchen most likely is too).

Bacon Bread and Basil Brioche that passed the freshly baked test with flying colors!

Julie Anne Rhodes completing the B&B test

Pleased to report the very pretty bathroom was sparkling, and the Basil Brioche so fresh and fragrant it was difficult to restrain myself from filling up on bread.

The first hint of what a treat we were in for!

Greetings from Chef Josiah Citrin with an exquisite Amuse Bouche of concord grapes- one rolled in goats cheese and ground pistachios, the other injected with pistachio oil. Sheer heaven on a spoon.

First Course

Heirloom Beet Root Salad, Satsuma Orange, Avocado, and Beamster Goat Gouda

and

Spring Onion-Parmesan Soup, Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Meyer Lemon

Both dishes were outstanding, executed with the precision of a true culinary master. We might as well have been back in Europe with all of the panache and professionalism of how it was served as well.

Second Amuse Bouche

Tuna Tartar, Orange Gelee, Fennel Flan, and Cashew Cream

The Amuse Bouche that followed could only be described as a sublime pairing of flavors and textures yet again.

Second Course

Atlantic Turbot, Kohlrabi, Baby Broccoli, Cornichon and Pine Nuts

and

Monterey Abalone, Young Leeks, “CromesquisD’Ooursin“, Coconut-Shellfish Jus

I was proud of myself for trying the Abalone, but especially pleased that I’d ordered the Turbot. If I closed my eyes, I could almost fool myself into believing I was back in Provence.

Third Course

Spring Veal, Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms, Roasted Onion Stuffed Sweet Breads, Natural Jus

and

Sonoma Lamb and Sausage, Fava Beans, Green Garlic, Savory Lamb Jus

By the time the next course arrived, I was starting to feel quite full, but decided it was well worth gorging myself since every bite burst with intense, yet simplistic flavor. My only criticism was I thought the lamb was just slightly too rare, but that certainly did not dissuade either one of us.

Dessert

Thin Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Caramel Sauce

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate: Valrohna Chocolate Souffle injected with still more Valrohna Chocolate, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ganache, White Chocolate Coated Chocolate Ice Cream, and Pot de Creme.

Who couldn’t make room for desserts as beautiful as these? They certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I was caught lapping up the last of my caramel sauce off of the plate with my fingers!

Third Amuse Bouche

Cookies and Canelle

Fourth Amuse Bouche (I think they wanted us to stay longer)

Cherries with Sabayone and Sugar

Oh sigh! I wish I’d asked for a doggy bag to bring home the scrumptiously gooey Canelles and delicate little cookies. Another kind surprise that left us feeling as welcome and well looked after as if we’d been a guest in Chef Citrin’s home. Alas, I was feeling like an over-stuffed goose, and uncharacteristically shy at the time.

Julie Anne and Brad May 2010

All and all a perfectly divine evening at the stunning restaurant that is truly deserving of it’s two Michelin stars. I want to go back to do the vegetarian tasting menu next time. I wish Brad would come to visit more often!

Brad insisted we do this impromptu interview. Hope you have as much fun watching it as we did horsing around making it. You Tube.
P.S. It is not too late to enter the competition to win CLOAK & DAGGER BUTTERFLY by Amanda Eliasch. Enter your “ladies that lunch menu” here. Competition closes May 30thOur top four favorite menus will be posted in a pole on the blog, and YOU will choose the lucky winner.
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  • May 18, 2010
    6:31 pm

    Great interview Jewels! Can't wait for your book!! My mouth is already watering :) Dana Gale

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:31 pm

    great interview and you LOOK BEAUTIFUL!Karla Billdt

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:32 pm

    grt interview and you look amazing. xxxGiovanna Cantone

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:38 pm

    Fantastic interview, and I agree, you look stunning! Go girl!! I need to definitely up the healthy in my diet. Those last 15 lbs are stuck like glue. Looking forward to the book and having time to play in the kitchen!! XOCynthia Zeman Godwin

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:39 pm

    this is so wonderful … yay.Madeleine Gallay

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:40 pm

    I really love what your doing Jules, keep at it.Rachel Flanagan

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:40 pm

    WOW baby……you are a total superstar !xxBeth Bovaird

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:41 pm

    Great Jewels, GREAT. Lil Sis is proud. I'm in New Mexico with Amy, heading to Santa Fe to see Ben and Lisa.Mikki Pallas

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:42 pm

    NICE!Susan Michals

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:42 pm

    Wow, thanks guys!

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:43 pm

    THAT`S THE BEST KIND!!!Tammie Jeannotte Hallum

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:44 pm

    It's difficult to view these wonderful photos of delicious dishes before lunch… and know that my salad won't measure up. ;-) Thanks for sharing!Terry Munson

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:45 pm

    Agree with you both Tammie and Terry on both accounts! Trust me Terry… I'm having a much harder time getting off my body than putting it into it!

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    6:49 pm

    Gay husbands are the best… I live with my sister's gay husband: he walks the dog, picks me up from work and wakes me up to a full breakfast on the table on the weekends… How lucky am I?!Great interview with Brad… and I'm also getting hungry looking at the stunning food pics!BB

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    8:41 pm

    Awesome! I love him, he's very fabulous, as are you.Laura Dodd-Hodges

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:34 pm

    Don't know what I'd do without my best gays.Amanda Pants

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:38 pm

    LMAO..Julie, are you starting to take pictures of bathrooms?…Nick would be enthusiastic to know that!!! =Dbut I believe what you wrote about bathrooms and kitchens of restaurants.What to say about the menu? Great!!…I don't like cannelle cookies.Martina D' Epifanio

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:39 pm

    I have always loved gay men! They rock! I also like it when restaurants have awesome bathrooms. There is this restaurant/bar in NYC (forget the name) where the bathroom stall doors are clear until you close it and then it fogs up!Budgie Bradbury

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:42 pm

    Wow Budgie… I want a bathroom like that!!! I know it sounds like I am obsessing about bathrooms now Martina, but you don't usually get to check out the cleanliness of the kitchen your food is coming from, so I figure if they keep their bathrooms clean, they probably keep the kitchen clean too. I'll also leave a restaurant before ordering if the bathroom is filthy.

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:44 pm

    Beautiful photo of you and Tatjana (the adult Tatjana photo)Carly Guerrero

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:44 pm

    The food looks wonderful, I LOVE your necklace and after 27 years I finally know what your voice sounds like LOLKim Palmer Yamaguchi

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:45 pm

    Great interview! Your necklace is awesome!!Alison Sherman

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:46 pm

    Loved it. It is just how I remember you in real life. So excited about your upcoming book.Cathy Garossino

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:47 pm

    "You weren't cheap!" Hahahaha I love itRenee Young

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:47 pm

    You look so beautiful! :) Heliana Castelazo

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    9:52 pm

    Hey Kim and Alison… the necklace came from Anthropology (I love it too), and thank you Cathy and Heliana.Renee… No, I wasn't cheap then, and I'm still not. They may save on Champagne now, but I still love my jewels!

    Reply
  • May 18, 2010
    10:11 pm

    Thanks. Julie Anne is so amazing and my angel who has loved me unconditionally for more years than I can count on four hands! and more glamour then a drag queen…Brad Boles

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    2:14 am

    Totally love this. Well done, both of you!!Jean Leatherman

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    3:55 am

    The pictures of the food make me drool and my bowl of brown rice look pretty drab. I so agree about bread & bathrooms, they have to be the best or you know the restaurant is not up to standards. I love a good piece of bread and could live on that & cheese. Julie Anne, don't worry about weight! You look wonderful & as long as you are healthy, that's what matters most. That and that you are happy in life and clearly, you are and have such wonderful friends. Just reading about your adventures brings me such a smile and makes my day. I can't wait to read your book and hope it has lots of recipes for all of us to try, maybe a few vegetarian ones since I'm trying to avoid meat to see how I feel. Hoping you have many more wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    4:18 am

    Just had a wonderful experience this weekend too — although our menu was a hell of a lot smaller than your meal's. Best part was the blood orange sorbetto from Salt Spring Island, BC (all organic, of course). http://www.saltspringgelato.com/#/original-flavours/4528116803

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    6:00 am

    Hey Brad… Angel? My we have come a long way baby! Ruthee… I promise there will be vegetarian, and some vegan recipes in addition to everything else.Tin… please do not think I eat that much food on a regular basis! The sorbetto's and gelato's look AMAZING! I want to try the strawberry-lavender. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    9:49 am

    Julie Anne, what a wonderful selection of culinary delights both you and Brad indulged in.All dishes looked absolutely beautiful in presentation. I don't blame you for being full then trying to make room for just that bit extra. I would have done the same. I agree with the bread and bathroom. I LOVE my bread and if the bathroom is not up to my standards then forget it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you look AMAZING. So good to see you having a wonderful time. Aussie MumP.S. Great interview and a job well done to both Brad & yourself.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2010
    7:30 pm

    Everything is perfect!Loved the pictures!!

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    3:41 am

    What a great interview — can't wait for the book to come out!Deborah Waugh

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    8:49 am

    I had my own Michelin Star experience recently in Chapter One in Dublin – pre-theatre but will be going back in November for my Fiancé's 40th birthday and hopefully will be able to afford the a la carte and will get to sit at the chef's table.Truly an incredible but all too brief experience.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    5:15 pm

    I have one of those too…we always say we are soul mates :) Been "married" for 17 years to my friend John-Edward Beck hehe he makes me laugh like no other and has great taste in music and loves my daughter to death!Penelope Worley

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    5:15 pm

    Jewels does your blog have somewhere a spice "basics" list? Especially in relation to alot of the dishes you have on the blog? I know its a big variety on there but maybe someplace to start?Penelope Worley

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    5:16 pm

    The spices are in the ingredients list of every recipe, and there will be a section on herbs and spices in the book, but I have not got them ALL listed anywhere on the website or blog separately yet.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2010
    6:24 pm

    Taj did a great job! I think Robert Smith from the Cure stole her style! I'm digging the lipstick shade, too!

    Reply
  • May 21, 2010
    7:29 pm

    Hello,We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com. We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,enjoy your recipes. Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already membersand benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com. To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site" Best regards, Vincentpetitchef.com

    Reply
  • May 23, 2010
    6:47 pm

    The tastes of the sorbetto/gelattos are so pure they are amazing! Just instantly hit with tastes the moment they enter your mouth. For me, it reminded me of how things USED to taste before chemicals and substitutes were added as cheap ways to "enhance" flavours. I wish I could get some down to you to help you feel better with your ankle.Thinking of you and sending you good wishes.Tin

    Reply

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