From GQ via Laist:
GQ magazine’s food correspondent Alan Richman has put up his picks for the country’s “Best New Restaurants” and #4 is Venice’s Tasting Kitchen.
Picture by Kenn of Cocktalia.
4. The Tasting Kitchen
Free-Form French, with Italian Variants and a Sushi-Style Sensibility
I wasn’t impressed, not at first. Certainly not by the menu. “Very confusing. I apologize,” the waiter admitted. To be honest, he didn’t seem all that coherent, either. When I told him I had no idea what to order, he suggested I trust the chef, Casey Lane. You hear that in sushi bars, where it’s generally not about trust. It’s about taking orders from a surly Japanese chef. I said okay. Nothing to lose. That’s when the experience changed. The Tasting Kitchen became a less ceremonious version of L’Astrance, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Paris.
The food: creamy, complex, and compelling. The wines: exquisitely matched. That waiter: suddenly transformed into a mastermind, particularly with whites. You might not have had a Listán Blanco from the Canary Islands. (Before this meal, neither had I.) Lane sent out mussels with fennel pollen in broth as rich as cream soup, tagliatelle with plum-marinated pork, butter-and-vermouth-braised halibut with chanterelles.
The only break from richness was two different salads, the lettuces piled high, accented with beautifully biting vinaigrettes. The desserts, decadence from three countries: English trifle, Italian brown-sugar budino, French plum galette. This meal at the Tasting Kitchen was a tour de force. It’s too decadent for the Beverly Hills crowd but ideal for Venice, where anything amazing is allowed.
GQ’s Best New Restaurants of 2010, selected by Alan Richman:
1. Lincoln – New York, NY
2. Flour + Water – San Francisco, CA
3. The Kitchen at Brooklyn Fare – Brooklyn, NY
4. The Tasting Kitchen – Venice, CA
5. Grüner- Portland, OR
6. The Walrus and the Carpenter – Seattle, WA
7. Uchiko – Austin, TX
8. Menton – Boston, MA
9. Commis – Oakland, CA
10. Longman & Eagle – Chicago, IL
The Tasting Kitchen
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291