What is a “shill”?  Wikipedia describes a shill as a “person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services. The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer.”   King Arthur (not the fabled one from the stories and movies) may be considered the king of shills with his support of many a pharmaceutical company or two.   Lucky for me, I have fallen into the good graces of His Majesty.  And when a king looks favorably upon you, you reap the rewards of his bounty.  Bounty, of course, being fine dining with free flowing libations.

Melisse was just the start of it all, with Patina being the continuation of what I hope to be a fruitful foodie harvest this year.  I dined with King Arthur and his loyal subjects, Wontuan, The Communist, Soprano Man, Tofu, and a smattering of the king’s groupies from The View (not the morning television show).

The wine was divine…

…the cocktails, ambrosial.


Carrot Ginger Veloute chive oil, crostini

The amuse bouche did not fit the definition.  It was more than just a single bite.  It turned out to be spoonful after spoonful of the most heavenly tasting sweet, yet savory soup.  The smooth slightly thick texture was punctuated with an occasional crunch from the rare crostini.   The subtle essence of ginger serenely made it’s way into every bite.  The chive oil added another dimension of flavor and texture.  I was left wanting more!

Seasonal Vegetable Mosaic “jus de cuisson,” lemon oil 

Those with stronger vegetarian tendencies and/or less affection for the raw, ordered this as their starter.   I heard rave reviews of this rainbowed medley of vegetables.

Marinated Hamachi Geoduck cucumber vinegar, avocado, crostini, green apple mustard

The hamachi was fresh, meaty, and well prepared.  What set it apart from any other hamachi I had was the thin slices of geoduck.  Thin is sort of an understatement.  Aside from being paper thin, the portion was less than generous.  TWO paper thin slices of geoduck!  I was surprised at how well the taste of geoduck still came through.  They had that chewy texture, and a lovely seasoning of acidity that went well with the hamachi.  The compliment of the apples, avocado, and crostini added great textural contrast.

Prime Tenderloin, Glazed Short Ribs contrast of carrots

The tenderloin was incredibly tender, almost like a filet.  It was perfectly medium rare.  The short ribs had an earthy glaze which revealed fork tender meat underneath, not to mention hunks of fat.   The cooking jus was served over the meat at tableside.   The carrots were a blend of different colored and different sized carrots.  It was a nice accompaniment, but I was left wanting something else to eat with my meat.  Perhaps some mashed or roasted potatoes?  The meat was well prepared, but overall the dish lacked any spark.

Wild Halibut “A La Plancha” artichoke variation, barigoule jus

The other entree option.  I didn’t get to try it nor did I hear anything about it, sorry!

Crispy Chocolate Hazelnut chocolate mousse, burnt sugar ice cream

A totally solid dessert.  The mousse was smooth, rich, and the right amount of sweet.  It was layered on a crunchy wafer of some sort.  Trust me, it was more than a fancy Kit Kat.  It was served with burnt sugar ice cream, but by the time I got to my ice cream it was melting fast.  So I was focusing more on getting ever bit onto my spoon before it became a puddle on the plate than how it tasted.   I am proud to announce I did not eat the whole thing.  Yay for portion control!

Jasmine Pearl Tea

This tea was a very lovely compliment to the dessert.  It had a nice flowery jasmine scent, but I’ve definitely had better jasmine tea.  Damn drink kept me up all night though.  I am becoming very sensitive to caffeine these days =(

Bravo to our friends at Cubist Pharmaceuticals for their generosity and thanks to King Arthur for including me in the merriment.  Overall, the food was good, but not the best I’ve had for the price.   When I come to a place like this, I’m expecting a fireworks show in my mouth followed by a wild party in my tummy.   Patina did not succeed at achieving this.  It could all be stemming from the downside of set menus.   In any case, I would still love to come back and try the chef’s tasting menu one day.  But at a price of $120 per person, that day will have to wait until my attempts at gold digging come to fruition.


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