One of the great marketing successes in the world has been the creation of anticipation of the Beaujolais nouveau each year for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The past few vintages were not so great. But I just had the recent vintage at a special dinner offered at La Cachette, and this vintage was superb! This vintage had all the fruit and delicate undertones that has made Beaujolais famous. And at $9 a glass, it’s a great bargain.
The dinner consisted of celery root and chestnut soup, which was rich in body and flavors, and went well with a glass of the Beaujolais. Then we switched to a burgundy with the star of the meal, a Beaujolais poached pear tart with blue cheese and roquette salad on the side. This is the kind of dish that makes French cooking stand out. A combination of flavors and textures that go so well together.
The main course was beef bourguignon, which the chef, Jean-Francois, explained was cooked at 200 degrees for eight hours (or, as he put it, overnight while he slept). The meat was of course tender and flavorful, and still moist. Personally I would not have served it over a bed of mashed potatoes. In France it usually comes on noodles.
Finally there was a hot chocolate chip cake with whipped cream. In spite of my sweet tooth this was the least interesting of the dishes.
I was glad to see the restaurant completely full, and it was clear that they have developed a top notch clientele. I saw a number of people I know that work in other restaurants treating themselves to the Beaujolais, which is, of course, the sign of a top-notch restaurant. This is a nice addition to the Santa Monica restaurant scene, and an annual Beaujolais event will be something I will look forward to.
If you go:
La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave.