Légende Wines Find a Beautiful Unity with Orsa & Winston
A lunch to remember
all photos by Vanessa Tierney Photography
In the heart of Downtown Los Angeles exist more dining options than most Angelenos could fathom but among them is a new little gem, Orsa & Winston. With sleek, modern, contemporary design, shades of orange joy, an open kitchen, and a whole of class, I sat down for an afternoon tasting paired with EDV Wines portfolio of Légende Wines from Bordeaux, France.
With a table seated with guests whose palates I’m in awe of, our collection of empty wine glasses sat idly in anticipation of the first dish and the first pour. As we embark on an epicurean adventure, the cuisine prepared by the team behind Chef Josef Centeno would unravel Los Angeles’ beauty and cultural diversity one intricate ingredient at a time all whilst finding unison with wines that harness the essence of elegance known to the La Fite’s Domaine Baron de Rothschild namesake.
Orsa & Winston | 122 W 4th St. | Los Angeles, CA 90013 | @orsaandwinston
As Anthony Cailan and Victoir Loup welcome us with a glass of Champagne Baron de Rothschild, the afternoon unravels in perfect synchronization. The glass of bubbles has notes of bright white flowers and pear marrying with a nutty and toasty rounding-out of almonds and hazelnuts. It rests on the lips in the pristine eloquence expected and clears the way for what’s to follow …
Hawaiian Kanpachi Crudo with grapefruit, avocado, smoked trout caviar, and Tsuyu
Thai pumpkin soup with quail egg, hazelnut dukkah, and brussels sprouts
The Hawaiian Kanpachi Crudo is fantastic! As you place the whole of the plate’s composition onto the edge of your fork to take your first bite, the crudo comes to life as the acidity, creaminess, and salt unite in diplomatic submission. Paired with the Légende Bordeaux Blanc, one may find the long, auspicious nose filled with aromatics of bright island-like fruit and a subtlety of grapefruit to be a take on a well-played seduction.
Next up is our second course. The stark white bowl arrives with shades of golden sunshine, sprigs of green, and the delicate quail egg swimming in the center. The flavors are big yet restrained and once paired with the Saint-Emilion awakens ones appetite for something sultry. This dish is the epitome of what it means to live in LA. Every culture is represented from India to Thailand, the Middle East, and Latin America. It’s hard to explain how this one dish ignited so much nostalgia for me as a native Angeleno but it did. I could taste the love, the subtleties, the stories, the history, and the culture of world travel in one beautifully orchestrated bowl. Topped with the perfectly prepared quail egg? It added even more refinement to an already powerful pool of flavor.
As for the Saint-Emilion, its depth is the well-paired romance required. The aromatics on this particular glass takes you on a journey of the vineyards where grapes thrive in surprising conditions. It’s soft, yet powerful and much like a well choreographed dance, each sip opens up more and more lending the notes of wood and chocolate to give heed to the grape itself. It’s nice and smooth.
Sweet potato agnolotti with braised turnip, celtuce, chantelles, dashi and black truffle
Satsuki rice porridge with duck leg confit, tatsoi and parmesan
As the third course is brought to our table and the Bordeaux Rouge is poured, immediately my senses are intoxicated. The pasta emits scents of butter, earth, and the undeniable intrigue of truffle while the Bordeaux has notes of raspberry and black currant that offset the bitter simplicity of the agnolotti. The two together are well matched. You have texture, salt, and bite with the dish and a berry, oaky and palatable ease of the Bourdeaux Rouge.
Fourth course being prepped while we finish up course three, the duck leg confit is being carefully plated while the richness of the dish wafts through the air from the line. As they clear our table, the Satsuki rice porridge with duck leg confit is brought out and the Pauillac is poured. This is a decadent, rich pairing with strong flavors, immersive depth, and piquancy in every bite. With the deep spicy mouth feel of the Pauillac, my tastebuds are lingering on the vanilla finish. Coupled with the minerality of the touch of tatsoi, the porridge (cooked beautifully) with the moist duck leg confit allows the flavors to coalesce harmoniously.
Lamb T-bone with barley grain, maitake, spigarello and persimmon mostarda
Chocolate pot de creme with matcha mascarpone and hazelnut
As we near the end of our gluttonous journey of flavor that makes my stomach sing, the final course is one that I am eager to bite into with two pours I’m thirsty to sip. The lamb t-bone is one of the best I’ve had. Seasoned with strong, bold elements like maitake and spigarello, the lamb with the persimmon mostarda ends up having a more subdued finality that makes every bite one of sheer happiness.
As for the wines, well, I don’t know there is a more suited finish to a rather enticing afternoon in Los Angeles. I throughly enjoyed the heaviness of the Médoc. Much like a region known for uncertain weather, gorgeous woods, and an air of abandon, this Cab/Merlot blend tastes of spice, berry, burnt wood, yet has a sophistication that gives it something special.
However, the 2009 Carruades de Lafite is stunning! It’s as if one sip allows your palate to feel like a child jumping on a trampoline. It is exciting, exudes a strong, sexy texture that you know will age exceptionally. The brightness of raspberry, the moody depth of burnt notes, they manage to pivot and awaken with every sip. In fact each time I leaned in to take another sip, I felt as if the complexity unraveled yet again. While this was lovely with the pot de créme, I wasn’t prepared to let the lamb be taken away. The Lafite emphasized the sheer intensity of the lamb dish on the whole.
Without excluding the pot de créme, I quite enjoyed the addition of matcha mascarpone. What could have been an overly sweet creation, ended up being a call to both sweet and savory allowing it to be the kind of overindulgence you can get on board with.
For a short while we were taken first on a culinary journey through the eccentricity and heart of Los Angeles and then on to the Bordeaux region. Imaging and tasting the lush landscapes of the French countryside. Each glass representing a process, a blend, a climate, love, passion, soul, risk, and purpose. Each bite representing a story of immigrants and hope, a tale that continues to bellow through the wondrous, and often congested Angeleno streets.
Owner of Château Lafite Rothschild for five generations, the Rothschild family has been associated with the vineyards of Bordeaux since 1868 and today owns Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Duhart Milon, L’Evangile and Rieussec.
In addition to the wines produced from their prestigious vineyards, the Barons de Rothschild have for many years created a range of more accessible wines for everyday drinking. Initially created at the request of family and friends, these were known as the “Réserves des Barons”. In a continuation of this tradition, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) decided to produce the Réserves in four major Bordeaux appellations:: Bordeaux, Bordeaux Blanc, Médoc and Pauillac. In creating the Collection, DBR (Lafite)’s objective is to offer classic Bordeaux wines with immediate charm.