Landmark Wining and Dining Downtown from Patina

Joachim Splichal's Patina Group presents prix-fixe dinners on its Tuesday-night Tasting Menu series at its Disney-Hall-adjacent flagship throughout the spring and summer. Tonight's California Wines dinner at Patina -- five courses with wine pairings -- costs $150 per diner (including wine, exclusive of tax and gratuity) and begins at 7 p.m. 2009 James Beard Award finalist Sommelier Eric Espuny will provide attendees with the kind of trivia wine geeks live for. But let's get to the food and wine for this Tuesday already.

The first course matches Hartford Court Russian River Valley '05 Chardonnay with an olive-oil poached diver scallop, kumquat relish and pommes fourchette; round two is two Sonoma Pinot Noirs with smoked duck Magret, cherries and warm frisée salad with mushroom vinaigrette; the third course pairs Pahlmeyer 2000 Merlot from Napa with braised pork belly, Seville orange espuma, Napa cabbage and English peas; course four is a Dalla Valle Meritage wine with Kobe cap meat hibachi, vegetable daube cocoa and red wine sauce. And finally, Cabernet Humbolt fog crémeux and bruschetta plus sorbet, coffee, and petits fours served with Colgin IX Estate '03 from Napa Valley wraps things up.

Patina's future dinners include boutique wines of New Zealand on May 19, a tomato-and-cherry theme on June 2, and then corn and berries will somehow be incorporated into all the dinner dishes on June 30.

141 S. Grand Ave., Downtown, (213) 972-3331 or

Café Pinot's Burgundy tasting dinner on Wednesday, April 29 does a little lighter financial damage, but with the same proximity to another (arguably better) Los Angeles landmark -- the downtown library. It also serves up five-courses with wines starting at 6 p.m. for $89 per person all inclusive. Executive Chef Kevin Meehan's menu includes octopus carpaccio and tuna tartare paired with Domaine de Denate '07; spring pea risotto with Jean-Noel Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 'Les Chaumes' Villages 2004; Atlantic salmon prepared sous-vide; a theme-appropriate Pinot Noir-braised short rib; and limoncello sorbet. GM and wine expert Brian Cousins will be on hand to answer questions, too. View the menu here (warning: PDF download).

700 W. Fifth St., Downtown, (213) 239-6500 or

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