Monday, December 13th, may be Test Kitchen's final dinner service, but Bill Chait and Brian Saltsburg's restaurant experiment is going out with a big-time culinary (and charitable) bang. For $150/person, Test Kitchen and non-profits Share Our Strength and Gettlove, are bringing together eight Test Kitchen alums — Ricardo Zarate (Picca), Steve Samson & Zack Pollacka (Sotto), Alain Giraud (Maison Giraud), Walter Manzke (formerly of Church & State), Michael Voltaggio (Ink), Neal Fraser (Grace, BLD), Jordan Kahn (Red Medicine), and Amy Pressman (Short Order) — and Compartes' Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm, to create an eight-course feast with optional wine pairings (or $20 corkage).

The first seating is at 6 p.m. and begins with chef Zarate's lobster tartare, then follows with Samson & Pollack's toasted wheat strascinate with lamb ragu. Here's where the (optional) wine pairings come in: chef Giraud is serving an oxtail consomme with a 2009 Baker Lane Syrah Rosé; Manzke is making scallops with hazelnuts and cauliflower paired with a 2008 Stoller Vineyards Dundee Hills Chardonnay; Voltaggio's “Eco Vez” turbot with chicken Dashi and matsutake mushrooms is presented with a 2009 Martian Ranch Santa Ynez Viognier; Fraser's grilled pork tenderloin with squash, chestnuts, bacon and violet mustard is accompanied by a 2008 Josh Klapper La Fenêtre Pinot Noir; and Pressman's pear pandowdy with gingerbread ice cream comes with freshly-brewed Intelligentsia coffee. A second dessert course comes in the form of custom chocolate truffles made by Compartes' Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm. Last (but certainly not least), Julian Cox (Rivera, Test Kitchen), Josh Harris & Scott Baird (The Bon Vivants), and Alex Straus (Hotel Shangri-La) are manning the bar as guest mixologists, while Dan Fredman and Joyce Stein are guest sommeliers.

Test Kitchen has had a hell of a run, so it only seems fitting that its final night is intended as both a pseudo closing ceremony and an opportunity to give back to the community, as all proceeds benefit Share Our Strength and Gettlove. If you want to be part of the celebration, make your reservation on OpenTable.

LA Weekly