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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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expensive

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica, USA

7 points

Let me begin with perhaps an unfair quote: This restaurant is cursedly expensive. This is quite a controversial statement since passionate chefs, engaged restaurant entrepreneurs, and audacious sommeliers all have to calculate very carefully: top quality, super fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fish, seafood, meat and other ingredients, and exotic or rare fruits. Regional does not automatically mean less expensive, since the work and desire of farmers, fishermen, and cultivators is the same almost everywhere on the planet. Raising organic shrimp in Vietnam is probably cheaper than in Louisiana – but causes pollution due to long transport distances. And how many hours does a chef spend just on thinking, testing, and creating a new dish? And to what end? Isn’t it well known that salaries in the field of gastronomy are rather low? In the US, tips are a crucial part of the income of any server.

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La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse

La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse, France

6,5 points

This isn’t only a restaurant but a very beautiful residence, comprising a few buildings which are used as hotel, spa and relaxation zones. Surrounded by a park of olive trees, sculptures and a botanic garden, you feel yourself calming down from the first moment, and you really feel a kind of spirit of Provence – although it is on the Cote de Azur.

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