Saturday, May 25, 2019

Protege--Palo Alto, CA

Let's get to the good stuff first. At Protege, the loin (pictured, lower right) was as tender a cut of lamb as I'd had in memory. The lamb belly was sinfully delicious, though I'll never work off the fat. And, the charred eggplant socca was a work of art. Another triumph was the 9-layer lasagna, made with paper-thin pasta combining to form the tastiest cube of pasta you'll ever have.

But, aside from those two dishes we received nothing all that memorable from the fixed menu. The monkfish was a disappointment, with it inside an overwhelming phyllo wrap. The white asparagus on its own was fine, but it sat on a paste that looked and tasted like it came from a tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

The 80s music piped into our room gave the environment a casual feel, which I liked. But, given the hype, the cost ($145 for the items I wrote about here plus a gateau or cheese for dessert) and that this is a restaurant worthy of a Michelin star, my high expectations were barely met. I can't say I was let down, but I didn't come away wowed either.

Expand below for menu: