Small Bites: Comme Ça password, bollito misto weather, more cheese
75-cent post-Prohibition cocktail: To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of Prohibition (Dec. 5), the bartenders at Comme Ça will be pouring a surprise 75-cent cocktail -- if you have the password. To get the password, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The password's good through the weekend of Dec. 5 and entitles each guest to one specially priced beverage. (Also, passwords are limited.) Also on the post-Prohibition cocktail menu are four classics: the Martinez (the photo above shows Jim Meehan at PDT in New York pouring a Martinez), Bourbon Highball, Tom Collins and Sazerac. Comme Ça, 8479 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 782-1178, www.commecarestaurant.com.
It's finally chilly out there: Il Grano's Bollito Misto Wednesdays are back. Every Wednesday through winter, executive chef Salvatore Marino prepares a four-course bollito misto tasting menu: Fra Mani salumi, housemade meat tortellini in a capon broth, his bollito misto (a selection of boiled and roasted meats), and dessert. The bollito misto, which translates to the unceremonious "mixed boiled meats," might include veal shank, beef short ribs, sweetbreads and "Pineland beef," with accompanying sauces. Il Grano also is offering 20% off all magnums. Bollito misto, $49 per person (plus $39 for wine pairings). Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 477-7886, www.ilgrano.com.
Time for cheese: Spotted in cheese stores: Vacherin Mont d'Or. "It's a signal to us that fall is here," says Bob Stonebrook, of distributor Aniata Cheese Co. "It's one of those classic cheeses that arrive in the fall and is here until the early spring and then you don't get it anymore." You'll find Vacherin Mont d'Or in those small, round spruce boxes; it's a cheese that becomes spoonable when ripe -- like its own fondue. It's not inexpensive -- $28 for one round, but if you're going to serve one cheese for a special occasion, this would be a good one. When you get one home, let it sit out for at least a couple of hours so that it comes to room temperature. You carefully cut the top off the round of cheese and then just dip into the rich, delicious, mild (the rind may be smelly, but the pâte -- the inside of the cheese -- is actually quite mild) -- with a spoon or with a hunk of French bread. Get it while you can. You might want to call around to see which cheese stores are carrying it. For a list of cheese stores, click here.
-- Betty Hallock
Top photo: Jim Meehan pours a Martinez. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times. Bottom photo: Vacherin Mont d'Or. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times