Just three and a half months new, Severance is a welcome new food and wine hot spot on Melrose Ave. According to owner Evan Charest, “We’re a wine bar with extensive food, and we focus on cheese fondues, dessert fondues, and flat breads.”
Charest says the flat breads use dough made in house and are cooked on their wood-fired grill.
“And when it comes to beverages, we offer a wide variety of wines, as well as large format punch drinks made from sherry and champagne,” he adds.
Charest’s background includes running the beverage program for Patina on the west coast. Severance is his first solo project.
Why focus on the absolutely delicious creamy fondue in his menu? “I have a huge passionate love for fondue. It is easy to make and hard to master,” he laughs. “We have done a lot of R & D on it, and created something wonderful.” Additionally, he adds “It has that great après-ski vibe, and of course the whole communal food aspect. Food to share and fun drinks, those are the things we wanted here. We wanted shareable.”
Charest describes his most popular item as his Emmentaler & Gruyere cheese fondue, made with carmelized shallots, sherry, and dry white wine. The savory, rich dish is served with a crispy baguette, cauliflower, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and roasted potatoes for a hearty and satisfying entrée perfect for two.
Second most popular: his Fondue Burger. The burger features two 4 oz. patties, smoked gouda and beer cheese, and pickled onion jam on Brioche. Vegetarians take heart: the meaty patties can be substituted for a terrific Impossible Burger on request. And cheese lovers also take note, a side pot of fondue can be added.
“Our most unique item would be our authentic Quebecoise-Style Poutine. It’s not unique in Montreal, but it definitely is here, and it’s very authentic. We serve it with beef gravy that we make in house.” The potatoes are cooked three times.
“We also do a Lebanese-style flat bread that is more naan-like than your traditional experience with pizza and flatbreads,” he asserts. Broccolini, pork, and spicy sausage are among the flatbread selections.
Also very original, are the large-format punches he serves. “You don’t see them a lot here, particularly champagne-based. We use antique custom glasses for those,” he notes, which enhance the experience. Among them are a Champagne Cocktail made with Brut champagne, sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and orange peel.
New Year’s Eve revelers should be on alert: Severance is offering a 3 and 5-course tasting menu, the core of which is individual beef Wellington plus fun wine pairings.
Charest says he loves being on Melrose. “We love the area, and we’ve always wanted to be on this street, it is constantly happening.”
“We may start selling kits for fondue delivery, we are on a lot of delivery sites, so people don’t have to come out if they don’t want to and can make their fondue at home,” he attests. “And we also have a little wine shop about to launch during our first daytime hours in January.”
7274 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046