Perigord-raised Remi Lauvand is a true chef's chef whose resume reads like a list of top-rated restaurants in New York, with stints sous-cheffing at Le Cirque and La Grenouille, before reaching executive status at Nieporent's Montrachet where Ruth Reichel offered his reign a rare three stars. Embracing California in 2000, chef Remi helmed Sevilla and Bacara's kitchens in Santa Barbara, Citrus at Social Hollywood (home of last night's Top Chef reunion), consulted on the opening of Rivera, and then rocked the Hatchi series at Breadbar in September.
Lauvand has just joined Manhattan Beach's 30 year old Café Pierre and completely rejiggered the South Bay legend's menu with an ambitious shot of grace. The result is a deep selection of provincial European cooking with global touches that manages to merge understated elegance with rich and imaginative recipes. Lauvand has a charcuterie menu that features hand-made cheese and sliced meats as well as house-made (a word heard often here) jars of black mission fig foie parfait, duck rilletes, and pig's feet, among others. Lauvand's menu specialties appear too numerous to mention, but wild boar ragu, 70-hours braised short ribs, rabbit gnocchi, and house-cured Tasmanian trout are a good start for those passing on legitimate Gallic fare like escargots, cote du boeuf, and moules frites. Chef Lauvand's full dinner and charcuterie menus are below. 317 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Reservations at (310) 545-5252.
Escargots. Garlic flan, parsley 12.
Foie Gras Duo. Pear compote, mini brioche 23.
Ahi Tuna Tartare. 14.
Grilled Octopus. Fava beans, mint, watercress, shaved fennel 13.
Hamachi Crudo. Melon, tarragon, spicy lemon dressing 15.
House-cured Tasmanian Trout. Lemon, serrano, honey mustard 13.
Brandade Provencale. Salt cod and potato puree, toasted bread crumbs, olive oil 12.
Calamari alla Siciliana. Israeli couscous, tomato broth 13.
Frisee Salad. Fiscalini Farmstead cheddar, soft poached egg, pancetta 12.
Roasted Red and Yellow Beets. Capriole goat cheese, pickled onions 11.
Wild Arugula. Lemon vinaigrette, tear drop tomatoes, aged grana padano 12.
Romaine Heart. Anchoiade brioche toast, caesar dressing 10.
Tripe Toscana. Tomatoes, parmesan 12.
Crisp Pork Belly. Mache and carrot salad 12.
Roasted Marrow Bone. Pickled radish, red wine onion compote. 11.
Provencale Fish Soup. Gruyere toast 14.
French Onion Soup Gratinee. 13.
Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Pangrattato. Garlic, oil, toasted breadcrumbs 15.
Wild Boar Ragu. Papardelle, portobello mushrooms 22.
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioloni. Basil sauce 18.
Loup de Mer. Oven dried tomatoes, herbs, Pee Wee marble potatoes 28.
Tai Snapper. Green tomato compote, saffron jus 27.
Barramundi. Lady peas, watercress, prosciutto and basil jus 27.
California White Bass. Fennel, spinach, jewel tomato 26.
Moules Frites. Sauce poulette 20.
Roasted Jidori Chicken. Baby artichokes fricassee, scallions, sweet garlic jus 23.
Veal Sweetbreads. Roasted carrots, parmesan jus 28.
Veal Breast. Shelling beans, arugula, jalapeno veal jus 24.
70-hours Beef Short Ribs. Cipollini onions, swisschard, large fries, red wine sauce 28.
Steak au Poivre. Cognac flamed filet 32.
Cote de Boeuf. Braised potatoes, spinach and bone marrow (for 2) 60.
Braised Rabbit. House-made gnocchi, wild mushrooms 28.
Panisses Provencale. Chickpea fries 5.
Double-cooked Pommes Frites 7.
Caramelized Cauliflower 7.
Haricots Verts. Crème fraiche 7.
Sauteed Mushrooms. Shallot and herbs 9.
Shelling Beans Fricasse 7.
Brussels Sprouts 6.
Cavolo Nero with Lardons 7.
Pickled onions, green tomatoes, cornichons and mustard condiments
Prosciutto di Parma. Aged 24 months 10.
Fra Mani Sopressata 8.
La Quercia Rosa Prosciutto 8.
House-made Paté de Campagne 9.
Tunisian lamb sausage, Panisses, Mechouia 13.
Head Cheese. Frisee, mustard dressing 8.
Duck Rillettes. Cornichons, crostini 10.
Pigs Trotters. Frisee 8.
Foie Parfait. Pain depices, Black mission figs 9.
Hand Cut Prime Bavette Beef Tartare. Shelling beans 14.
Fiscalini Farm Cheddar California
Rogue River Blue Oregon
All Three Milks
Robbiola Tre Latti Italy
Cabra al Vino Spain
Humbolt Fog California
Pata Cabra Spain
Mont St Francis Indiana
Queso de Mano Colorado
One Cheese 5. Three Cheeses 15. Five Cheeses 20.
Combination Charcuterie and Cheese Plate - 3 of each 30