Last spring, Ortolan dropped from the sky and shuttered, endangering one of Los Angeles' most impeccably tailored dining experiences, owned by actress Jeri Ryan and her husband, Loire-raised chef Christophe Emé. Shortly thereafter, Eme told Squid Ink he'd hoped to find a new partner in the venture to, as we'd predicted/feared, downscale the grand restaurant's offerings slightly. Sadly, it appears Ortolan will not rise from the ashes in a new form, though Emé does have plans for his own new restaurant. Sadder still, the new eatery is not going to open in Los Angeles proper, but will fly south for the disposable income.
Daily Pilot reports that the chef is opening a new restaurant named Emé in Newport Beach, where flush luxury always has a beach-side seat. Pizzeria Mozza and London's Tamarind recently embarked on their own expansions in Newport, officially making this stretch of The O.C. one of the last faces of SoCal not to be scratched off by the claws of hyper-casual dining.
Emé will take over for Normandy master Pascal Olhats' beloved Tradition by Pascal, which we were looking to as a formidable foie-stronghold in the months to come. Fortunately, Olhats' other O.C. restaurants are staying put.
Will Emé's sensibility succeed in the space? Will you L.A.-based Ortolan fans head down to Newport to reconnect with the chef? We'd love to hear your thoughts on Eme's move in our comments.