Curtis Stone opened Maude in Beverly Hills with the idea of focusing on one ingredient per month. This year, he refreshed the concept by centering the tasting menu and beverage pairing around one of the world’s great wine regions. For October through December, that region is Piedmont, Italy — home to the Barolo and Barbaresco reds, as well as nutty cheeses, simple and stunning filled pastas, prime veal — and truffles, plenty of truffles.
As the team does with each region, executive chef Justin Hilbert, director of restaurant operations Ben Aviram and sommelier Andrey Tolmachyov traveled to the region which centers on the city of Turin visiting cheesemakers, truffle specialists, wineries and pasta-makers and honing the vision for this version of the menu.
While the last menu centered on seafood and wines of California’s Central Coast, the Piedmont dishes are both earthy and refined, recalling Italy’s traditional flavors but interpreted in startingly original ways. Hilbert explained that Piedmont didn’t have a tradition of sourcing fresh seafood, so preserved fish is the norm. A vivid cornucopia of fresh vegetables is accompanied by a anchovy-laden Bagna Cauda dipping sauce, while bacalao (preserved codfish) with parsley and garlic is delicately wrapped in a translucent veil.
A medallion of young beef sourced from Marin Sun farms shines alongside sweetbreads and foie gras, while the classic vitello tonnato is radically reinterpreted as diamonds of veal panna cotta topped with slices of raw tuna. Tastes of braised veal ravioli and agnolotti with Roccetta cheese provide just the right amount of pasta. After about seven courses in Maude’s comfortable, stylish restaurant, diners segue to the upstairs wine lounge for dessert, Moscato d’Asti, cookies and cake. Do not miss the impossibly rich salted hot chocolate with a Fernet Branca marshmallow. A truffle supplement will be available when they are available.
Here are some of L.A.’s other new offerings for fall, from wine to ice cream.
Boutellier: Not the Average Wine Shop
Adjacent to Tesse on the Sunset Strip, Jordan Ogrun’s boutique wine store Boutellier focuses on bottles not usually available outside the wineries that Ogrun sourced by visiting wineries around the world. Custom leather-trimmed wine packaging makes the shop a great place to pick up host gifts. At night, the shop becomes a private dining space for up to 40 people. 8500 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
The Gables: Beachy Vibes All Day Long
Santa Monica’s new all-day café The Gables has a bright white feel and a greenery-adorned patio fronting Wilshire Boulevard, the perfect spot for people-watching while meeting for coffee, lunch or a Promenade-adjacent evening meal with beer or wine. Superba and Beacon vet Vicki Fan Matsusaka’s menu focuses on American classics sourced from the nearby farmers market. In the morning, try house-made baked goods, lemon buttermilk pancakes or chilaquiles. Lunch specialties includes the smoked trout niçoise salad, a Waldorf sandwich and the griddled burrito. In the evening, more substantial plates include steak frites, grilled brick chicken and a ballpark sundae for dessert. 331 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
The Fields: Quick Yet Gourmet Before Soccer Games
Designed as a delicious way to feed legions of soccer fans adjacent to Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California Stadium, The Fields LA food hall is also a convenient stop near USC and the museums of Exposition Park. Curated options include Mexican fare from Burritos La Palma, Al Pastor and Coni’Seafood; Southern dishes from Barbara Jean and C.J. Boyd’s Fried Chicken; and wine, beer and cocktails. Coming soon: Free Play, a full-service restaurant from chef Tim Hollingsworth. 3939 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles
Tom Tom: When Vanderpump Meets Mixology
Lisa Vanderpump opened her new West Hollywood nitery Tom Tom with “Vanderpump Rules” cast members Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval. Think industrial glam setting, small plates and kicky cocktails like absinthe-laced Toulouse Your Mind. 8932 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
Humphry Slocombe: San Francisco’s Favorite Ice Cream Hits Venice
One of the most acclaimed ice cream makers of the San Francisco Bay Area has opened its first SoCal location on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Humphry Slocombe‘s cheeky flavors include the signature Secret Breakfast with cornflakes and bourbon, cobbler-laced Blueberry Boy Bait and Jesus Juice sorbet, named for the mixture of cola and red wine made infamous by Michael Jackson. 1653B Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice