Breaking: Dominique Ansel to Debut His First Full-Service Restaurant at The Grove This Fall

Dominique Ansel, the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef widely heralded for the invention of the Cronut® among many other Instagram-worthy delights, is making his way from the Empire State to the Golden State, landing here at The Grove this fall.

The final destination for his first-ever full-service restaurant (his sixth and largest to date) comes after three years of scouting the perfect L.A. location. “I am incredibly excited to be opening a full restaurant in Los Angeles for the very first time, and doing so at The Grove,” shared Chef Dominique. “It’s a destination that is in the heart of the local community and welcomes visitors from all over the world just as our own bakeries do.”

For his West Coast debut at The Grove, Chef Dominique; who is also the Chef/Owner of eponymous bakeries in New York City, Tokyo and London; will be developing an entirely new dining concept, also marking his largest project in the world. The yet-to-be-named restaurant will feature all-day seated dining complete with savory fare, a full bar program and creative cocktails, special events, and the debut of his first brunch service.

Days before being hailed the “World’s Best Pastry Chef” as part of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, Chef Dominique sat down to give us the inside scoop on his highly-anticipated new restaurant.

Why The Grove for your first full-service restaurant?

A few years ago, we launched a one-day pop-up at The Grove, during which 750 people showed up in the pouring rain on a February day starting at 2am. The entire Grove team greeted us and all of our guests with open arms, sending out coffee to warm up the crowd, entertaining the line with live music, really helping us to take care of everyone from the moment they arrived. That stuck with me over all these years.

Tell us something that excites you about setting up shop at The Grove.

The Original Farmers Market is just steps away and was one of the first places I ever visited in L.A., so we’ll have access to beautiful local ingredients right at our doorstep and gain a lot of inspiration for our menus.

What’s on the menu?

I’m excited to develop a full restaurant menu for the very first time, including a bar and cocktail program and our first-ever brunch service. As for the bakery, a large portion of the menu will be dedicated to creations made exclusively for L.A. that aren’t available anywhere else, but you also can expect some of the favorites from New York like the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), Cookie Shot, Frozen S’mores, baked-to-order mini madeleines, and of course, the Cronut®.

Describe the ambiance of the restaurant.

The restaurant will be two stories, and the dining room will be located on the second floor with seating for 150, including indoor and outdoor terrace seating, along with a private dining room with its own private terrace. The bakery will be located on the first floor with indoor and outdoor café seating for 70.

Dominique Ansel’s first full-service restaurant opens at The Grove this fall. On behalf of the entire Grove team, we could not be more thrilled or honored to welcome him and his fêted culinary creations aboard. 

 

How to Celebrate Labor Day With a Stylish and Laid-Back BBQ

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Once Labor Day rolls around, there’s an overwhelming sense that the long weekend is summer’s last hoorah. And while that’s really only true as far as the calendar is concerned, it’s still an ideal time to celebrate the changing of the seasons in style.

A classic backyard BBQ is the perfect get-together for friends and neighbors. When planning, consider rustic details, a neutral color palette and playful ideas for kids. And don’t forget, of course, aseenty of cocktails for the adults.

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As we move away from the height of summer, think about colors and serving pieces that feel more transitional, just as you would with your wardrobe. Say so long to bright plates or gingham tablecloths, and try a simple piece of burlap as a table runner or an ivory cotton tablecloth punctuated by Mediterranean-blue plates or placemats.

Gather baskets in varying sizes and line them with a simple white linen napkin. Place pita chips, nuts and finger foods along the table for guests to nosh on before dinner is served. For a little table foliage, get green stems (the ones usually reserved for filler in a floral bouquet) and build small bunches of monochromatic arrangements through the center. Any old jars (labels removed) or mismatched vases will look elegantly undone.

Choose a signature cocktail to serve in addition to the several bottles of wine lining the table. An Aperol Spritz is a favorite warm-weather drink and is easy to make.

Aperol Spritz
Serves 1
Sparkling wine (such as prosecco or cava)
1 shot Aperol
1 shot club soda
1 slice orange

Fill a tumbler or large wine glass with ice. Fill the glass 2/3 full with sparkling wine. Add the shot of Aperol. Top with club soda. Stir well. Then add the orange slice.

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Projecting a showbox movie that everyone can watch once dinner is done and the sun is setting is always a crowd pleaser. If you own or can borrow a projector, simply set it up and project a film onto a stretched white sheet. You can download showbox apk to watch movies.

Some chocolate-covered popcorn (or any variation thereof) serves as a welcome dessert during the film.

Chocolate Popcorn
2 quarts popped popcorn
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Oil a 10×15-inch baking pan, including sides.

Place popcorn and peanuts into a large metal bowl and set aside. Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla; then pour over the popcorn. Stir until the popcorn is well coated.

Spread the popcorn in the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring several times.

Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Break into small clumps and serve. Keep napkins nearby!

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Since it’s a casual affair, keep the attire cool and classic. A breezy peasant-style dress with a pair of gladiator sandals and some gorgeous gold bangles is a winning look. Top it off with a denim jacket as the sun goes down. And don’t forget to place some throw blankets around the backyard for guests to use to warm up should the temperatures dip.

Chef Kyle Johnson Shares His Must-Have Ingredients for Summer Dishes

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Alfresco dining isn’t complete without a gorgeous and refreshing summer salad, where bright notes such as citrus and berries mingle with earthy greens and creamy cheeses. To make the dish even more enjoyable, serve it in beautiful ceramic or wood bowls for friends and family, under the stars after the sun sets.

It’s an experience that’s really fitting for warm summer nights and a dish Southern California chefs look forward to creating each year.

To tap into the seasonal and local flavors of the season, we asked Chef Kyle Johnson of Bourbon Steak Los Angeles for the ingredients he’s most looking forward to cooking with this summer.

What’s your favorite summer salad?

I would definitely have to say grilled peaches with a fresh, local goat cheese, pistachios and honeycomb (which we get from Coachella Valley), tossed with spicy farmers market lettuces.

Which summertime ingredient should be in every chef’s refrigerator?

Brentwood corn is a summer must. We are doing polenta-stuffed agnolotti with fresh, sautéed Brentwood corn and summer black truffle-crusted bone marrow that we serve tableside.

Which in-season fruit is the most versatile in the kitchen?

Melons. The vast assortment of heirloom breeds floors me every year. I like chilled melon soup done with club soda and lemon lime. I like to call it “Sprite Melon Soup” and garnish it with a few heirloom tomatoes.

Not up for dining in? Head over to Bourbon Steak L.A. for its summer-perfect Lacinto Kale Waldorf salad with grapes, candied walnuts and riesling vinaigrette, paired with a glass of refreshing rosé.

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Chef Michael Mina’s Favorite Father’s Day Activities Plus the Summertime Cocktail He Recommends Making Dad

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To say that Chef Michael Mina is prolific would be an understatement. The San Francisco-based chef is owner of over 20 restaurants across the country, including the celebrated Bourbon Steak Los Angeles at The Americana at Brand. He is a James Beard Award-winning chef and the recipient of multiple prestigious Michelin stars. He’s also famous for ‘Cook Taste Eat,’ an online destination for all things food- and recipe-related.

His focus on balance of flavors and brightness of taste and ingredients are signature components of his cooking and an aspect that keeps fans of his food always coming back for more.

For Father’s Day, Chef Mina, who has two sons of his own, is opting for casual fare in the form of grilled corn and steak, plus a couple of cocktails to sip on throughout the afternoon.

Here, the successful chef and entrepreneur shares what he loves to do most on Father’s Day, as well as the cocktail recipe he suggests whipping up to toast Dad.

What are your favorite Father’s Day traditions both growing up and now with your own children?

Quality time together and being outdoors in the warm summer weather cannot be beat–unless there’s an NBA finals game on! The finals usually line up with Father’s Day; if there is a game on, you can bet we’ll be watching it.

What are a few of your favorite brunch recipes for someone who might want to create an at-home Father’s Day menu?

When I think of Father’s Day, I think of roasted corn on the cob, a perfectly grilled steak and a great tomato salad. For earlier in the day, my go-to is always bagels and lox with a Bloody Mary (my wife Diane makes the best!) to start the day.

Is there a decadent dish at Bourbon Steak LA that feels right for treating Dad on Father’s Day?

There is never a wrong time for a lobster pot pie!  Chef Kyle Johnson also has a beautiful bone-in rib eye that’s also perfect.

What would you suggest as the perfect cocktail for Dad to enjoy while grilling or dining on Father’s Day?

Pisco Sour is a favorite! It has a nice smokiness and bright flavors.

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What You’ll Need:

2 parts Pisco (a white Brandy made in Peru from muscat grapes)
1 part lime juice
1 part simple syrup
1 egg white
3 parts ice
Angostura bitters

How to Make It:

Blend together Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white with ice. Strain mixture into old-fashioned glasses. Top with a few drops of Angostura bitters.

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*If you are interested in any of these items for purchase, please contact our concierge at 323.900.8080.  or you can even contact him via vidmate apk

All items are subject to availability.

 

SEASONAL COCKTAIL AT BAR VERDE AT NORDSTROM

By Bar Verde at NordstromNordstrom_BarVerde_QuinceRye_Blog_111814Take a break from all of the wonderful holiday shopping and come sip on our new local seasonal cocktail, QUINCE & RYE. It features James Oliver rye with our housemade quince jam, a sprinkle of cardamom, and a dash of blood orange bitters. Enjoy it on balcony that has a great view of The Grove’s Christmas Tree to kick off the season right.

 

Bar Verde is located on the 2nd floor of Nordstrom at The Grove.

HOW TO DRINK BEER

By Matt Vega, Bar Verde at The Grove

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Sitting in the dimly lit lounge at Warren’s Blackboard in Studio City, my eyes are immediately drawn to a Sticky Toffee Pudding on the dessert menu.  When executed correctly, there aren’t many desserts that make me a happier person.  While waiting for the dessert to arrive, I glance over their beverage selection to find something that might just make the experience I’m about to have even better.  I decide on one of my favorites, North Coast Brewing’s “Old Rasputin”.

Words cannot describe when both a beer and a culinary creation come together in just perfect harmony.  The sweet moist caramel and spice flavors of that Sticky Toffee Pudding and the slightly bitter coffee and nutty notes in the Old Rasputin created the Holy Grail of beer pairing.

There are an infinite amount of these life changing experiences that can be had if you are up for the adventure.  Here are three tips to get you on the right track.

1.Drink Beer
With the number of quality craft beers on the market right now, this should be an enjoyable process.  What you are looking for is to expand and increase the sensitivity of your palate.  There is a world of subtle nuances in craft beer that you will only begin to appreciate once you have tasted enough beers to recognize them

2. To Compliment or Contrast?
There are two basic ways I like to go about pairing beer.  If you have a dish that has some notes in it that are subtle, you can look to enhance these notes by choosing a beer that has similar or complimentary flavors.  On the other hand, much like in the case of the Sticky Toffee Pudding, if you have a dish that is dominantly a particular flavor palate, you should go with something that will add contrast and balance.  Think preparing a dish.  If you accidentally made something to acidic, you can add sugar to balance it out and create an amazing final product.

3. Slow Your Roll
With the way our society influences us, we are so accustomed to constantly being on the go.  Rushing from one task to the next has become second nature and an almost unavoidable practice.  When you sit down to enjoy a meal, take your time.  Chances are the chef and the brewer poured their heart and soul into what you are planning to devour in 35 seconds. Give it the time and respect to really savor and appreciate what is going on.  You might just fall in love with every bite and sip.

This Thursday, join Bar Verde for Craft Beer Tasting. Enjoy California craft beers paired with a special menu created by Chefs Travis Chase and Rhian Peterman.  Four courses, small plates and 4 oz craft beer paired with each course. For more information and to view the menu online, click here.

THE FESTIVE EASTER TABLE

Whether you are hosting a casual Easter brunch with friends, or a family gathering for Easter dinner, Crate & Barrel has tons of festive options.

Add bright tablecloths, placemats and napkins to set the scene for a fun Easter Brunch.CB_EasterBrunch_011. Loopedoo Orange Placemat
2. Helena Aqua Linen Napkin
3. Bunny Plate
4. Dotty Egg Cup
5. Swirl Egg Candles
6. Lamby PlacecardsCB_EasterBrunch_02Mix and match dinnerware, linens and glassware in pretty spring pastels for a warm family gathering. The seersucker tablecloth and napkins invoke the coming summer season while adding texture to your table.CB_EasterDinner_011. Seersucker Blue Table Cloth
2. Lanai Placemat
3. Spool Dinner Plate
4. Seersucker Melon Napkin
5. Gemma Plate
6. Seersucker Green Flatware-Goodie Pouch
5. Alegre Rose Beverage GlassCB_EasterDinner_02 CB_EasterDinner_03Stop by the Crate & Barrel store at The Grove to see all the festive Easter offerings!CB_EasterEggs CB_EasterFlowersCB_EasterChocoBunny