Set inside the glamorous Avalon Hotel of Beverly Hills, once the Beverly Carlton where A-list celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball would stay, the new Viviane restaurant is absolutely divine. With Executive Chef Michael Hung at the helm, who helped open the popular restaurant Faith & Flower downtown, you know you’re getting the best cuisine.
The beautiful décor inside is chic, yet simple, with warm, inviting lighting. But if you want the full experience, outside by the pool is where you want to be. We started off our wonderful evening with the Manhattan Flight, at the recommendation of our fabulous waiter Conor. It includes the Traditional with Rye, Cinzano Vermouth, & Bitters, the Rob Roy with Scotch, Carpano Vermouth, Chinato, & Bitters, and the Cuban with Bacardi 8yr Rum, Hamilton Guyana Rum, Cocchi Vermouth, & Bitters, an excellent way to get the palate primed for the cuisine while you enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
Our first dish was the Hand-Ground Steak Tartare with Roasted Mushroom Conserve, Egg Yolk, & Caperberries. It was absolutely delicious. Spectacular alone or over the lovely crostini, I must say it’s the best steak tartare I’ve ever enjoyed!
Next, it was on to one of the best salads I’ve ever enjoyed also…another recommendation by our waiter, the Fuyu Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Wild Arugula, Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette, & Sunflower Seeds. It’s light and refreshing, with the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors, and soft and crunchy textures…it truly is divine!
Now it was on to the Bigger Bites menu and the Soft-Cooked Duck Egg, served atop Caramelized Endive, Roasted Corn and Quinoa. It is then your pleasure to cut into the duck egg and watch the yolk ooze over the bed of endive, corn, and quinoa…delicious!
We then moved on to another tartare from the Raw & Cured menu, the Pastrami-Cured Wild Salmon Tartare with Ricotta Cheese and Spiced Pickled Squash served atop a nice wheat, nutty bread. It’s a little heavier than your usual tartare dish, as it is served over bread, so get this one if you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier. It would make the perfect brunch dish, and paired lovely with a sparkling rosé.
Next it was onto the Larger Plates, and we chose the Shellfish Boudin Blanc with Maine Lobster, Scallops, Gulf Shrimp, Sauce Américaine. No sausauge here as the name implies…it’s all seafood wrapped in fish…amazing! Served in a beautiful creamy sauce, this is a must for seafood lovers. Pair it with a light, crispy white wine, like the Vermentino, cotes de provence, chateau l’afrique. Their sommelier is on-hand, ready to recommend the perfect pairing. If you’re in the mood for some red meat, the Grilled 12oz Piedmontese Ribeye Steak with Bone Marrow Gremolata and Creamy Potato Purée is scrumptious, a restaurant favorite.
Time for dessert. We opted for the Meyer Lemon Tart with Huckleberry Fennel Compote and Sablé Breton, a light and refreshing choice. We also had the Riesling Poached Pear, served atop a divine Almond Frangipane and Brown Butter Anglaise, perfect if you’re in a more indulgent mood.
Viviane is located at 9400 West Olympic Blvd. inside the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. For reservations call (310) 407-7791, and for more information, visit their website at http://vivianerestaurant.com/. You can also follow them on social media. Enjoy!