Charcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Owner Josiah Citrin, opens tomorrow on Washington Boulevard in Venice, California. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Mélisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.
As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg—imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared. Citrin also offers smaller starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables, such as a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside.
“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”
Locally-sourced signature items include the half chicken salsa verde, 48 oz. dry-aged porterhouse, coal roasted carrots with sheep’s milk ricotta, herbs, honey, and black pepper, and collard greens with sweet potatoes, aged cheddar, and a lemon raisin vinaigrette. Four complimentary house sauces including smoked paprika chimichurri, red wine-chipotle barbeque, housemade”J1 sauce,” and an herb spiced vinegar will accompany each meal.
The cocktail program offers a versatile selection from classic to modern, such as a duck blind with vodka, duck fat, and orange liqueur and the midnight margarita with tequila, charcoal, and elderflower. The craft beer lineup features favorites from local breweries, and the wine list focuses on Citrin’s favorite California and French producers.
The restaurant’s minimalistic, open concept seeks to offer guests a warm and hospitable dining experience. The walls are lined with woods typically used in grilling, such as hickory, walnut, and white oak. The dining room features a mix of individual and communal tables with sleek ash chairs, brass lighting fixtures that resemble grill tops, and a rotating selection of curated modern art. The bar area features high-top tables and tall metal chairs, allowing patrons to glimpse the action in the open kitchen, which is framed by a large window and wall decorated with a tile mosaic.
Charcoal Venice is located at 425 W. Washington Blvd. Venice, CA, 90292. Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday 6-10 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Valet parking available for guests. Reservations available and walk-ins encouraged. For more information call (310) 751-6794 or visit Charcoal Venice online.