Restaurateur Stephane Bombet of Bombet Hospitality Group and Executive Chef Michael Hung have opened Viviane, (9400 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA; 310.407.7791) a beautiful spot that is almost hidden in the Avalon Hotel. With a design by Kelly Wearstler, the retro-meets-modern restaurant looks out onto the intimate pool and gives you a serene dining experience. Executive Chef Michael Hung has a menu inspired by classic American and European Continental cuisine and offers breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and weekend brunch.
Viviane embraces a mid-century California with an authentic 1950s-60s collection of vintage furniture, a palette of turquoise blues, gold, ivory, and neutral tones, along with retro patterns. 1950s Carlo de Carli settee are alongside wood and brass dining chairs by Dan Johnson and hand-crafted, white oak tables with inlaid geometric patterns. On the far end of the main dining room, the marble bar has vintage iron bar stools with deep blue and ivory geometric patterned leather seat cushions.
As for food, you can start your day with breakfast and weekend brunch including Sunny Side Up Eggs with Corned Shortrib and Cherry Tomato Hash and Caper Salsa Verde; Egg White Fritatta with Roasted Peppers & Eggplant Escalivada and Potatoes; and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Riesling Roasted Figs, House-made Granola, and Maple Syrup. Lunch includes a large raw and cured fish section, salads, hearty sandwiches, and entrées like Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Pine Nut Crema, Pickled Onions, and Ciabatta Crostini; Pastrami Cured Wild Salmon Tartine with Whipped Ricotta Cheese and Spiced Pickled Squash; Fuyu Persimmon and Corn Salad with Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette and Sunflower Seeds; Rainbow Beets and Apple Salad with Horseradish Crème Fraîche, Dill, and Pumpernickel Crisps; and Little Gem Lettuces with Spanish Anchovies, Pan Fried Croutons, and house-made Caesar dressing.
Sandwiches include a Slow Roasted Prime Ribeye with Savoy Cabbage Slaw, Horseradish Aioli, and Grilled Rosemary Potato Bread and an Herb Baked Turkey with Smoked Bacon, Sour Cherry Compote, Grain Mustard, and Whole Grain Sourdough. Lunch entrées include Grilled Rainbow Trout with Caramelized Endive, Fennel, and Grain Mustard Vinaigrette and Ricotta Ravioli with Chanterelles, Roasted Corn, and Brown Butter.
Happy Hour menu includes small bites like Charred Vegetable Flatbread with Roasted Peppers, Eggplant, and Taggiasca Olives; Smoked Mozzarella Flatbread with Arugula and Truffle Honey; White Bean Hummus with Roasted Garlic with Ciabatta Crostini; and Deviled Eggs with Brown Butter, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Parsley.
When it comes to dinner, we started with the Hand-Ground Steak Tartare with Roasted Mushroom Conserve, Egg Yolk, Caperberries. If they had this as a bigger plate, I would have ordered it. It was perfectly done. The caperberries added a perfect saltiness and the egg yolk held it all together. Now, for the “Bigger Bites” like the mousse-like, Soft Cooked Duck Egg, which comes with Caramelized Endive, Roasted Corn, and Quinoa. The robust egg mixes perfectly with the sweeter endive and corn. It’s a dish I would order over and over. There’s also the Crispy Pork Belly with Brussels Sprouts Kraut, Apple Onion Compote, and Rosemary Jus and Tyler’s favorite (he keeps talking about it), Handmade Linguine with Marinated Geoduck Clams, Manila Clams and Chardonnay Sauce. It’s a perfect pasta dish to split and won’t leave you too full for the next course.
Large Plates include Roast ½ Mary’s Chicken & Dumplings-Parisian Gnocchi, Young Carrots, Cipollini Onions, and Natural Jus; Pan Roasted Skate with Braised Savoy Cabbage, Hazelnut Soubise, Sauce Chateaubriand (It was savory and worked perfectly with all the sides it came with); the 12 oz. Grilled Piedmontese Ribeye Steak which comes topped with a Bone Marrow Gremolata and a Smoked Potato Puree, Sauce Bordelaise (It was one of the best steaks I have ever had. Topping a steak with bone marrow is genius); and Shellfish Boudin Blanc made from Maine Lobster, Scallops, and Gulf Shrimp, Sauce Américaine. Ok, back to the steak…usually steaks are topped with butter right before they are served, but the bone marrow added the fattiness, and smoothness of a butter while keeping the steak taste. It’s absolutely worth going to Viviane for.
The beverage program has an extensive wine program with wine from France and California and has been co-curated by Managing Partner and Wine Director François Renaud and General Manager Emmanuel Faure. Bar Director Ryan Wainwright has developed the restaurant’s cocktail menu that reinterprets classic libations from the mid-20th century. Wainwright’s cocktail list, divided by “For the Day” and “For the Night,” includes twists on the Gimlet, Cosmopolitan, Vesper, and flights of Manhattans with rye, scotch, and rum variations. Playful concoctions include the Tequila Sunrise Swizzle with Tapatio Tequila, orange juice, Grenadine, and Chartreuse; and the Pineapple Punch with Hamilton Guyana Rum, aromatic bitters, pineapple, and orgeat.