French Riviera-inspired fare in Beverly Hills
Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills drew inspiration from the French Riviera for its newest restaurant, Avec Nous, an elegant French bistro led by chef Olivier Quignon, formerly of New York’s Bar Boulud.
Like a waterfront café one would expect to find in St. Tropez, Avec Nous, which means “with us” in French, is a major departure in décor from former restaurant Livello’s dark, moody lounge area of overstuffed couches and eclectic art on the walls. In contrast, it’s an intimate, light-filled setting of neutral tones, black-and-white fine art photography, modern gold chandeliers and a fireplace central to the dining room.
The culinary focus of Avec Nous is a classic French bistro with splashes of inspiration from the Mediterranean coast, including Spain and Italy.
For breakfast or brunch, which are served seven days a week and during lunchtime as well, don’t miss the omelet with lobster, asparagus and béchamel or the housemade waffle topped with seasonal fruit and Chantilly cream with a side of thickly sliced applewood bacon.
If savory is what you seek, lunch signature dishes include the chilled carrot soup with a generous portion of jumbo lump crab and the Nous Burger featuring Angus beef, grilled eggplant, arugula and basil aioli on a brioche bun. For an afternoon snack or an eye-appealing dinner appetizer, order the housemade charcuterie served with mustard, pickled vegetables and fruit, such as white strawberries.
Chef Quignon’s French culinary heritage shines in his mastery of cured meats, as demonstrated with the duck prosciutto. But just because he’s French, don’t expect proteins laden with traditional heavy sauces and tweezered presentations.
He keeps it light, simple and delicious — ideal for L.A.’s health-conscious culture. Although if a splurge is in order, Avec Nous’ grilled foie gras a l'orange starter or the côte de bœuf for two served tableside are worth the indulgence.
On the lighter side, noteworthy entrées include the whole oven-roasted cauliflower served tableside that’s seasoned with vadouvan curry, Marcona almond, golden raisins puree and parsley, or beautifully presented scallops with broccoli, turmeric, chermoula and squid ink crisps.
Even if you’re not typically a dessert fan, save room at Avec Nous. Choose liquor-infused Sugarfina treats from the mignardises cart that wheels right up to your table or try the hard-to-find-in-L.A. French dessert of iles flottantes (“floating island”), a light, airy meringue afloat in an amaretto crème anglaise sauce.
Wines reflect the menu with a carefully curated list hailing from France, Spain, Italy and even a few Californian bottles. Cocktails, designed by Alex Bachman (a Chicago import from Yusho, Billy Sunday and A10), are twists on classic drinks, like the spicy take on an Old-Fashioned of bourbon, monk’s pepper and black aloe.