By Michael Hepworth
West Hollywood,CA(Spiritsman)9/17/12/—Most restaurants try and come up with specials or promotion during the slow days in the early part of the week, and in the case of Bagatelle in West Hollywood they have come up with Lazy Tuesday. The chef gets to prepare a different four course dinner every week, and in my case I got to try week 2 of this promotion, and it turned out to be a rather unexpected evening in a few ways. Open since February 2012, Bagatelle has got off to a solid start, and by all accounts virtually turns into a night club Thursday through Sunday. Other branches of Bagatelle are in New York, Las Vegas, Sao Paulo and St.Barths, and yes they do plan world domination.
I had arranged for a guest to join me that night since the meal is supposed to be shared by two, because the portions tend to be on the generous side. She cancelled on me the last minute, so I ended up going alone, which in the end turned out to be perfectly fine. During the entire meal I sat in the attractive dining room alone, and enjoyed what can only be described as a private dining experience. Now I know how the rich and famous feel. Celebrity spotters have seen Justin Bieber, Arnold Schwarzenegger and various members of the Kardashian clan in recent weeks. Music played is Euro disco, St.Tropez style.
The very helpful waiter and management did not seem perturbed at all, maybe because the restaurant is a hangout for entertainment types who prefer to come in late, much later in fact. Also, the very next night, they were hosting a private party for Kanye West and 200 of his friends, so a quiet prelude was just what they were probably hoping for.
Bagatelle can very loosely be described as a French bistro restaurant with a Southern influence, and on this particular Tuesday I started out with a Black Mission Fig & Pepper Salad w/ricotta and bathed in a cabernet vinaigrette. Like all quality restaurants, the bread is baked in house, and the Badoit sparkling water was an excellent touch.
Second course was a Crispy Dungeness Crab Roulade this time with a cucumber ginger vinaigrette, and just like the first course the ingredients were super fresh. Next up came four large pieces of Buttermilk fried Fried Chicken served with a Truffled mac and cheese. Unable to handle all four pieces, a couple were suck in a bag and tried for lunch the next day, and I was surprised that this is not on the main menu, because it would be a sure fire winner.
Dessert course stayed on that Southern butter fried circuit with a Brown butter cornbread cake w/smoked almond anglaise watercress and “butter” ice cream. I did manage to complete the course, but cancelled my after dinner plans to drive to Malibu to see a Neil Young tribute band. An eventful evening in many ways, so go and check out Bagatelle for yourself, and expect the unexpected from Connecticut born chef Scott Quinn, formerly of Bouchon and elsewhere.
Bagatelle-755 N.La Cienega, West Hollywood.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211