Beverly Hills: Seasonal Dining at Maude
Internationally famous chef Curtis Stone has opened Maude, a small restaurant in Beverly Hills. The tasting-menu only restaurant focuses on one ingredient a month. I went a couple of months ago for artichoke. Currently the restaurant is featuring rhubarb and morel mushrooms are a go for next month. Check out the upcoming months for something that’ll pique your interest. I may have to go for tomato!
Reservations are made at the beginning of the month for the following month. There are generally two seatings to get through the multi-course tasting each evening. I would suggest an early reservation though a later one made for 9 p.m. wasn’t bad. Pacing was excellent and we made it out of the parking structure before it closed for the night.
We started out with a series of tiny, one-biters. I loved the crab salad toast and the uni blini. The consomme was also very lovely.
The croquette was great. Artichoke was there but not overwhelming.
The uni blini was really just perfect. I’m not even the biggest uni fan but can be convinced when it’s just so creamy. Artichoke was subtle.
The most perfect salad arrived. I liked that all the bites so far weren’t heavy and prepped us for our larger dishes ahead.
Some of the garnish including the nasturtium flowers and leaves were foraged by chefs for the scallop crudo. I love scallops and appreciated this dish. The caviar was a good accent.
Moving onto the meat dishes, we began with the pork rillettes. This was very well seasoned. I ate this by the spoonful, well, forkful. Traditionally rillettes might be eaten with bread but I liked how Maude decided to eschew that and let you go for it.
The table’s favorite dish was the bacon and eggs. There was a single raviolo that was eggy, creamy and delicious. It was made with duck egg and artichoke ricotta. The pork highlighted this dish so well. I also liked what they were calling the everything bagel crumb. Those are the poppy seeds and sesame seeds scattered across the plate. I almost wanted another but this was actually a very filling course. If we ended at this dish, I wouldn’t have minded.
But luckly for us, we moved onto skate. It’s one of my favorite seafood dishes but due to sustainability issues, I feel guilty ordering skate. But I feel greater guilt wasting food so I ate it… but I’ll make it up, I swear!
Moving on to safer food products, we had smoked artichoke focaccia with camembert cheese. This was wonderful.
Then we were hit with a series of desserts. And yes, they had artichoke in them. The chocolate semifreddo was accompanied by roasted artichoke ice cream. I also enjoyed the blood orange and hazelnut in this dish. It was a classic with a twist.
We also had cookied flavored with the Italian artichoke amaro, Cynar. It’s one of my favorite amari and I was pleased to see it in cookie form.
The mignardises didn’t have artichoke but that’s okay. I liked the petit fours as they were. The gelee was my favorite but the macaron was really nice with lime zest.
I’m hoping a reservation lands in my lap for morels next month. I dithered about making the reservations and now it’s too late. However, it never hurts to call to see if anyone has canceled last minute.