A Fresh Taste of Pinot Provence [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Sign Costa Mesa

Pinot Provence is a reinvigorated French restaurant at South Coast Plaza.

Lulu De Rouen is a Manhattan Beach native who attended Orange Coast College before joining Joachim Splichal’s gastro-conglomerate in 2003, working as sous chef at Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar at Downtown Disney before becoming Executive Chef at Leatherby’s Café Rouge. To help keep Pinot Provence relevant after 10 years, Splichal named De Rouen executive chef in mid-September. The rustic French restaurant across from South Coast Plaza now has a new spark.

At a November 18 media dinner on the rustic bird cage-lined patio, new chef Lulu de Rouen presented classic rustic Pinot dishes, plus some new entries. She spent two months in Europe working for Joachim Splichal’s old friends Martin Barasategui (San Sebastian) and Chez Bruno (on the French Rivera), who’s known for preparing fourteen-course truffle dinners, where people arrive by helo from San Tropez and Cannes.

For the Amuse Bouche, De Rouen capped blistered bruschetta with calamari, fennel, ratatouille and cherry tomatoes.

French Food Costa Mesa

Big eye tuna tartare incorporated coriander vinaigrette, avocado, hearts of palm and watercress.

French Food Costa Mesa

For several plates, De Rouen doubled up. For the salad course, she paired roasted beets with goat cheese, pine nuts and beet puree AND heirloom tomatoes and watermelon with burrata.

French Food Costa Mesa

Boullaibaisse hosted crisp-skinned sea bass fillet, mussels, clams, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, fennel and crostini with rouille (garlic paste).

French Food Costa Mesa

Another twofer: chestnut & foie gras ravioli with parsnips, Brussels sprouts and butter AND rosy Sonoma duck breast with berry gastrique and black Mission figs.

French Food Costa Mesa

Boneless braised lamb shank came with heirloom beans, pattypan squash, roasted tomatoes and apple-wood smoked bacon.

Dessert Costa Mesa

Panna cotta was blanketed with crème fraiche and served with pistachio ice cream, raspberry coulis and marinated strawberries.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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