212 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Dining date: 4/12/14
Opened in February, Curtis Stone’s Maude was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year. It’s still one of the most popular restaurants in the city, packing tables for its seasonal, monthly tasting menus. The concept is rather unique; each month, the restaurant chooses one ingredient/theme to showcase throughout its entire 9+ course tasting menu (there is no a la carte option). This April dinner was centered around peas ($80).
Reservations are available at 10am on the 1st of the month for the following month (e.g. April reservations were available on March 1). On March 1, we placed hundreds of calls to get a busy signal…and finally secured a table in the early afternoon. Definitely one of the more difficult reservations to obtain in a while.
Curtis Stone has largely been known as a TV personality, but his career began in the kitchen. Under Britain’s Marco Pierre White, Stone rose the ranks cooking Michelin-starred food. After focusing primarily on TV, Maude is the first restaurant Stone can call his own.
The meal began with five small bites that arrived in quick succession.
The highlight for me was the burrata, which mellowed out a fresh raw pea flavor and made for some creamy and refreshing bites. The rabbit pie was another good one with delicious rabbit mixing well with the sweet, earthy pea. The ‘dim sim’ was less successful; here a rabbit mousse and black truffle were stuffed within a peapod and steamed. The pea and rabbit flavors were apparent but the truffle was not. Soft, mushy textures made me think this was oversteamed too. The bite of lamb gyro was a good one, though I was missing the pea flavor.
Spring Salad cucumber lemonade, radish flowers, asparagus
An assortment of fresh vegetables made up the first of the larger courses. Both crunchy and soft textures were present, all brightened up by some light acidity in the vinaigrette. I’m not sure the peas stood out, though.
Peas & Carrots pea, carrot puree, mint
Layers of pea soup, carrot puree and a carrot crumble made up this take on the classic combination. Both the peas and carrots brought a different kind of sweetness to the table, making for a homey rich soup. Lastly, the carrot crumble provided some nice texture.
Ocean Trout Crudo pea leaves and flowers, wasabi snow
Vitello Tonnato sweetbreads, pearl onions, wood sorrel
Bouillabaise Raviolo crab, shrimp, goat cheese
Lamb Neck chanterelles, ramps, potatoes
Pea and Elderflower Ice Cream white chocolate ganache, feuilletine
Frangipane Tart strawberry, tarragon cream, tangerine sorbet
The meal ended with a few mignardises (matcha almonds, pea & ginger shortbread, yuzu salt caramel, chocolate truffle) and some yogurt and granola to take home.
I enjoyed the meal at Maude. The food was both thoughtful and imaginative and really incorporated the feature ingredient in a variety of applications. It was a pretty high level of cooking for its price point and service was very good, too. While not all of the plates were a hit, I enjoyed the vast majority of it. I’ll definitely return for another ingredient…maybe corn in September or truffles in November?