Six of us dined al fresco last night at Breadbar (of all places!) on 3rd street to enjoy chef Ludovic Lefebvre’s playful tapas menu. The Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills provides all of the fine charcuterie and cheese and diners are encouraged to bring their own wine. A win win situation all around.
Prices range from $6 (cheese, vege plates) to $26 for the “black croquet monsieur”. With sleeves rolled up, Chef Ludovic’s tattooed arms were kept busy by a full restaurant; below is what we ordered:
-Black Croque Monsieur – could be THE best grilled cheese; thin bread is soaked in squid inked and lightly filled with cheese, cured ham and foie gras and then grilled. The rich texture of the “stuffing” along with the crisp, buttery bread is heavenly.
-Potato gnocchi – dense, pillow like gnocchi accompanied by crisp shreds of romaine and charred prosciutto lightly dressed in a cheese veloute sauce. Like the croque monsieur, this was a real hit with everyone.
-Hanger steak – cooked to a perfect medium rare, it comes pre-sliced with a subtle mustard-based sauce.
-Heriloom tomato salad - a play on a greek salad, the super sweet heirloom tomatoes are drizzled with a vinaigrette and garnished with a few olives, red onions and topped with an ethereal dollop of feta “mousse”. Another standout dish.
-Crab – served in a small round dish, a cold crab "cake" sat in a pool of coconut milk flavored with lemon grass. This was one of the least favorite plates of the night; the crab was good, but the coconut “cream” was soley rich and one dimensional and needed some acid to enliven the dish
-Charcuterie/Cheese – as expected, all of these were fantastic. We had prosciutto, lomo, epoisses, extra aged comte, a triple cream and mimolette; the mimolette (cow’s milk, hard, orange color) was our favorite.
-Dessert – chocolate mousse (spiked with chipotle or some kind of spicy chile) and a vanilla ice cream and apple combo. I would skip the desserts next time.
Overall, we really enjoyed the concept and thought the food was excellent. I think the tapas menu is being offered through December and I would definitely go back to see what else the chef will be creating.