Chef Benjamin Bailly has joined Cliff's Edge Restaurant as executive chef. Benjamin began work Jan. 3, and has been gradually giving the menu a new, more focused direction, while staying true to Cliff's Mediterranean roots.
"I am really looking forward to cooking in this great neighborhood, and creating seasonal food that is rustic and approachable, but also refined and contemporary using fresh, local ingredients,” Bailly says.
The new menu is geared strongly toward sharing, and is divided into four sections: To Share, To Start, To Follow, and Desserts.
To Share is a menu of small plates designed to make the beginning of the meal a social occasion, shared among friends as an accompaniment to an aperitif or a cocktail from Cliff's recently revamped drinks menu.
Among the items on this menu are: Chickpea Fritters with Rosemary and Lemon Aioli; Eggplant Caviar with Cumin, Pine Nuts, and Cilantro; Salt Cod Brandade with Lemon, Parsley, and Garlic Crostini; and Pickled Cauliflower with Castelvetrano Olives and Marcona Almonds.
To Start consists of slightly more substantial plates that can be shared or can serve as appetizers. The emphasis, as in all the menu items, is on seasonal, flavorful produce, carefully prepared and served.
Baby Beetscome with Goat Cheese, Lavender, Orange, and Pistachio; Burrata Salad is made all the more seasonal by the inclusion of Persimmon and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Crispy Polenta supports a Sunny Side Up Egg, a Sautée of Mushrooms, and shaved Pecorino Romano; and Seared Scallops are served two to a plate with Cauliflower, Vadouvan, Salsa Verde, and Lebne.
To Follow consists of dishes that might normally be described as entrées, and are larger and more hearty.
Skate Wing's delicate texture and flavor is paired with Brown Butter, Sunchokes, Pine Nuts, Lemon, and Capers; Berkshire Pork Belly is served with Gigante Beans, Chorizo, and Piquillo Soffrito; and Taleggio Risotto is partnered with Butternut Squash and Rosemary.
Desserts include Chocolate Torta, Pistachio Crème Brûlée, and Gianduja Budino.
The menu will continue to evolve and change regularly with the seasons, and menu specials will reflect the very best of what the market has to offer.
"Cliff's Edge has been at the heart of Silver Lake's dining scene for seven years, and with Ben Bailly working with us, we look forward to an exciting new stage in the life of Cliff's,” says Partner and Manager, Pierre Casanova. “Our guests and the community have a great deal of affection for our dining patio, and its amazing ambiance, and we're confident that they're going to fall in love with Ben's food too."
Partners Dana Hollister and Keith Greco, who designed the restaurant and the recently remodeled bar, are equally enthusiastic about Bailly's appointment.
"Ben's food reflects exactly how people want to eat now," Hollister says. "And, with the menu evolving as we move forward, this is a really exciting moment for us."
Cliff's Edge is taking part in this year’s Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, and items from the menu will be available in a three course Prix Fixe menu for $44.
Chef Benjamin Bailly
Hailing from the village of Denain, in northern France, Chef Bailly, 29, credits his French and Italian family for influencing his menus.
Bailly cut his teeth in the kitchen at Sheraton Park Tower in London, then moving on to work in Alain Ducasse's Spoon at the Hotel Byblos in Saint Tropez, France.
In 2004, Bailly joined culinary legend Joël Robuchon to open his Monaco restaurant as Commis de Cuisine.
Bailly was then promoted to work as chef de partie at Robuchon's laboratory in Paris, where he assisted in opening six restaurant worldwide in Las Vegas; New York; Macau, China; London; and finally Hong Kong, China.
Bailly then arrived in the United States, where he worked as sous chef in L'Atelier's one-star kitchen and the three-star Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas.
Leaving a five-year run with Joël Robuchon, Bailly moved to Los Angeles to run the kitchen as executive chef at Petrossian in West Hollywood, where he gained attention for creating modern twists on some of his favorite French classics.
Bailly earned fast acclaim in Los Angeles, being nominated for the 2010 James Beard Awards as a Rising Star Chef of the Year. He was one of only nine to be given that title by Angeleno's Brad Johnson.
In November of 2010, Chef Ben took the reigns at Fraiche as executive chef. In July 2011, Ben left Fraiche to pursue work as a private chef.
He began as executive chef at Cliff's Edge on Jan. 3, 2012.