Founded by veteran restaurateur and Coronado native David Spatafore, Blue Bridge Hospitality is a true San Diego collective, born-and-bred. With seven distinct Coronado concepts, the restaurant group is credited for trailblazing the culinary resurgence seen today on the popular San Diego peninsula. With the grand opening of their newest Coronado-based endeavor, Little Frenchie, Blue Bridge is pleased to introduce a Parisian-inspired bistro led by executive chef Matt Sramek, an alum of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon and former chef at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Del Mar and 5-star luxury Hotel Bel-Air.
The Chef: Executive chef Matt Sramek’s storied career includes more than a decade training alongside California’s most reputable culinary leaders and fine-dining institutions. From Bruno Lopez (The Ritz-Carlton) and Douglas Dodd (Hotel Bel-Air, The Arrabelle at Vail Square, Montage Beverly Hills), Matt eventually earned his way into the kitchen of world-renowned chef Thomas Keller to help open the former Bouchon Beverly Hills.
Upon relocating to San Diego in 2010, Matt climbed the ranks within Amaya at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and then The Lot in La Jolla and Liberty Station as executive chef before joining Blue Bridge Hospitality in 2018.
The Food: A love-letter to the quaint corner bistros from Paris to Provence, Little Frenchie centers around classic French cuisine rooted in locally sourced ingredients and lighter preparations that speak to Southern California palates. With a culinary program that runs from morning into night, guests may start their day with a housemade quiche made with bacon, gruyere cheese and caramelized onion or a croque monsieur with brioche, ham and comte mornay. Seek out hors d’oeuvres ranging from steak tartare with prime beef and quail egg yolk, onion soup gratinée with aged comte cheese and burgundy snails with herb garlic butter.
For lunch and dinner, chef Sramek pays homage to time-honored techniques with entrees such as 24-hour brined chicken with truffles served with roasted root vegetables as well as steak frites with prime coulotte steak, caramelized shallot, and bone marrow jus. For a tableside spectacle, opt for le burger topped with ribbons of melted raclette cheese, aioli and onion confit. Fromage fans worship at Little Frenchie’s ‘Cheese Altar,’ which displays an array of Chef’s favorite domestic and French fromage used to assemble the bistro’s cheese boards.
The Wine and Beer: Prioritizing easygoing drinkability, Little Frenchie’s wine list is approachable and celebrates 40-plus bright, juicy French and California varietals available by the glass and by the bottle. In an effort to transform the wine ordering process from intimidating to enjoyable, the bistro introduces a user-friendly numbered pairing system embedded directly within its menus. Furthermore, each dining menu description is accompanied by expert recommendations that suggests red and white wine pairings suited for buzzy daytime brunches to romantic date nights in an easy-to-read fashion.
The Design: Located within Coronado’s historic French Beaux Arts-style Pacific Western Bank building (originally constructed in 1911), Little Frenchie’s 1,600 square-foot interior underwent a design overhaul to capture the charming atmosphere of a Parisian bistro. Incorporating a palette of cool blues and cream tones paired with lush florals and foliage, interior design highlights include plush red tufted banquettes, classic bistro chairs and white marble tables, alongside “windows” that give diners a glimpse of Parisian streetscapes. Little Frenchie’s charming indoor dining room seats 40 guests and features a shaded patio that accommodates up to 20.
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