This weekend, Viceroy Hotel Group opened Avec Nous in Beverly Hills, California, the luxury hospitality brand’s first, highly anticipated foray into French cuisine. The contemporary bistro reinvigorates classic French cuisine with modern culinary cues from the Mediterranean coast. With interiors by SFA Design, the 75-seat venue transports guests to the vibrant French Riviera.
Executive Chef Olivier Quignon helms the bistro, bringing a St. Tropez vibe and fresh culinary experience to Beverly Hills. Most recently the executive chef at Bar Boulud New York, Quignon has worked in several landmark kitchens and illustrious Michelin-starred restaurants. “The menu at Avec Nous is true to its French roots but it is lighter in style,” Chef Quignon says. “Neighbors now have a new place to grab a glass of wine and indulge in great cuisine.”
Avec Nous’ outdoor entrance and bright neon sign welcome guests. The bistro’s intimate setting offers ample plush seating and a glamorous pewter bar complete with leather paneling. Parquet wood floors and stunning modern fireplaces complement the ivory, black and brass palette that evokes classic Chanel, while circular vintage lighting fixtures and antique mirrors add glamour to their surroundings. Wine offerings are housed in a private glass cellar complete with chef’s table, designed for exclusive tastings and close group gatherings. The peaceful enclosed patio allows guests to savor California’s year-round comfortable climate, while its warm ambiance offers a respite for hushed conversation and romantic moments a deux.
“In designing Avec Nous, we wanted to introduce a modern West Coast interpretation of a classic bistro with a couture twist,” says Kara Smith, president of SFA Design. “The restaurant shares a similar warm color palette to the lobby lounge but possesses a distinctive identity inspired by vintage French details.”
Quignon’s Mediterranean-style menu features bold European spices and locally sourced ingredients. Offerings vary by season, placing emphasis on a handpicked selection of produce, seafood and meats from local markets and partners. Avec Nous offers an extensive charcuterie selection including pork shank rillettes, bresaola, lardo, and duck prosciutto paired with mustard and pickles, all made in-house. Specialty menu items include escargot with persillade butter on cast iron, niçoise salad, foie gras a l’orange, and The Nous Burger served on brioche and made with certified Angus beef, grilled eggplant, wild arugula and basil aioli. Tableside dishes include the côte de bœuf and whole roasted cauliflower.
Avec Nous’ beverage program celebrates the resurgence of wine culture and boasts a world-class wine selection curated by Conrad Reddick, former general manager and beverage director of Alinea. Mixologist Alex Bachman (A10, Billy Sunday, Yusho) consulted on the cocktail list, which focuses on modern interpretations of classic libations. Signature options include Cocktail Avec Nous, a modern Old Fashioned with European spice made with bourbon, monks pepper and black aloe; a French 75 made with gin, absinthe and Meyer lemon; Moment of Truth featuring Spanish white vermouth, cherries and cider; and Amari and Apollinaris crafted with Genepi Herbal Liqueur, mineral water and Angelica bitters. Cocktails are designed to pair closely with the dinner menu.
Culture and community define Avec Nous’ allure and energy. The menu encourages guests to share and order “a la table,” while collaborations with likeminded partners bring the vision to life. Waitstaff are outfitted by progressive French design duo The Kooples. Custom illustrations by Jean Andre, a modern French artist known for his seductive yet minimalistic work, accent each menu.