Grand Entrance

The Valley restaurant boom continues migrating west, with the opening of Claudine in Encino.

WHEN HUNGER PANGS  |  Clockwise from top: short rib grilled cheese sandwich; “BLAT” salad; brown butter rice krispie treats

 

Visitors to the new Claudine Artisan Kitchen and Bakeshop will hardly believe it is the same spot that housed Rosti Tuscan Kitchen. Now open and airy, with hues of white and turquoise, and blond wood, it feels infinitely more spacious and contemporary. Better yet is the food.

Helmed by Valley natives and best friends Anthony Jacquet, who did stints at both Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove, and pastry chef Lea Newton, the duo says the eatery represents their homecoming. “We both grew up and still live in the Valley. We have worked at several places in LA and we are really thrilled to finally return home,” shares Anthony.

Claudine serves breakfast and an all-day menu (that goes until the 8pm closing time) as well as an already popular weekend brunch that runs from 8am to 3pm. The bar features a rotating selection of California beer and wines.

Anthony and Lea offer complimentary skills. He is the culinary force behind hearty dishes like a meat-packed, short rib grilled cheese sandwich with braised onions (photo on left), as well as a house-cured lox on toast with crunchy pickled shallots, capers and cucumber—and truly distinguished by a delicious preserved lemon cream cheese spread. Another thoroughly enjoyable entree is his “BLAT” salad: a fresh, crisp dish set off by flavorful smoked bacon, perfectly ripened avocado and an ample serving of buttery buratta cheese.

Lea bakes cookies, brownies and cupcakes each day and is responsible for what is this writer’s absolute favorite dish on the menu: Lea’s Lightened Quiche with spinach, basil and a perfectly cooked, chewy crust. The quiche appeals to both the head (light/healthy) and the heart (satisfying/filling), and delivers in spades on both ends. “I make it with only one egg,” she says, “but it has lots of cheese!”


16350 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-616-3838; order online at claudinela.com

 

 

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