Off the Menu OC

Covering the dining scene in and around the OC

Chef Pascal Olhats Brings a Twist on French Cuisine to Cafe Jardin in Newport Beach

Jardin 1The iconic Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach garnered headlines when it closed in February. Another Fashion Island favorite, Brasserie Pascal, closed last December when Chef Pascal Olhats was unable to renegotiate his lease.

A similar thing occurred last month when Chef Pascal had to close his Epicerie restaurant on Bristol Street.

However, according to an email he sent to his loyal customers, Chef Pascal will be opening a new location soon:

“I can share with you that we will be making a two-step move. First, we will move our operation, retail, dining and production catering kitchen to San Juan Capistrano with plans to open by May 2014. It is located at 31451 Rancho Viejo Rd., next to Marbella Country Club. This location will be a retail store (like Pascal Epicerie), plus have dinner service, a wine tasting room, and offer full event and catering services.

Second, we are also working to bring a location back to the Newport Beach area. Two prospective spots are bring considered—one is close to Bristol Street, the other on 17th Street. This second location is planned to be in operation by early 2015.

PS—you can also visit us at Café Jardin at Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar, where we serve lunch Monday through Friday, Sunday brunch, Jardin 4and private events for up to 250 people.”

And so we went to Café Jardin to see what Pascal was cooking.

We’re happy to report that Chef Pascal has brought a bit of Brasserie to Café Jardin. His menu includes French onion soup, smoked salmon mousse, short rib bourguignon sandwich, quiche Lorraine, airline chicken breast, grilled Spanish octopus, and duck leg confit. We tried the mousse, the octopus (with tender chunks of meat, black garlic oil, baby heirloom tomatoes and fingerling potatoes), the chicken, and a beautiful lavender panna cotta. These and other items are all part of his $25, three-course prix fixe menu, although he told us he’s adjusting his menu to offer a two and three course experience.

We can’t wait to go back and try his Sunday brunch.

For information, visit


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This entry was posted on April 6, 2014 by in Dining Out, Neighorhood Gem, Newport Beach and tagged , , , , .
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