Beverly Hills dining scene

Officially opening its doors Feb. 1, new Beverly Hills locale Maude is tiny, but packs a big punch. Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone is looking forward to the opening of the intimate, 25-seat restaurant named after his grandmother, and the concept is a bit out-of-the-ordinary.

Instead of featuring a traditional menu, Maude will only serve a nine-course tasting menu that rotates each month and focuses on a single in-season ingredient. Stone will open up with a citrus-themed menu in February and go into March with an artichoke-centric list of dishes, which takes the guess work out of deciding on the perfect dish to order. The tasting menu will cost roughly $75, depending on ingredients, and patrons interested in trying the wine pairing will have to shell out an extra $55.

The Maude website states: “Each month a single ingredient inspires a menu of nine tasting plates, and this celebrated ingredient is creatively woven, to varying degrees, through each course. Some courses call for the hero ingredient to be at the center of the plate whilst at other times, it plays a supporting role to the rest of the produce and proteins making up the dish.”

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The menu will be designed to include the freshest produce available, hence the month-by-month menu, and each meal is expected to take two-and-a-half hours.

The concept came about because Stone wasn’t interested in opening up a traditional restaurant, especially in the hot Beverly Hills market. He wanted to welcome guests into a space that mimics a small dinner party, and dishes are even served on vintage dishware, some of which belonged to his grandmother.

“I want it to feel really intimate like restaurants once were,” Stone told the Daily Telegraph. “These days with the huge restaurants we see, the decisions are quite often made by groups or accountants and its all about numbers.”

The entire space is open and welcoming, with a chef’s bar that allows patrons to watch chefs, including Stone, whip up their meals. Additionally, the decor resembles a quaint, modern farmhouse look with mismatched chairs and faux weathered furniture.

Stone partnered with Michelin-rated industry experts, including wine director Ben Aviram who worked at Chicago’s Elizabeth and Alinea. Other chefs and dining room staff hail from Torrisi, French Laundry, Vue de Monde and Joel Robuchon.

The celebrity chef admits that he doesn’t expect to make money off the project, but he doesn’t seem to mind as he’s always had his sights on opening up a small space. Reservations are required to dine at Maude and Stone will reportedly be at the restaurant often, and likely on opening night.

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