Juliette's Kitchen & Bar, Newport Beach...any info?
Just heard of the opening of a new restaurant at the location of the former Pascal/Traditions spot on Bristol in Newport Beach. Has anyone been there, or know anything about it?
I had lunch there last week. The pork belly sandwich was quite tasty but the fries that came with it, while good quality potatoes, were limp (despite my requesting them crisp) and without much flavor. The burger looked pretty good and that is what I will likely try next. Prices are moderate, with the sandwiches in the low teens.
Tried Juliette's myself a few days ago. A bit strange and disorganized at this time, although the food is reasonably good. By strange, I mean...first of all...although they have a full bar, they do not stock any "standard brands" of gin or vodka no Tanquerey, no Bombay Sapphire, no Ketel One, etc. All of their spirits are from boutique producers. Second, no bread service of any kind is available...not complimentary, not for a price, nothing!. Toast points came with my charcuterie, but my dining partner wanted some bread to accompany his salad...not available. I was able to persuade our server to bring me a few extra toast points to share. The charcuterie selection included 5 choices...2 prociutto's, and 3 salumi's. I asked the server to describe them so that I could select either 3 or 5 (the offered choices). He said that the prociutto's and salumi's were essentially identical...duh! No mustard was offered with the charcuterie, and getting some seemed an issue. The charcuterie was however quite good (and yes, the 2 salume's I had were very similar). My partner's trout salad was also quite good. He is pretty much a vegetarian (but does occasionally eat fish), and really wanted the potato gnocchi which were served with a duck ragu. We asked if the chef could possibly make a vegetarian version (nothing complicated, just adding a few vegetables to the existing pesto with which it was served. We were told that there was a strict "house rule"...you can take away anything you don't like from a dish, but no additions are possible. Not a way to win friends, particularly for a brand new restaurant! He had the gnocchi "as is" ...they were ok, but could have easily been improved. I had the PEI mussels, which were delicious although 3 of the 12 served (it's a small plate place), were unopened. (I didn't ask for a 25% discount).
Service was very hit or miss. Our server was pleasant enough, but he was serving multiple tables all over the place, and it was very difficult to get our wine on time, a replacement for a dropped fork, or the extra toast points as previously mentioned.
The food was pretty good, the menu was interesting, and the atmosphere/vibe pleasant enough. There is nothing quite like this in the Newport Beach area. If they smooth out their very many rough edges, they might become an interesting dining option. For now, I'd wait.