When the closure of Pinot Provence was recently announced, the only question we wondered was, "Now what?". Westin's decision to do away with the Costa Mesa establishment was not news. Their lease was coming up, and the hotel needed to decide on their next move.
Pinot's classic French cuisine was demonstrated by a number of chefs– most recently Alfonso Ramirez. We interviewed him back in March of 2013. Before that time, we rarely made it out to the restaurant. Once we had a date night there, it became part of our neighborhood rotation. When we'd mention the place to friends, often times we heard the same response, "We haven't been there in years."
Folks didn't realize Ramirez had managed to stay both true to the authenticity of Joachim Splichal's vision, and incorporate his own modern style of cooking. Whether it was the exchange of too many hands in the kitchen, or the ignorance of diners to give it another chance that contributed to its closure doesn't matter now. Their final service was this past Saturday.
The silver lining in this playbook is finding out where Alfonso would resurface. Instead of taking a break, he's already started the next assignment: Downtown Disney's Catal Restaurant. Another Patina Restaurant Group property, expect good things to happen in their menu over the next few months. We'd like to place a request now for some killer cassoulet.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.