This morning, Pascal Olhats sent out a newsletter to loyal customers announcing the closure of his seminal Newport Beach restaurant, Traditions, after nearly 25 years. He says that the last day of service will be Valentine's Day, but also revealed what his plans are for the future, including the news that the restaurant will be sold to a new owner who will be using Olhats as a consultant.
The Daily Pilot says that the new owner is none other than Christophe Émé of the recently shuttered Ortolan in LA. Emé, a fellow Frenchman, will open a more casual place called Émé in the spot.
Here is the letter in its entirety.
After nearly 25 years of doing business in Orange County, on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, the journey of my ﬁrst restaurant, Tradition by Pascal, will be coming to an end. Although many of my great patrons, such as yourselves, may be sad… I know that it is for the best and hope you keep your great memories of my restaurant for years to come.
To begin, I would like to Thank You for supporting my restaurant throughout the years. It has been an amazing venture and I am very grateful to have been accepted and rewarded in Orange County as a leader of the dining scene.
I have answered some questions below so that you have a better understanding of why I will be ending this chapter of my career.
Why are you closing Tradition when it's still top-rated in Southern California?
I have always been told that if you can end an achievement when you are on the top, do it! For me, it has been 24 years of a 'stand up' performance where I am always working to deliver my patrons with the best restaurant experience I can. Much like acting, in cooking you are as good as the last meal you have prepared.
So what is going to happen in the next month?
To mark the occasion in an upbeat fashion, Tradition by Pascal's dinner menu will transform to feature some of my most popular signature dishes, which I have titled The 'Best Of' Pascal's. This menu, available from January 13th-February 13th, will be my last 'touring performance' and is offered both as a prix ﬁxe or a la carte. I will also be there to personally thank everyone for their great support throughout the years and for sharing with me such great memories.
I will also be hosting a very special event on Thursday February 2nd, titled A Dinner in Normandy: A Celebration of my Mother's Cooking. There will only be one seating at 6:30 pm and space is limited.
Last, but not least; I will be offering a delicious Valentine's Dinner menu from February 10-14, with live music by vocalist Mignonne Profant on February 14. As Valentine's Day will be Tradition's final day open, I am pleased that it will be on a day ﬁlled with romance, fond memories, festive music, and great food!
Will Orange County still be able to enjoy your food?
Of course! Though I will no longer be in the kitchen of Tradition by Pascal, there are still plenty of ways. To begin, I will continue serving the food you know and love at Pascal Epicerie & Wine! I plan on adding some great new dishes and macarons bringing in good wines and cheeses, hosting more wine tasting events, and branding some of my homemade products very soon.
Cafe Jardin in Sherman Gardens, Corona del Mar, will also continue serving great lunches as well as catering great parties and weddings in what I believe to be the most beautiful outdoor environment in Orange County.
As for Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island, I plan to spend more time there and add some of my a signature dishes on to their existing menu. I am also a chef and managing consultant at two top restaurants in Orange County, French 75 and Savannah Chop House, where some of my previous chefs from Tradition by Pascal are in charge of the kitchen.
I will continue hosting Cooking Classes as well as cooking great Private Dinners in the comfort of your own homes, as this is something I have always enioyed doing. It allows me to cook creatively while spending quality time with my patrons, combining the the things I love most about cooking!
I'm also happy to share with you that the future tenant of the 'Tradition' location has hired me as a consultant. Though you won't see me there, I will still be leaving behind some of my Pascal touches. So, regardless of the closing of Tradition by Pascal, I will still have the chance to cook for you in many different and perhaps new ways and locations.
This is the last page of one chapter, but the book has certainly not ended.
Merci and bon appétit!