Babette’s, one of East Hampton’s mosticonic and celebrated neighborhood dining destinations, has opened the doors to its
first West Coast location at Crystal Cove Shopping Center.
Zach Layton, son of Babette’s founder Barbara Layton, is at the helm of this newest incarnation and with him comes the restaurant’s longstanding commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients and providing a welcoming ambiance. Some signature items on the Orange County menu include:
Lacinato Kale toasted barley / granny smith apple / cerignola olive / marcona almond / poached apricot lemon-herb vinaigrette
Vaduvan Scented Sweet Potato Gnudi brussels sprouts / heirloom beans / parmesan / kale-sage-pumpkin seed gremolata
Sake-Soy Marinated Ribeye of Beef (Grass-Fed) broccoli di ciccio / shishito pepper / charred scallion-bone marrow puree / fall spiced pomegranate glace
Pan Roasted Wild Steelhead Salmon manila clams / braised fennel / brussels sprouts / Fingerling potato / sundried tomato pistou
The centerpiece of the stunning, high-ceilinged space will be a hand-carved walnut wood bar with tonal blue leather stools underneath a dramatic, vaulted atrium sky ceiling. Rich reclaimed wood and floor-to-ceiling glass windows surround white textured walls. Revered local architect Sam Marshall, known for designing some of L.A.’s most beautiful eateries, has created a modern space using repurposed materials to create an environment that he deems “modern day craftsman.” The space was very thoughtfully planned out and every piece of custom furniture was designed by Marshall himself.
It’s what will happen behind the bar that will be another notable draw for Babette’s. Layton has brought in acclaimed cocktail mastermind Dushan Zaric to create the bar program. In addition to running New York’s famed bars Employees Only and Macao Trading Company, Zaric is one of the innovators in the revival of the craft cocktail movement. His talents can be witnessed first-hand in the documentary film Hey Bartender and his laid-back and unpretentious approach to mixology is the perfect complement to Babette’s casual and fresh cuisine. Standouts on the early autumn cocktail menu include the Can’t Elope with fresh pureed cantaloupe, Fords Gin, falernum, Aperol, lemon juice and a savory garnish of candied duck prosciutto, as well as the Bella Rosa, which features muddled strawberry and lemon juice with a vermouth
infused with wildflowers, Campari and ginger beer with an orange twist. “Babette’s also has a reputation for working closely with a number of local farms, such as Archi’s Acres, to bring its customers the freshest ingredients possible,” said
Stacie Ellis, senior director of marketing for Irvine Company Retail Properties. “They’re also known for creating a sense of community within their restaurant by making their customers feel comfortable and welcomed. They’ll be a great fit here with the diverse mix of boutiques and restaurants at Crystal Cove Shopping Center.”
Layton added, “We really wanted to create someplace truly special. Somewhere our guests could walk in and feel instantly transported and at ease a place where they would actually feel both compelled and welcome to stay and sit for hours. Our team has really come together to create this perfect oasis for our customers.”
Babette’s matriarch couldn’t be more excited about their West Coast debut: “We thought long and hard about where to open our second location and felt that Newport Coast shared so many of the qualities that we love about East Hampton,” said Barbara Layton. “We are thrilled to be joining this beautiful beachside community and can’t wait to welcome our neighbors and guests into our Babette’s family.”
Babette’s is located at Crystal Cove Shopping Center at 7962 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach and will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and full bar service with handcrafted cocktails.
Hours of operation: 6 a.m. open for takeaway fresh pressed juices, coffee & pastries; Mon Thurs 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch & dinner; Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. for breakfast, lunch & dinner and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Reservations: 949.715.9915 or via opentable.com