Ortolan, Christophe Emé’s (Taillevent, L’Orangerie) modern French restaurant in West Hollywood, will not make it to its 6th anniversary, or at least so it seems. Ortolan’s answering machine reports that the restaurant is closed until further notice, and attempts to reach Emé and/or his representatives have been so far unsuccessful. (We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.)
Ortolan, which Emé owned with his wife Jeri Ryan, earned high praise from Jonathan Gold, who wrote “At a time when half the émigré chefs in California are putting their knowledge of Escoffier to work cooking pasta, Ortolan, which reflects Christophe Emé’s Loîre-trained palate, may be the most serious French restaurant in Los Angeles.”
Update: We just got off the phone with Christophe Emé, who confirmed that Ortolan has indeed closed its beautiful doors. Emé said that he’d been working with a partner to retool the restaurant, but that the partnership had fallen through. He’s currently trying to find a new partner, and has closed the restaurant until that happens. “I’ll sell it if I don’t find a partner in the next weeks,” said the chef, citing the costs of keeping the restaurant open in the process. So if you’re reading this and you’re interested, please get in touch with the chef. “You can put my phone number in this article,” said Emé.
Emé would ideally like to keep the restaurant and reopen it with a different name and with both more casual decor and an entirely different menu. “More simple, more relaxed,” Emé said, not ruling out the possibility of a bistro. “I’m really attached to this place,” said the chef, whose flat-out gorgeous restaurant (chandeliers, wooden floors, banquettes, fireplace, interior herb garden) opened almost 6 years ago, on February 8th, 2005.