There’s a lot to be excited about with Gwen, chef Curtis Stone’s upcoming dining masterpiece in Hollywood. The long-gestating project is finally nearing its opening date — reservations on Tock are currently available — and is slowly starting to let information about the until-now rather hush hush production come to life.
Today, the LA Times dropped a long feature on all things Gwen, chatting it up with Curtis and his brother Luke Stone who is coming onboard to run the day to day operations. It’s an in-depth look at what to expect from the restaurant, on-site butcher shop, and from Stone’s own heart and mind as he tries to do something really special.
Here are five important things to know:
It’s almost a butcher shop first. Though obviously there will be a strong sit-down restaurant component, complete with a high-end menu and all the usual fancy dining tropes, including 2,000 bottles of wine, at the heart of Gwen is meat. More particularly, hand cut and dry-aged meat from the restaurant’s own on-site butcher shop, which will in fact be among the first things guests see when they walk in.
This is where casual and classy come to mix. Locals will be able to come to the butcher shop to grab a quick sandwich or a big chop for that night’s dinner, or even just a cup of coffee from St. Ali. Should you decide to stay for dinner, tuck in your shirt and head to one of several dining spaces, where the fine dining finesse really kicks in.
It’s a big space with lots of options. The former Mercantile space has been transformed into a 7,000 square foot ode to all things delicious, but will still only hold some 86 seats in total. There’s a ground floor dining area, plus a mezzanine holding a full 24 seats plus a bar area and the restaurant’s impressive wine collection. Above that, you’ll also find Stone’s new R&D lab, which will replace the existing one in Beverly Hills as the go-to inspiration source for both Gwen and their sister restaurant Maude.
And lots of people. Staff for the restaurant is apparently up to 50 people already, and could grow with time as the place finds its flow. That means lots of floor staff to fully attend to diners’ needs, plus a strong kitchen staff that will include Gareth Evans as executive chef. Remember, Chad Colby is sadly no longer with the project, though it’s considered to be a mutual split.
This is tasting menu food, but with plenty of live fire cooking. Stone acknowledges the possible disconnect between big, meaty dishes and the usually restrained tasting menu dining format you find at fine dining restaurants the world over. But ultimately it’s a gap he’s comfortable bridging, as he tells the Times that while it may seem a bit arrogant to go tasting menu only, the truth is it’s about "trying to curate an experience for your guests."
Look for the butcher shop at Gwen to open on or around June 29, with the full restaurant experience to arrive sometime in mid to late July.
6600 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA