When Geoffrey Zakarian knew he was taking over an ideal restaurant space inside the swanky Montage Beverly Hills, he knew it was going to carry some weight. The Chopped and Next Food Network Star judge took over Scott Conant's popular Scarpetta, which simply needed a redressing. And the initial results are pretty terrific by any measure.
Early Saturday evening the dapper Zakarian, who'd just come down from his hotel room at the Montage (though it might be better described as a pied-à-terre), was directing his staff around the cafe at Georgie, his new Beverly Hills restaurant. The front cafe part has a kind of suave South of France vibe, with wicker chairs, tuxedo-jacketed bartenders, and perfect pink tile. It's also a bit of an entry point into the dining room, which takes a completely new form from Scarpetta's more robust environs.
The new look, by John and Christine Gachot of Gachot Studios, keeps the same form factor and even the grand oak ceiling, but blends in a lush palette of greens, ivory, and blue hues for a fresh, modern feel that's not too formal. The cafe-style seating eschews the banquettes of old while greenery punctuates the space enough that you'll almost feel like you're outside.
The menu keeps to a friendly crowd-pleasing style that the New York chef has become known for. Consider goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms or kampachi tartare with pickled ramps. Roasted diver scallops and grilled leeks come with chanterelle mushrooms for a deeper bass note. There's something for everyone except there's no pork. According to Zakarian, we all need to take a break from pork.
Georgie opens tonight, while adjacent The Garden Bar opened on Sunday evening.
Georgie 225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210