Cafe Pierre Says Farewell to Manhattan Beach, Love and Salt to DebutBy Lesley Balla
April 2, 2014
Cafe Pierre, the South Bay institution that's weathered many storms since 1977, will close its doors on April 14. In its place will be Love and Salt, a new concept, helmed by chef Michael Fiorelli (mar'sel at Terranea). It's a bittersweet end for the Gabriele's, who will still be involved with the new restaurant, but Cafe Pierre has had a good life. Guy opened it first as small creperie - fitting for the beach town - but after two years, he added more dishes, like steak au poivre, filet mignon Roquefort and escargot, and renamed the charming space Cafe Pierre. Gabriele was introducing trends before they were trends: By the 80s, he started using seasonal ingredients that were grown nearby, making it more Cali-French cuisine, which he still does to this day. And he even started guest chef nights with some of his buddies around LA, like Celestino Drago and Michel Richard. On its 30th anniversary, the restaurant was renovated, brightened up a bit, sexier, but still served the classic cuisine it was known for.
Until its final curtain call, Cafe Pierre will have a special prix fixe menu that reflects the restaurant's history, including the steak au poivre Gabriele has served from the beginning, garlicky escargots, crepes, pate maison and more. The menu, served April 6-13, is $65 per person and includes a celebratory glass of bubbly. After that, the space will undergo renovations for Love and Salt, an Italian-focused spot for Fiorelli. Look for the opening sometime this summer.