Editor’s note: For the last eight years, chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke have established themselves as absolutely essential to the Los Angeles dining scene at Republique, their all-day French restaurant with irresistible desserts. Now, the duo is back at it with Bicyclette Bistro, a brand-new restaurant that brings the best of Paris to LA, with booking exclusively available on OpenTable. In their own words, here’s what to expect from Bicyclette, officially open for reservations today.
Paris. There are few words that elicit as much joy for me as the name of our favorite destination — it’s simply the city for me. A city that has so much to offer — food, wine, fashion, art. The energy of Paris is unlike that of any other. From my first encounter in 1990 when I hadn’t the means to dine within fancy restaurants, I would find myself sitting in a Parisian bistro or café and watching Paris life, drinking as much Champagne as I could afford. It is a passion shared with Margarita, who is a self-admitted “casual kind of diner” and loves the bistro concept where daily specials are written on a blackboard hanging in view of the diners. Now, we are both excited to bring what we hope will be an authentic slice of Paris to Los Angeles with Bicyclette Bistro, opening June 16.
Bicyclette Bistro is our love letter to Paris wrapped in the hope that the beautiful bar, subtle lighting, vibrant energy, food and drinks will transport you to a cherished element of our favorite travel destination. The menu is a collection of beloved, Parisian bistro classics — including a duck leg confit and steak au poivre — which have been updated or altered to be the best versions for today. Everything on the menu can be eaten by one while also designed to be shared easily between multiple people. There are some items that will be familiar to you — the Burgundy escargot en croute, for example. We’ll have a menu of classic French desserts including Paris brest and profiterole au chocolat, as well as the dessert board from our days at Church & State, which will feature two seasonal and one chocolate tart.
The all-French wine list is divided by region as it is in most parts of Europe, an approach that aims to spark conversation and inspire a desire to take chances. While there are many vins de garde (wines to save/age/keep) in our collection, as a bistro the focus is on vins de soif (thirst quenchers, wines to enjoy now). Our cocktail program is an ode to classic cocktails and French spirits in which cognac, armagnac, calvados, and eau de vie play starring roles with drinks that blur the lines between classic and modern. There is a Kir Royale which uses a great crème di cassis we sourced in Dijon, and a twist on the Miyako Hotel Special, the classic cocktail from Hemingway’s travel buddy, Charles H. Baker’s The Gentleman’s Companion.
At Bicyclette Bistro, everything is created with the goal of making guests feel the way Margarita and I do every time we visit Paris. Transported, inspired, and happy to be exactly where you are in the moment. We can’t wait to welcome you starting June 16.
A très bientôt,
Walter and Margarita Manzke
P.S. We’ll be opening our tasting menu-only concept, Bicyclette Restaurant, upstairs later this year and look forward to sharing those details when the time comes.