Top-quality beef and house-made charcuterie are the focus at Curtis Stone’s second LA restaurant, which doubles as a butcher shop. Sharing a natural affinity with charcuterie, rosés and skin-fermented whites are standouts on the wine list.
Executive Chef Curtis Stone and Wine Director Fahara Zamorano
Your other restaurant, Maude, offers one epic tasting menu. What’s the vibe at Gwen?
Curtis Stone: At Gwen, it’s a three-, five- or 10-course tasting menu focused on fire-based cooking techniques. I fell in love with the shell of this 1928 building smack in the middle of gritty Hollywood. It’s like an old Hollywood dining room. I want the room to feel like a party.
Where would you lead someone who comes in for a big steak with the perfect wine?
Fahara Zamorano: The big meat course at Gwen is only one component of the tasting menu—you’re not going to get there for a while. The safe bets for terrines and charcuterie are rosés, while cured meats and pâtés are wonderful with skin-contact whites. I call them “ballerinas that ride Harleys.” They can be really delicate, but they’ve got muscle and power, making them super-dynamic for pastas and salad dishes as well.
Gwen pulls on the abundance of year-round produce from southern California. Do you have a similar mindset with the wines?
FZ: The wines share the kitchen standards of sustainability, with a focus on Santa Barbara. We love the idea of giving our out-of-town guests a taste of what comes from here.
What’s happening at the bar?
FZ: We’re all about the no-waste movement and source everything locally.
If someone is normally not much of a meat eater but decides to go for it at Gwen, what do you recommend?
CS: Something braised or slow cooked,pasta that’s subtly infused—bacon and egg ravioli, something without big chunks of meat, something containing only the essence. Charcuterie is so textural. I’d maybe not go there. —Georgette Moger