Francing with the Stars

New Beverly Boulevard brasserie Terrine does France by way of L.A.

It's a new year—but we're recommending you visit an old favorite.

Well, an old favorite location with one of the most beloved patios in town. The former Pane e Vino space on Beverly Boulevard (also the home to short-lived Serena) now goes by Terrine—and one of the most anticipated makeovers of 2014—should be one of your first 2015 stops.

Behind the restaurant is a dream team of sorts: Stephane Bombet (Faith & Flower, Picca), chef Kris Morningstar (previously of Ray's and Stark Bar) and wine guy Francois Renaud (The Tasting Kitchen). On the menu: classics such as choucroute garnie and côte de boeuf, as well as fish and chips, and agnolotti with truffled rice filling and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. It's a Frenchman's version of the brasserie at home right here in L.A.

The restaurateur's done Peruvian—Bombet was formerly behind all of Ricardo Zarate's operations—and the chef has Cal-Med down pat, so le menu isn't textbook Francophile. There's a nice pan-Euro mix with dishes such as roast chicken with Moroccan-flavored chermoula ($24) listed near herb spaetzle ($18) with chanterelles, scallions, pecorino and soft-boiled egg, and strozzapretti ($17) made of buckwheat and flavored with caraway and dill.

Octopus with toasted broccoli

Even standard brasserie fare gets a little flair. Moules ($23) arrive to the table topped with a hefty helping of savory, spicy aioli. Steak ($26) is a chewy onglet that's smoky and tender, reminiscent of brisket. And those frites? The superb skin-on fries ($5) are made better with pickle brine aioli.

But the specialty of the house—ahem, hence the name—is also hands down the best thing we ate. Cue the charcuterie plate ($29), with constantly rotating items like textbook terrine de campagne, a velvety terrine of duck, black truffled pâté, pork rillettes, smoky andouille and spongy (in a good way), piney liverwurst. Have fun mixing and matching the meats with cornichons, horseradish mustard, honey mustard and pickled beets smeared on baguette. (Oh, and everything's made in-house.)

In fact, our perfect date night would start with said charcuterie plate and a few glasses of wine on the pretty patio. Renaud has pulled together an impressive but user-friendly selection of (mostly) French wines, listing whites and reds by region from Burgundy to the Rhone. A bottle will set you back around $40 to—depending on how much you want to impress your companion—$192.

At the end the night, we don't remember the last time we got this excited about dessert. Baumkuchen ($10) makes an appearance on the menu. Pastry chef Sahar Shomali closes with a rendition of the labor-intensive, Bavarian layer cake with a rectangular slice topped with winter citrus marmalade, Kashu tangerines and citrus leaf frozen yogurt. Swoon.