Finally, French Cruisine Available in the Palisades

Vincent Samarco will helm the food at the Draycott through the end of the year.
Photo: Shelby Moore

Anytime a new restaurant opens in Pacific Palisades,  it always seems to serve Italian cuisine. Good news, quality French food will be available at Palisades Village.

Marissa and Matt Hermer have announced that a Belle Vie residency will occur at The Draycott through the new year.

“Vincent Samarco’s beloved French bistro (Belle Vie), will launch this week, serving both lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch,” Hermer said. “Guests can expect the same focus on community, seasonality and a California-inspired approach to European classics that The Draycott offers, now but with a French flare.”

Samarco will oversee staff, service operations and cooking. He will bring back some of the favorites from his menu, which include Angels’ Eggs, F.F.F. (fresh french fries), Baked Raclette, Warm Goat Cheese Salad, Poulet aux Morilles and Steak Entrecote.

“He’ll even be bringing in artwork from his restaurant (now closed) to adorn The Draycott walls, his music playlists, wine selections and his trusty piano man, to really harken back to the good ol’ BV days,” Hermer said. “We’re so excited to bring this familiar neighborhood spot back via The Draycott and look forward to serving the Palisades Village community with something as special as Belle Vie.”

Belle Vie was a popular eatery on Wilshire, and then Covid hit. Samarco’s restaurant was a casualty.

The L.A. Times in March 2022 story (“New Documentary ‘Belle Vie’ Follows the Pandemic Journey of a West L.A. Restaurant’) writes, “In the last two years, the National Restaurant Association estimates that roughly 90,000 restaurants have experienced a long-term shutdown or permanent closure due to the pandemic.

“Belle Vie, the charming French bistro tucked between a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a McDonald’s along a West L.A. stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, was one of them — but you’d never know it by Vincent Samarco’s disposition.”

Samarco opened Belle Vie on August 1, 2016, after renovating a 1960s restaurant space on a shoestring budget. After attempting to stay open during Covid, his restaurant closed December 2020.

In the Times story, Samarco said, “I do want to reopen a French restaurant, I’m just too afraid right now. I lost everything.”

His journey was documented in the film documentary Belle Vie, which captured a 2023 Emmy.

One reviewer wrote: “Throughout unexpected turns, loss, the threat of bankruptcy and near-endless roadblocks and bureaucratic red tape, the French immigrant never sees to lose his sense of hope and determination. Vincent is an easy man to root for, which makes Belle Vie a heart-warming, if ultimately sad story of lost dreams and livelihoods.”

To view the menu: click here.

 

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2 Responses to Finally, French Cruisine Available in the Palisades

  1. Paula H Deats says:

    Thanks! I’m glad the menu couldn’t be accessed: the last thing we need is someone else camping on the street, waiting….

  2. Eileen says:

    Now that’s good news!

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