Jeune et Jolie, the celebrated Carlsbad restaurant that is Eater’s reigning Restaurant of the Year, is poised to return in a completely different form, though with the same spirit, later this June. Coming off a banner 2019, when it was also named one of Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in America while aspiring towards Michelin stardom, the modern French restaurant will not be reopening its dining room just yet.
Owner John Resnick, whose chose to temporarily shutter Jeune et Jolie and his other Carlsbad restaurant Campfire days before the mandated COVID-19 dine-in shutdown, tells Eater that the prospect of reopening has been a process of “heart-wrenching calculus”, weighing the potential risk to employees and diners with the financial strain that many restaurants are experiencing because of the pandemic. Faced with new dining protocols, including reduced capacity and social distancing in an already-cozy 2,000-square-foot space, Resnick said he was unsure if they would be able to perform to their desired level of hospitality in such a confined area.
And so, with health and safety as a top priority along with the aim of preserving an optimum dining experience, Jeune et Jolie is heading outside, repurposing its 1,200-square foot State Street parking lot into an all-outdoor restaurant that will open on June 22; reservations will launch today.
Working with the city of Carlsbad and seizing on the new dispensation that allows restaurants to expand their service onto sidewalks, parking lots, and other public spaces, Jeune et Jolie’s outside area will be fully decorated and decked out, with tables spaced six feet apart and seating for 50. Featuring a prix fixe, five-course menu from executive chef Andrew Bachelier, the “Starry Night” pop-up will run nightly through the summer and likely into fall. The dinners, inclusive of gratuity and tax, are $95 with beverages and any supplemental courses at an additional cost.
Resnick plans to reopen Campfire for dine-in service on June 21, having installed a new air system in the high-ceilinged, 6,000-square-foot space, which has ample outdoor seating and garage doors that let plenty of air inside. The wood-fired restaurant will have a smaller menu for streamlined ordering and plans to continue to offer takeout service.