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Bistronomie by Baumé on California Avenue closes its doors after 13 years of luxury French food

Uploaded: Aug 17, 2023
By Emma Donelly-Higgins

The green tea chocolate jardin at Baumé featured green tea sponge cake atop bavarois, served with the strawberry lime tartare sorbet. Bistronomie by Baumé closed permanently Aug. 12. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Bistronomie by Baumé, whose predecessor was a two Michelin star restaurant, served its last customers on Saturday, Aug. 12, before closing permanently, according to a message from the owners.

Bruno and Christie Chemel, a husband-and-wife team, first opened Baumé as a high-end modern French restaurant in 2010 at 201 S. California Ave. in Palo Alto. The duo served 5-15 course meals that started at almost $300 per person in 2021, excluding the mandatory wine pairing that could cost thousands. The reservation-only restaurant attracted wealthy international customers who, Bruno said in 2022, sought out rare ingredients and experiences.

When Bruno began to feel that his luxury restaurant no longer matched his personality, he deliberately made changes, such as launching a $15 sandwich and serving food to go for the first time.

This led to Baumé’s removal from the Michelin Guide, an action that Bruno had personally requested multiple times, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Eventually, Bruno and Christie closed the restaurant and reopened the space as Bistronomie by Baumé last year. The new restaurant focused on high-quality food at a somewhat more accessible price point.

“We are still fine dining food in a more bistro style and ambience,” Bruno told the Peninsula Foodist in 2022.

Upon opening, Bistronomie by Baumé featured a six-course menu for $168 per head, with wine pairings by the glass.

Rara, an entity of Langtang Fusion LLC, will take over the space, according to an alcohol license notice posted in the window.
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