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Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach is closing, and in its place will open Love and Salt

Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach is closing, and in its place will open Love and Salt
Cafe Pierre, which opened in Manhattan Beach in 1977, is closing its doors; the owners will re-open as Love and Salt. (Cafe Pierre)

After almost 37 years in Manhattan Beach, neighborhood institution Café Pierre, owned and run by Guy and Sylvie Gabriele, will be closing its doors on April 14.

But the Gabrieles are partnering with Michael Fiorelli, most recently executive sous chef for Terranea Resort and Mar'sel, and will be re-opening the restaurant as Love and Salt.

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"It's been a privilege to serve Manhattan Beach ... and witness the neighborhood's transformation from a sleepy beach town to one of the most exciting dining destinations in the country," said Guy Gabriele in a statement. "It's been a wonderful run for us, and we are grateful to continue serving the community."

Love and Salt is slated to open in the summer, with Italian- and California-inspired cuisine from chef-partner Fiorelli and a philosophy he shares with the Garbrieles -- that great food needs two things -- love and salt.

Fiorelli has worked at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia and Simon LA in Los Angeles.

For its final week of service, Café Pierre will offer a farewell menu featuring its signature dishes -- dishes inspired by the different eras since it opened -- escargots with garlic butter; pâté maison; soupe et salade, including cream of mushroom with sherry; les plats such as crêpe Cordon bleu, filet Dijonnaise and frog legs. And for dessert, crème caramel and flourless chocolate cake.

The $60 four-course prix fixe menu will be available from Sunday, April 6, to Sunday, April 13, with a complimentary glass of Prosecco. Suggested wine pairings by-the-glass also will be available.

The restaurant opened in May 1977 on Manhattan Beach Boulevard, originally called Crêpe Pierre, serving crêpes and sandwiches. Café Pierre evolved as a restaurant blending French cooking techniques with a California aesthetic and flavors from Italy, Asia and Mexico.

"Café Pierre will always be in our hearts and the spirit and passion behind it will live on with the opening of Love and Salt," said Sylvie Gabriele in a statement. "We're excited for this new chapter as we say goodbye to the restaurant that started the book."

Café Pierre is open 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday to Wednesday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.

317 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-5252, www.cafepierre.com.

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