Off the Menu: Newport’s Moulin Brings Bistro to Laguna

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Moulin in Newport Beach
Moulin in Newport Beach

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy

 We’ve been fans of Moulin Bistro since owner/chef Laurent Vrignaud opened his authentic French restaurant in the fall of 2014. 

Moulin not only serves fabulous French cuisine, dining at Moulin is an immersion in all things French. From the food to the wine to the accouterments and knickknacks, Moulin is a Parisian bistro plopped down in a small strip mall on Bristol Street.

In addition to breakfast and lunch, Moulin serves a prix fixe $25 dinner on Tuesday nights that is usually sold out every week, and a Thursday night Steak Frites menu (also $25) that includes endless fries.

Patrons have been flocking to Moulin since the day it opened. In fact, the restaurant has been so successful that Vrignaud has

Croque Madame at Moulin
Croque Madame at Moulin

decided to expand his concept and open a second location this summer on Forest Avenue in downtown Laguna Beach where Scandia Bakery once stood.

According to Chef Laurent, the new location will offer a similar authentic French experience but will be tailored to fit the Laguna Beach lifestyle.

“Laguna Beach has a special place in my heart. Its unique, relaxed vibe reminds me of the seaside communities across France,” explained Laurent, who has lived in Laguna Beach with his family since 2002. “In Laguna Beach, everyone walks around town, just as they do in the villages of France. For this reason, it has been my dream to recreate the cafe culture of coastal France in Laguna Beach.”

Rendering of Moulin in Laguna Beach
Rendering of Moulin in Laguna Beach

As at the Newport location, the Laguna Moulin will offer coffee and espresso beverages plus classic pâtisserie and boulangerie items as well as made-to-order crepes and waffles. Fresh baked breads and classic viennoiserie will be available in the early mornings and continuously baked fresh throughout the day.

In the afternoons and evenings, Moulin will serve its slow-cooked rotisserie chicken and other specialties. Exclusive to the new Laguna Beach location will be a selection of hand-crafted ice cream elegantly served in a traditional coupe glaceé. 

“Catering to the Laguna Beach lifestyle, Moulin will wake up and go to sleep with the city,” added Laurent. “Moulin Laguna Beach is a place designed by locals, for the locals.”

Laurent expects to break ground in few weeks. A full demolition and renovation on the space will result in new additions including

Rendering of Moulin in Laguna Beach
Rendering of Moulin in Laguna Beach

a front patio, stand-alone coffee bar, and exhibition window into the kitchen.

Like the Newport location, Moulin will feature vintage furnishings and décor such as bistro tables and chairs, original metal plaques, light fixtures, and framed French art, all collected by Laurent from France.

For a fun immersion into the French culture, Moulin Newport Beach is hosting a French Art & Music Fair this Sunday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Recreating the feeling of the streets of Montmartre, France, Moulin will showcase a variety of local art and live music on their outdoor, umbrella-covered patio. Guests can enjoy classic French food and drinks while mingling with the artists and enjoying their work. Live musicians will be singing and playing traditional French music. The event is free and open to the public.

And if that’s not enough of France for you, Moulin is launching a French wine tasting and education series that starts on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. The initial tasting will focus on the Bordeaux region of southwestern France. Moulin will hold these educational tastings every two months.

For more information, visit moulinbistro.com.

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