Beau du Bois, Eater LA’s 2014 bartender of the year and a fixture of that city’s bar scene, is headed to parts north: He’s joining the Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena’s estimable, three Michelin star dining destination, as its bar and spirits manager. That means du Bois is out at Clifton’s Republic, the five-story Downtown LA drinking and dining complex whose cocktail programs he revamped last year.
“I’m so honored and extremely humbled to work along with so many extremely talented individuals, like [Restaurant at Meadowood director] Nathaniel Dorn and of course chef Christopher Kostow,” says du Bois. His cocktail menu will debut this Thursday, September 27th.
Before taking his talents to Clifton’s, where he oversaw everything from a sizable tiki bar menu to a deco soda fountain’s list of classic cocktails, du Bois spent six years at the Corner Door in Culver City. There, he was known for innovative cocktails like a Negroni variation called a Taco Truck (made with mezcal, sweet vermouth, and pineapple and cinnamon-infused Campari) as well as elaborate, literary theme menus.
At the Restaurant at Meadowood, du Bois replaces Samy Levy, who helmed the bar since 2011. According to Dorn, “In the past, the focus has been on the spirit producer and the balance of each cocktail.” Now, the focal point will be a sense of place, as well as a new line of bottled cocktails.
“Moving forward, we will be using those same spirits but emphasizing a spotlight on our farm and the footprint of what the Napa Valley produces,” says Dorn. The restaurant operates a 2.5 acre culinary farm, where, for example, corn is now in season.
du Bois’ trajectory to Northern California, though not its exact course, follows the arrival of another LA bar star, Julian Cox. A James Beard award-nominated bar director, Cox arrived at Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco this year. Both hires represent an added emphasis on spirits and cocktails in Northern California’s competitive fine dining market.
“Beau is young and very talented,” Dorn continues. “His enthusiasm to evolve the beverage program is equally shared with his want to educate his fellow team members. This is as much of an opportunity for us as it for Beau.”