Jessica Biel’s New Kid-Friendly Eatery Is Incredibly Chic
If dining out with kids has you thinking of Chuck E. Cheese, Jessica Biel is about to change that. The actress’s latest venture is a haute Hollywood eatery-meets-playhouse called Au Fudge (a cheeky riff on the phrase “Oh, Fudge!”, used in place of swear words in the iconic movie A Christmas Story). Jessica and her equally famous hubby, Justin Timberlake, certainly have their 10-month-old son, Silas’s seal of approval on the place, but these plans were in the works for quite some time. “My journey with Au Fudge began long before I became a mother. I approached this business from the perspective of what someone without kids would want in their favorite restaurant,” she says. Secret doors, fantastical bookcases and a Champagne-filled cocktail menu? That sounds pretty sweet to us, too!
The 4,200 square-foot restaurant located on glitzy Melrose Avenue is a collaboration between (pictured, from left) Jonathan Rollo, the brains behind L.A.’s chain of healthy eateries Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, children’s author Kimberly Muller, actress Jessica Biel, stylist and designer to the stars Estee Stanley, the face of Barry’s Bootcamp Joey Gonzalez, and Australian real estate darling and philanthropist Monica Saunders-Weinberg (not pictured).
A-listers like Alessandra Ambrosio, Lea Michele and Tori Spelling have already brought their adorable tots to check out Au Fudge’s Creative Space. The kid-friendly area hosts stencil workshops, movie nights, watercolor classes and more. Did we mention certified au pairs can look after your kids while you dine? Score!
While the Creative Space is perfect for younger kids, this nook filled with retro arcade games is definitely teen-approved. The glowing Au Fudge mantra on the wall is a friendly reminder of house rules, like “Unicorns Are Real.”
The main dining area is country-meets-city with its gingham upholstered chairs and weathered white farm tables. Guests of all ages are sure to find fare they fancy on the all-natural, locally sourced menu — perhaps one of the Petities (appetizers) to start, followed by one of the house-made pastas. For those extra special occasions you can even splurge on a side of caviar.
In the parent-pleasing bar area, marble counters and bistro-style bar chairs (reminiscent of Thonet’s famed No. 14 chair) face an alluring mirrored wall. “Finally a place where you can go — regardless of being single, married, or having a family in tow,” says Jessica.
Au Fudge’s patio, complete with adorable striped umbrellas and a patriotic red, white and blue color scheme, is sure to be a hot spot this summer. The inviting space proves that you can never have too many throw pillows — especially when they’re covered in gorgeous handmade fabrics from St. Frank.
This cocktail, flirtatiously named First Base, is Jessica’s favorite. Vodka, lemon, strawberry, thyme and sparkling wine make up the bubbly pink concoction. (You can even add an extra shot to get to Second Base!)
If you can’t fathom fitting in another morsel after your meal, head to Au Fudge’s Marketplace and pick up some locally-made treats to go. The charming reclaimed wood floors and antique accents leave a lasting impression.