Two Michelin stars, to go: Palo Alto's high-end Baume pivots to takeout | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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By Elena Kadvany

Two Michelin stars, to go: Palo Alto's high-end Baume pivots to takeout

Uploaded: Jul 20, 2020

Baumé, the two-Michelin-star French restaurant on California Avenue in Palo Alto, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. Chef-owner Bruno Chemel likely didn't anticipate that 2020 would also be the year his intimate, high-end restaurant would have to offer takeout.

Baumé, which has been closed since shelter in place began in March, will reopen on Tuesday, July 28, for to-go only. The menu is significantly simplified and less expensive: $98 for a four-course menu instead of upwards of $400 for eight courses with wine pairings.

Baumé chef-owner Bruno Chemel, pictured in 2015 using a blowtorch to add finishing touches to a strawberry lime tartare sorbet. Photo by Veronica Weber.

The menu, which will change monthly, is starting with corn soup with vadouvan marshmallows, ribeye steak with grilled zucchini and potato gratin, warm goat cheese with croutons and honey and a strawberry-apricot chiboust sponge cake with cassis gel for dessert.

"I took my time developing this option to ensure that it would reflect the high standards that have come to define Baumé," Chemel said in an announcement, which in a sign of the times included a photo of the French chef, sitting in the darkened dining room wearing a mask.

Chemel opened the windowless, two-room Baumé at 201 California Ave. in 2010 after a very public dust-up at Chez TJ, when the Mountain View restaurant lost a Michelin star under his leadership in the kitchen. He started his own venture to prove his critics wrong and quickly earned one, then two stars at Baumé, a rating he's maintained every year since 2011.

Chemel now runs the restaurant with only one other employee, his wife Christie. (He claims Baumé is the only restaurant in the world that has two Michelin stars and a two person staff.)

Christie Chemel sets the dining room for dinner service in 2015. Photo by Veronica Weber.

The Baumé takeout menu is available Tuesday through Saturday from 4-8p.m. Customers can place preorders on Tock and pick up the meals ready to eat with no cooking required. A select list of wine bottles will also be available for an additional cost.