A walk on the beach at sunrise, curled up in an over-stuffed chair with a good book, or dining alfresco on a beautiful garden terrace… these are a few of the moments people treasure and Suzanne’s lovely restaurant gives you that Tuscan/Provence-style garden terrace and more…

… with beautifully appointed rooms inside.

Suzanne Roll and her daughter, Sandra Moore opened Suzanne’s Cuisine in 1992.

Zagat Guide said it was “Chez Panisse in Ventura County” and Gourmet Magazine called their offerings “the food of love.”

While living in France, Suzanne fell in love with the flavors of Provencal cooking. They’re simple, authentic flavors of nature, so she travels to farmers’ markets from Ventura to Santa Monica a few times a week for fresh seasonal produce. But Suzanne’s recipes and cooking method are in a style of her own with homages to her Italian heritage. She also loves to add Asian, Mexican and Indian influences to various dishes.

Sandra, with an MBA from the University of Chicago, is the restaurant’s general operations manager and keeps it all running smoothly as Suzanne reigns over the kitchen.

Recently my husband and I went to Suzanne’s for dinner. We arrived when it was still light out, but as the sun went down the ambience of the garden terrace transformed into a romantic vision, worthy of a Tuscan/Provence travel photo.

My husband started with the mushroom soup – dark and rich with flavorful herbs, and I had the duck liver pate with cornichons, which was perfectly prepared.

For our entrees, he had the hearty, Marseillaise-style bouillabaisse. I had to have a taste. Just delicious.

I had the rack of lamb, served with a lamb based demi-glace of reduced lamb stock, red wine, butter and a roux. In a word…perfect.

As you wander thru the Taste of Ojai, under the Tuscan…er…Provence…er…Ojai sun, you won’t want to miss whatever taste Suzanne is offering.

By: Ilona Saari

Suzanne’s Cuisine
502 W. Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023