What better way to commemorate the start of a long summer ahead than enjoying fine Italian fare as the sun sets on the start of the long days? Thankfully, Cecconi’s shared my sentiment. Cecconi’s is a classic Italian restaurant serving three meals a day as well as Italian tapas, cicchetti. With the flagship Cecconi’s in London, the LA location, on the corner of Melrose and Robertson in West Hollywood is hidden behind palm trees and features a beautiful outdoor patio space alongside the beautifully decorated interior restaurant. With such an upscale yet hip scene, don’t be surprised if you run into celebrities here.
I was joined on that night by the omni-talented Janine Giesick, a friend who you always want around and Jonathan Stinson a publicist friend of mine who happens to work next door to Cecconi’s at Full Pic PR. Janine is the GM for Cecconi’s and she told us some fun stories about the BET Awards after party which took place at Cecconi’s just two nights earlier. I met Marino, the affable GM with fascinating yet hilarious stories about dining in his native Italy as well as other parts of Europe. We spoke about the great influence that Italy has had in the world of culinary arts and he joked, “France just took a peek over the Alps, took some notes and added milk and butter to give their food the French twist”. Maybe you had to be there but I was and I’m still laughing. I put my trust in Marino because I could sense his pride in the menu and he seemed excited to show it off. With that said I just asked him for a menu tasting and I left my order in his hands.
-Ahi tuna tartare. The tartare was simple and straight forward and it paired well with Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino 2008, Sardinia
-Grilled octopus, lemon, capers & olives St.Supery “Virtu” Sauvignon Blanc-Semillion, 2006, Napa Valley. This was a lovely dish. Jonathan was singing its praises and proclaimed this to be one of his all time favorite appetizers. Of all time!
-The Beef Tartare was easily one of the best beef tartar’s I’ve ever had outside of Europe. The fresh quail egg and the summer truffles mixed into the fresh, raw meat were just divine. I couldn’t get enough. The citrus and pear was paired with the fine notes in the Antinori, Cervaro della Sala, 2007, Grechetto/Chardonany, Umbria. This wine a wonderful compliment to the beef tartar.
-Wild mushroom risotto paired with Antinori, Scalabrone Rose,2009, Toscana. A delicious, well made risotto. Not too al dente yet creamy and so good.
-The short rib and potatoes paired with Gaja, Sito Moresco, Cabernet/Nebbiolo, 2007, piedmont. Piedmont is actually our manager Marino’s hometown and so he served this wine with pride and it paired very well with the short ribs. The short ribs were so tender and the potatoes were like mini baked potatoes so when you stick your spoon in, it melts into the fluffiest, softest mashed potatoes you could imagine.
-It’s recommended that you end your meal with a delicious selection of Italian cheeses and for dessert it’s highly recommended that you try the Tiramisu with the luscious vanilla ice cream.
All in all I had such a nice evening filled with laughter, beautiful weather and excellent food. the low key yet upscale atmosphere and highly attentive staff of Cecconi’s left me feeling like the Princess whose father was about to die. They will see me again soon.
8764 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069