Vin Bar

Vin Bar/Valentino is just getting better and better. This is just a perfect Italian restaurant with fantastic food and equally superior service. As usual we rely on Piero Selvaggio, Paul Sherman and Chef Nico to plan our evening.

What a surprise  – a red sparkling wine from Le Marche, part of the Adriatic Coast. “Le Marche is a beautiful wine region, with miles of untamed coastline, picturesque fishing villages like Portonovo, Renaissance gems like Urbino (where the painter Raphael was born), medieval hamlets such as Urbania, rustic mountain villages like Carpegna and wild expanses of nature that culminate in the splendorous peaks of Monti Sibillini.”  The DOCG Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is a unique red sparkling wine that has been made since ancient times and is even mentioned in Dante´s Divine Comedy.

Just look at that color!

A newly created dish by Chef Nico – Tuna carpaccio, served slightly warm on top of a pappa al pomodoro base. Pappa al pomodoro is “a bread and tomato “minestra“, that is, a thick soup, and one of the oldest and most typical dishes of the Siena area. It is definitely one of the most representative dishes of the Tuscan cucina povera, the poor people’s culinary tradition.” The tuna was crusted with mint. This was an absolute A+ dish.

Close-up of the tuna

Wine #2 – Grillo also known as Riddu is a white wine grape variety and is widely used in Sicilain wine-making.

Baked Ricotta Cheese, brown sugar on top, thyme,  rhubarb sauce, shaved summer black truffle – what a perfect combination of savory with a hint of sweet – Chef Nico does favor combinations that are always superb.

Wine #3 – also from the Adriatic coast

Galloni proscuitto, aged 24 months with a baked fig, shaved parmesan and a touch of moscatto sauce – The proscuitto is from F.lli Galloni S.p.A. which is a single-product company specialized in the production of superior quality Parma ham for close to 50 years – the quality of the proscuitto was extraordinary.

Duck cannelloni with dried fruit – cucumber, cherry, orange and a mostarda sauce with duck jus – the cannelloni was perfect as was the duck filling.

Crispy buffalo ricotta gnocchi, pancetta, fava beans, dots of goat cheese, foie gras, light cream sauce – another winner and I don’t know of another Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that does pasta, gnocchi, cannelloni as well as Valentino.

Lamb chops with a mint pecorino crust drizzled with a bit of honey, roasted asparagus, salty, crispy leeks, mashed potatoes – perfect is an over-used word but again an A+ dish.

On the side what Piero referred to as peasant spaghetti. He mentioned that this is a family guarded recipe that has been an old Valentino favorite for years – ingredients include fresh tomato, proscuitto, pecorino cheese, garlic, olive oil, parsley – John inhaled this dish.

Cheese plate – pecorino sardo, provolone, fig salami, apricots, figs, candied walnuts

What a fabulous meal.


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