Valentino/Vin Bar just gets better and better. It is our favorite Italian restaurant in Los Angeles – no one does it better in all of Los Angeles. Chef Nico devises a tasting menu for us and Piero chooses the wines. Our only responsibility is to sit back and enjoy. I am not only endorsing Valentino/Vin bar, I am urging everyone to just go.
Lousy picture but wonderful start – Crab Cake with Dijon Sauce
Santa Barbara spot prawn tartare with caponata, black olives, capers, pine nuts – absolutely delicious
On a crostini cod fish mousse with raddichio salad – another perfect starter dish
Wagyu beef meatballs with truffles, “broken” tagliatelle pasta, castrated chicken broth, parmesan. This was sensational. In looking up a castrated chicken broth I found the following – “The meat from capons (castrated roosters) is rich and flavorful and makes an exceptional broth. In Italy, cheese rinds are often added to a simmering pot of soup for added depth of flavor.”
Cotechino – pork sausage and green lentils, barley, tomato sauce, parmesan – “The cotechino is an Italian charcuterie product, similar to salami but must be cooked; usually it is boiled at low heat for about four hours. Its name comes from cotica (rind), but it may take different names in the different production areas. According to tradition, it is served with lentils on New Year’s Eve, to bring luck for the coming year.”
Busiati pasta, speck, zucchini, pear cubes, butternut squash, candied walnuts, gorgonzola cheese – Flour, eggs and oil are mixed into a dough that is called “busiato” in the Trapani area and then it is quickly rolled around the “busu” (or knitting needle) to obtain a sort of “fusillo.” – This was off the charts perfect.
Lamb Belly on a bed of sunchoke puree – we were getting quite full and didn’t do this dish justice. We will tonight!
A great meal with sensational staff – what more could one ask for?