I have been raving about Valentino for years, but now I absolutely recommend Valentino as a destination restaurant as Valentino is unequivocally the best Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. By choice we eat at the casual Vin Bar but you can have an elegant dinner at Valentino; whether casual or elegant you will have a wonderfully orchestrated meal with superb service and cuisine. At most restaurants we BYO, never at Valentino. Piero’s wine list is extensive and extraordinary and we just let Piero choose the wine. Chef Nico has just introduced a new menu and it is off the charts superb. We just let Chef Nico choose our tasting menu and he always “blows us away.”
New Chef Nico special menu – you can order Valentino classic dishes but do try the inventive and contemporary creations of Chef Nico
Champagne to start
Shrimp and Zucchini Fritter on a bed of peach sauce – a one bite wonder
White wine – one of the best white wines I have had at Valentino
Crustacean “Spezzatino” ( stew of crab, scallops and calamari) with seaweed calamari salad and sea urchin dressing – each element was executed perfectly with both taste and texture a delight
2nd white wine
Tortino Ragusano – A Sicilian Vegetarian Dish – Zucchini, Kale, Abalone Mushrooms with a Pomodoro sauce of red and yellow tomatoes greatly reduced – no cream. This also made me want to become a vegetarian!
“Ragusano is an Italian PDO protected cheese made exclusively in provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa, Sicily. It is one of the oldest cheeses in Sicily with evidence dating as early as 1500. Originally known by the name of Caciocavallo, it lost its historical name after it acquired the recognition of PDO. A hard cheese from the pasta filata family, Ragusano is made with whole milk from Modicana breed of cows fed on fresh grass or hay.”
Calamari stuffed with whitefish and calamari heads topped with fresh tomato and oregano in a seafood broth – this is serious food from a very talented chef – the seafood broth was wondrous and the calamari cooked perfectly
Crudo of Kobe Beef Tongue Carpaccio with Maui Onions and Black Truffle Emulsion, Arugula – OH MY!!!!!! A+++
Crespelle (crepes) stuffed with wild mushrooms, shaved black truffles with a saucing of truffle fondue – this dish reflects Valentino’s concept — “It is our philosophy and inspiration to use Italian cuisine as our canvas. Our palette consists of only the freshest, most natural and delicious ingredients available.”
2nd Red Wine
Sweetbreads Agnolottti with Pear Puree, Parmigiano Spuma, Candied Roasted Walnuts, Ricotta Cream Sauce – I sound like a broken record but another winner
Elk with Porcini Mushrooms, Roasted Walnuts and a sauce of the porcini mushrooms and parsley – the meat was fork tender and seasoned to perfection. The mushrooms were the perfect foil for the meat.
This was a spectacular meal from beginning to end with A+ everything — wine, service, cuisine – just perfect. I urge everyone to run not walk to Valentino and make it one of their regular haunts. It is more than worth it.