Valentino

I have said this many times before but it bears repeating – Valentino is the BEST Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. Piero Selvaggio ranks as one of the finest restaurateurs in the country. Chef Nico Chessa is absolutely a genius – his execution is faultless. We are very lucky as we never look at a menu and we always rely on Piero to choose our wine from his extensive wine list. The wines this night were outstanding with the truffles. We could’t have picked a more perfect time to go to Valentino – they just got white truffles from Alba. Many restaurants will serve you truffles but few serve the real thing – Alba white truffles of the finest quality.

Vin - first wine

First Wine

Vin- meatball

This was described as a meatball – a complete misnomer! This was marinated prime beef served like steak tartare topped with Alba white truffles. We were instructed to eat this in one bite – a wondrous one bite wonder.

Vin swordfish

Swordfish Carpaccio, Crab Salad marinated with citrus olive oil on a bed of sliced mango, sliced heirloom tomato and dabs of raspberry sauce – a creative dish with impeccable ingredients handled with finesse – A+

Vin - second wine

Second Wine

Vin - bean salad

Fagioli (beans), Puntarelle, Porcini Mushrooms topped with Black Truffles from Umbria. Puntarelle “is a classic Roman dish; the word puntarelle is Roman argot, and until fairly recently there was a certain amount of discussion outside of Rome as to what puntarelle are. Turns out they’re chicory shoots of a variety known as Catalogna, picked while still young and tender.”

Vin - flan

Lousy photo – great dish! A flan of cardones, Jerusalem Artichokes, Cheese topped with Alba white truffles – I was in truffle heaven!

Vin - cardone

The Cardone

Vin - 3rd wine

Third Wine

Vin chesnut crepe

Chestnut Crespelle (crepes), Radicchio on a bed of fondue parmesan sauce topped with Alba White Truffles – there are no words to describe how good this was

Vin - raviola

Ravioli stuffed with ricotta and “something” (can’t read my notes), butter and sage topped with Alba White Tuffles – this was mind-blowing

Vin - 4th wine

Fourth Wine

Vin - pigeon

Pigeon breast marinated in pineapple on a  bed of squash gnocchi – terrific combination of flavor and texture

Vin - cheese

La Tur Cheese with Candied Walnuts

Vin - dessert

Sorbet – lemon, pear, mango, prickly pear, raspberry

Vin - more dessert

Sweets to end – after a lot of wine I stopped writing!

This was a sensational meal with A+ service. It doesn’t get better than this. Run don’t walk to Valentino – you just won’t get a better meal anywhere in Los Angeles or for that matter the country.

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