Posts Tagged ‘Cecconi’s’

Neapolitan heaven at DeSano Pizza Bakery + pizza making class

Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

Do you love pizza? Like, really, really good pizza that has the perfect balance of toppings and cheese on a crispy-but-chewy crust? Then we share this love, you and me. So let me tell you about DeSano Pizza Bakery, a Neapolitan pizza joint in East Hollywood where you can not only eat these delicious pies but also learn how to make them.

Tomorrow, July 12, DeSano’s proprietors, Italy natives Marino Monferrato, formerly general manager at Cecconi’s, and pizzaiolo Massimiliano Di Lascio, will host a pizza-making class that includes tastings and your own dough to take home. Maybe you’ll get to make the classic Margherita (pictured above), with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil and garlic. Or maybe you’ll make the San Gennaro, a sweet-spicy-tangy combination of sausage, peppadews, buffalo mozzarella, garlic and caramelized onions.

San Gennaro pizza

San Gennaro pizza

You’ll use ingredients sourced from the Campania region of Southern Italy, and you’ll be firing up these pies in one of the restaurant’s four 6,000-pound, 900-degree wood-fired ovens imported from Italy and traditionally named after Italian saints.

DeSano's pizza ovens

DeSano’s pizza ovens

While you’re there, try a calzone. The Vesuvio, with spicy salame, prosciutto, pepperoni and garlic, is a meat lover’s dream.

Vesuvio calzone

Vesuvio calzone

For dessert, get a housemade cannoli or biscotti, or a small-batch gelato made by local Alessandro Fontana (his is the recipe over at Cecconi’s, too). Or get more than one; no one will judge. The blood orange sorbet is amazingly creamy, given its lack of dairy.

Ricotta cannoli, left, and chocolate cannoli

Ricotta cannoli, left, and chocolate cannoli

Blood orange sorbet, left, and salted caramel gelato

Blood orange sorbet, left, and salted caramel gelato

This is the third location for DeSano Pizza Bakery (the other two are in Nashville and Charleston, South Carolina). DeSano’s space is cavernous, so you can bring a bunch of friends, order a bunch of pies, and eat them with abandon — hopefully with a bottle of something Italian soon (wine and beer will be served here as soon as the license gets worked out — a notoriously difficult process).

More information on the Neapolitan pizza-making class:

Saturday, July 12
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
$40 per person, which includes personal instruction from Massimiliano DiLascio, a tasting of the pizzas prepared and dough to take home.
Call (323) 913-7000 for reservations (ask for Marino Monferrato)

DeSano Pizza Bakery
4959 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029


07 2014

Not just another pretty face: new cocktails, satisfying food at Cecconi’s

Galleggiante Swizzle at Cecconi's

Galleggiante Swizzle at Cecconi's

Cecconi’s West Hollywood, the SoHo House-owned Italian restaurant with a storied Venice history, may be known as a celebrity hot spot, but you’d be remiss to wave it off as such. With a respectable cocktail program and a delectable menu, Cecconi’s would be a good choice for a casual weeknight dinner or a special place to take out-of-towners.

If you’re going to visit, make sure to check out the spring cocktail menu. The 50/50, made with half Bombay London Dry Gin and Martini Bianco vermouth, is a smoother alternative to the traditional martini and is dangerously drinkable. The Galleggiante Swizzle is fun as well as interesting with its combination of Zaya rum, lime, coffee, chocolate, mint and a float of Fernet. The Jalisco Sour is another well-balanced drink, made with Siete Leguas Reposado tequila, lemon, agave, egg white and mole bitters, and the Pink Lady, with Bombay London Dry Gin, apple brandy, house-made grenadine, lemon and egg white, is a tasty option.

Bone marrow

Bone marrow

Looking for some food to go with your drink? From the cicchetti menu, try the fava bean and burrata bruschetta, wood roast bone marrow with sweet-and-sour agrodolce sauce, and the roast scallops wrapped in pancetta and rosemary. All are sure to satisfy. If you’re looking for more, go with the hearty pappardelle made with generous chunks of rabbit, lemon and thyme. And don’t forget dessert. Get the sampler platter; you’ll thank me later.

See more photos from Cecconi’s:

Note: This meal was hosted.


06 2012

To celebrate or not to celebrate: Valentine’s Day

Drago Centro charcuterie plate. From Dig Lounge.

Whether you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day or not — or just haven’t made up your mind yet — here are some special meals that will be happening around Los Angeles.

To Celebrate

Drago Centro: From Feb. 12 to 14, Drago Centro is offering a four-course dinner for $55, with wine pairings for an additional $35. (Limited à la carte menu items will be available, too.) Here are the menu choices:

First course — beef carpaccio, hearts of palm and candied almonds, or antipasto plate

Second course — butternut squash ravioli with lemon brown butter, or shrimp and scallop agnolotti with cioppino foam

Third course — roasted lamb with artichoke hearts, brown butter pomme purée and rapini, or Dover sole, baby vegetable ragoût and lemon beurre blanc

Fourth course — strawberry semifreddo with basil and white chocolate, or chocolate cake, candied Marcona almonds and raspberries

Also, on Feb. 14 the restaurant will be hosting a masquerade carnival with live music, and guests are encouraged to dress up, too.

Cecconi’s: The West Hollywood eatery is offering its full à la carte menu, a tasting menu for $85, and an optional wine pairing for an additional $45. The tasting menu includes wild mushroom cappuccino; dungeness crab, ahi tuna and avocado; winter black truffle and ricotta ravioli; chateaubriand for two, winter root vegetables and a peppercorn sauce; and a layered chocolate cake, kirsh cherries and whipped cream.

Pourtal: The Santa Monica wine bar is offering two-for-one glasses of bubbly on Feb. 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Choose from the featured selection of Marquis de Perlade Blanc de Blanc or a Kir Royale. Cupid will be there to pass out secret Valentines to guests who purchase bubbly or a tasting card; they will receive a free pour ranging from on Pourtal’s Enomatic machines.

Cube: Head over to Cube Marketplace’s cafe on Feb. 13 for a fondue party. Ok, not really, but you can get the fondue special and make it your own party! For $35, you can get prosecco, cheese fondue, roasted farmers market vegetables and fresh fruit, house-baked bread, Meyer lemon coeur a la crème, farmers market berries, citrus cookies — and house-made dark chocolate truffles and confections to take home.

Not To Celebrate

Charlie’s Malibu: On Feb. 13, Charlie’s will host “Bitter, Party of 1” for singles (or as its press release says, “couples welcome, but we may mock them”) with tunes from DJ Kid Wycked from 9:00 p.m. to close. And on both Feb. 13 and 14, the restaurant will offer a four-course chef’s tasting menu for $75, with a $20 wine pairing, along with the regular à la carte and lounge menus. The tasting menu includes dishes such as poached pear with herbed goat cheese and candied walnuts, filet mignon, and lobster tail. You don’t have to eat with a Valentine, you know.

Rush Street: On Feb. 13, the Culver City bar and restaurant will host a Meet Your Valentine party with specialty cocktails and artisanal chocolates. There will be no prix fixe menu. On Feb. 14, diners can enjoy half-off featured wine and champagne all day long.

Akasha: Take home a box of 12 mini cupcakes for $20 from the Culver City restaurant’s bakery to serve at your anti-Vday party — or eat them yourself, I don’t judge. Flavors include chocolate and vanilla cakes with different frosting and icing. The chocolate with Gianduja (that’s a chocolate/hazelnut combo) filling, chocolate glaze and fleur de sel sounds awesome!


02 2010

Dine L.A. Restaurant Week launch party

L.A.’s Restaurant Week is starting back up this weekend (Jan. 24 to Jan. 29, and Jan. 31 to Feb. 5), and to kick off the event, which comes just about three months after the last incarnation wrapped up, Dine L.A. (the city’s food arm of its tourism board, L.A. INC.) threw a party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Lots of chefs were there, some wearing their chef jackets (Ben Ford, Joachim Splichal) and others not (Ludovic Lefebvre, Marcel Vigneron), as was Mayor Villaraigosa, but what event hasn’t he shown up to? Anyway, the party was catered by the hotel’s Dakota Chop House, 25 Degrees and Library Bar. Here are some of my favorites.

By far the standout food items at the event were the drinks. The arugula gimlet, made with gin, lime, agave and micro arugula, was not only gorgeous but also very, very tasty — and I don’t like gin.

This photo was taken after I had been drinking it for a while; the micro arugula was originally sitting on top

This photo was taken after I had been drinking it for a while; the micro arugula was originally sitting on top

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01 2010