Monday, March 22, 2010


Friday night, dinner reservations for two at 7:00 pm.

This would be my first visit to Valentinos which has been one of the top restaurants in Los Angeles for several years. After getting a discount offer from Blackboard Eats, this was a perfect opportunity.

I was looking forward to enjoying the set tasting menu, but after hearing about the specials and reviewing the menu, I had second thoughts. Our servers name was Paul and he couldn't have been more helpful. He suggested that we order what we wanted and he would see what he could do. So we decided to go with the Prosciutto e Burrata starter, as well as the Il Timballo di Funghi. For our entrees we ordered the IL Risotto Nero ai Frutti di Mare and the Grilled Seafood Trio special.

Since we were planning on sharing, Paul said that we could make our order into a four course split tasting with wine pairing, Nice! The bread served was forgettable, breadsticks, some smaller white and poppy seed rolls. But I was not here for bread.

The Prosciutto e Burrata was the first started delivered and it was paired with a full glass of Proseco. This dish was so simple, but so delicious, the ingredients were top notch. The burrata was so creamy, and complimented the salty prosciutto. It was also served with something they called "gnocco frito", which was a little fried piece of dough. This dish was a perfect way to start.

Next up was the Il Timballo di Funghi, this was a savory flan made with wild mushrooms, served with a Parmesean and Saffron Fonduta. The mushroon "flan" or custard was so delicate and subtle. A nice earthly flavor which was paired with a sauce that was light and silky. I thought the sauce could have had a bit more seasoning, but the whole dish was very nice. The mushroom dish was paired with a Rosé,

First entree up was the IL Risotto Nero ai Frutti di Mare. A squid ink risotto topped with a seafood medley, which included calamari, shrimp and fish. Wow! I loved this dish. The risotto was delicious, the squid ink added a subtle ocean flavor and saltyness. The color contrast between the black risotto and small white pieces of seafood, was beautiful. Overall this was just a very nice and well balanced dish. Our server brought over the wrong wine for this course, so he actually poured two glasses of wine, one was for the last seafood course. He let us decide which one we though paired better and the one they choose was perfect. Sorry but I don't remember what the two varietals that were chosen.

I was getting pretty full after the risotto course, but the last course was the Grilled Seafood Trio. This plate included grilled dover sole, grilled turbot, lobster claw meat and grilled branzino, grilled asparagus was also included to add color. The seafood was served with a trio of sauces, a heirloom tomato butter sauce, a brown butter sauce and a caper berry and citrus sauce. Once again the quality of the ingredients really shined. The sole and turbot were delicious and perfectly cooked. The sauces were okay, but the brown butter sauce was the star and paired well with all of the seafood.

We closed out our meal with the Molten Chocolate cake, served with pair ice cream. Our server brought out a 1997 port for this course, that was awesome.

I can see why Valentinos has the reputation it does. The service was flawless and the food was delicious.

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