Fine dining is alive and well in Santa Monica, at least it is at Valentino Restaurant. This restaurant continues to please, as it has for four decades, with its display of Italian cuisine at its finest.
Owner Piero Selvaggio was there to greet us as well as other guests, most like old friends.
Here the menu offers many exciting choices so we decided to stay with small appetizer size tastes of some of the featured specialties, all showing the depth of Italian cuisine.
First to arrive was a shrimp wrapped and Sicilian caponata served on Bresaola. Next Arancine stuffed with peas and meat ragu served on tomato sauce.
The flavors displayed in Tortino of wild mushrooms glazed with saffron fonduta were most pleasing.
We thought the plates would never stop arriving at our table as Fusilloro alla norma came: tomato, eggplant and ricotta accompanied with pici di pienza with a wild boar ragu.
Our final dish was pan roasted Napa Quail with a Veal Rollatine.
Alas by this time we were at the point where we had to skip dessert
Here the stars are still in their courses. The service was perfect and the dining room quickly filled with eager diners so when we departed there was not a single empty table to be seen.
Valentino Restaurant is located at 3115 W. Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica with valet parking. It is open six nights a week, closed Sundays. Telephone 310 829-4313, web www.valentinosantamonica.com.