Valentino Tasting Menu
What a wonderful dinner. We had the tasting menu with wine pairings. Piero was gracious and very hospitable, as were the servers. My only complaint (and it’s quite minor) is that the guy who brought out each dish could not speak English very well. He made it a point to explain each dish, but sometimes we simply couldn’t understand him. Another server would pop over, though, and fill in the gaps.
Amuse of an oyster served with a nice sparkling wine. Both very fresh.
Appetizer of tender octopus with white beans served with a red pepper mousse. Good balance to this dish, and served with a very grapey white wine, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Next up was a smoky Pinot Noir accompanying a delicious lasagna. The lasagna pasta was house-made....very thin and delicate. The filling was a ground pork mixture. The smokiness of the wine really brought out the flavor of this dish.
A nice Chianti was up next, accompanying a good-sized portion of saffron risotto and crab. The risotto was quite rich, and the Chianti served to cut through some of the richness. It was quite decadent.
Now came the heavy guns. A Barolo was served with the main course, which in my case was two pieces of lamb served with a mélange of diced carrots, broccoli and other vegetables. By this time I was quite full, so I didn’t really enjoy this dish as much as the earlier ones. The wife had the shortribs, which I really liked. She commented that she likes the Korean preparation better than this preparation, but to me it was very good.
We then got a small scoop of passionfruit-pineapple sorbet to cleanse the palette. It was tasty, but by this time I was about to burst.
Dessert was a scoop of white chocolate ice cream alongside a delicious pear tart. The crust used for the tart was so delicate and flaky that even though I was almost bursting at the seams, I really enjoyed this dish. It was served with a not-so-light Moscato.
When we sat down, I was dead set on trying the cheese plate, but as we were coming down the final stretch, it became quite clear that any additional food was out of the question.
This was an outstanding meal on many levels.
It's $85 p/p plus $45 for the wine pairings.
I also just realized I forgot a dish: milk-marinated codfish served over a creamy polenta. It had a wine pairing of a dry white wine from Verona which was a Chardonnay blend. This was also pretty good. I liked the polenta better than the fish, but that's just me.
Glad to hear you enjoyed the Best Italian Food in LA. Valentino's has never been better!!
Piero is a fantastic Host and Owner and loves what he does. We have been very happy dining there recently and look forward to going again soon. When you look at the prices for Tasting Menus in LA the price is very fair.
hmm...i find mentioning valentino among company is a good way to get everyone to say "oh i hate valentino"