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Any opinions on Il Cielo?

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On Burton Way in Beverly Hills. I'm thinking of taking my wife there for a special birthday...was told it's 'romantic.' Anybody eaten there? Is it nice? How's the food?

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  1. The food is o.k., service was very slow and formal and customers skewed older. For my money, I recommend Il Buco's food instead. Although, it may be more romantic at night - it wasn't at lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ElissaInPlaya

      It's beautiful. I was there for lunch once and thought it was still nice and romantic, if you sit outside. At night, it is super romantic with the lights. I love the food there, it's one of my favorite restaurants. I had the best lamb chops ever there. Service is a bit on the slow side, but they are still knowledgeable and I like that they don't rush you. I'm not 100% but I think they let you bring your own cake in if you want, at no extra cake cutting charge or anything.

    2. Depends on what you consider "romantic"...there was a lit fireplace & lots of twinkle lights when we went to celebrate an anniversary (December). Tables inside are set a good distance apart from each other for "privacy" (not bumping elbows or listening into other people's conversations). But personally, I didn't think it was all that "romantic." As mentioned food was OK (limited menu, nothing to rave about), & I didn't think it was worth the price.

      1. It can be romantic if you sit outside, don't expect the food to be great or even that good, it's fair and expensive for what you get. Maybe you should go once, that way you can say "oh I went to that much talked about restaurant and...."

        You'll have a nice time, especially if your expectations are low, that way everything will be better...

        I suppose "romantic" is subjective. I personally thought Grace on Beverly Blvd. was romantic, but it's not traditional romantic by any means. The food is good+interesting, great selection of alcoholic beverages, they had this Austrian liquore that was really good, I don't remember the name. It has been a while since I've been there, so I don't know how it is now.

        1. My wife and I got married at Il Cielo (they do lots of weddings) 16 years ago and we have been back many times on our annniversary. It was great for our wedding (better food than virtually any wedding I've been to) but I'd agree with the other posts on the quality of the food for a "high end" Italian place. It's solid but, as another poster put it, it's nothing to rave about. We've always found the service to be excellent but then, because of our history with the place, we usually ask for Pasquale (the owner) and, if he's there, we get more VIP treatment. When you make your reservation, tell them it's a special birthday celebration. I think that helps. As for the customers "skewing older" as Elissa puts it, they certainly didn't skew older than my wife and me (and we don't think we're that old). I guess the best reflection of my opinion is that we only go there on our anniversary, so it's more sentimental than anything else. I'd give it a shot.

          1. Thanks hounds - we'll give it a try and report back.

            1. Il Cielo was included on a list of restaurant recommendations from our concierge. Positives first: the patio was lovely and well-heated by heatlamps on a cool October night, so quite comfortable. Service was very good and not too obtrusive. The crowd is defintely older (65+), and you have the sense that these people have been going to this place for years. Unfortunately, I think the menu and cooking have stayed in the '50s as well. Relatively small menu, and pretty cliche menu choices, surprisingly lackadaisically prepared. In fact, this was the worst food I've had at any restaurant, in any price range, in a long time. I had a Caesar salad, drowing in gloppy, bottled-quality dressing. No anchovies were offerered or available. Zuppa di pesce was a mess: salty broth, loaded with MSG and seafood that was overcooked to the point of being hard and rubbery. The small, half-lobster tail was actually burned on the outside...not idea what they had done to it! My companion's lamb chops survived the kitchen and were OK, if nothing special. We shared an OK tiramisu. Dinner for 2 with tip was $215. You can do much better....especially in this price range. I've had better Italian at simple mom & pop storefronts for far less, so your paying a princely premium to eat on a lovely patio in Beverly Hills.

              1. We just at at Wilshire in SM Fri. nite. The outdoor patio near the outdoor bar as well as the patio by the outdoor fireplace is very romantic and beautiful. We had a good meal though a little pricey, but so is Il Cielo.

                1. Il Cielo is an exact personification of what plagues the LA restaurant scene in general - the location is leagues better than than the food (and I think the decor is as dated as their customers).
                  This is the bottom of the barrel of "high end" restaurants in LA and is way past its expiration date.
                  I was recently forced to eat there two months back and - had a seafood (consistency of oatmeal) and a mixed salad (hard to srcew that up although the greens looked like they were from lebdog's wedding 16 years ago...) Overall experience can best be described as ughghghghhg...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chowpuppy

                    I thought I would pipe in again about Il Cielo. We went, again, for our anniversary, last Friday. First, about the crowd. We are in our late 40's. We were neither the youngest, nor the oldest people there. This business about the crowd all being 65+ does not comport with our experience. There were a share of celebs there that night (Lorenzo Lamas, Axyl Rose (with band and groupies) and Rene Russo (sp?). We sat outside and had excellent service during our deliberately slow-paced meal. I enjoyed the three hours we spent; my wife gets restless spending that much time with me. Again, we advised them in advance that it was our anniversary and were treated to complimentary champagne, limoncello and dessert. The food was better than last year. I had a fava bean and fennel soup which was pretty good, if somewhat bland and a grilled veal chop which was perfectly cooked. My wife had a salad and a special swordfish which was slightly overdone IMHO. I am hardpressed to explain chowpuppy's experience. The decor has been updated several times since we first went there. The restaurant opened in 1986, so the comment about the customers and the ambience dating from the 50's is just silly. No one would rank Il Cielo at the top of any list for outstanding or innovative food. I would, however, continue to recommend it as a nice place to celebrate a special occasion.

                    1. re: lebdog

                      The scene is very pretty and romantic but the food is okay. If you are looking for a pretty place to celebrate and don't really care about having a culinary experience then this is the place.