Divino Pranzo (brunch) in Brentwood
Just returned from Pranzo at Divino in Brentwood. What's "pranzo" you ask? In a word...brunch.
But this deserves its special name, as it is done in a more refined, nuanced way than your typical omellete/benedict/pancake brunch.
The room has soaring ceilings, crisp tablecloths, and fresh flowers vibrant in the streaming sunlight. The Pranzo menu features about a dozen options, most with Italian names which escape me.
I ordered Trappezatta - To the uninitiated, that means rich, soft, creamy scrambled eggs w. herbs, balanced atop a pair of toasted crusty baguette slices, each topped with red tomato and a rectangle of tangy, crumbly white cheese (along the lines of parmesan). As if this was insufficient, the plate is strewn with generous slices of speck (like prosciutto, but a drier, firmer, less fat-ribboned ham), and kissed with two slices of tomato, each topped with a golf ball-sized portion of creamy burratta and a basil leaf. And then, it's finished off with an incredibly delicate leek/potato pillow dumpling.
This is exactly what you could expect for breakfast if you woke up one morning in a rustic little town on the Dalmatian Coast, where Goran (Divino's proprietor) says he draws most of his culinary influences.
My distracted associate (don't ask) ordered the first thing that caught her eye - a grilled vegetable pizza. It was delicious, suggesting that you probably can't go wrong on this menu.
Other tables had an eggy-looking porridge (maybe a breakfast rissoto?).
Other menu items that sounded good were Scottish smoked salmon and eggs and scrambled eggs with your choice of a bunch of different kinds of exotic mushrooms.
I can't stress enough how much care the kitchen seems to take with their eggs. The menu lists a few different preparations, and I suspect that they are varying levels of scrambled/poached/braised/soft-boiled/etc. The fact that they acknowledge the many ways to treat an egg demonstrates to me the attention that is being paid to the details.
I can't say how long they've been open for "Pranzo," but I hope they keep it up, because I'll be back.
Nice review. Worth noting is that Divino's brunch is great for a small party. We went there recently with a party of 8 and it was a disaster. The food came at all different times. One got his eggs; 5 minutes later another dish arrived, 10 minutes another dish, etc. etc,etc. No one in our party started his/her dish at the same time. Some dishes which were meant to be sent out hot were served cold . The servers were all very pleasant but the service was terrible. Will never return with a party of more than 4. They just can't seem to organize service for a larger table.(yet were willing to take a reservation for our party of 8)
I just don't get it. I've been to Divino's several times for lunch and have wanted to like it, but just can't. I've found the service to be inconsistent - alternating between efficient and friendly, and slow and rude -- and the food is not worth the lapses. The prices seem too high for the mediocre food. Maybe it's better at dinner?