- Keith Jun 6, 2006 04:59 AM
Terrifc food! great atmosphere! wonderful garden patio! Listening to Diana Krall while dinning on gamberi de avila and petit syrah. Excellent service. The owner and chef visited the table to check on us. this spot used to be spumante across from jerrys on ventura blvd. Other items I'll try next visit will be cozze, sea bass, and swordfish. Definate Hot Spot!! Check it out.
I finally made it in!! It was great. Loved the filet of sole with the risotto pancake and the pear dessert was awesome!! They also have a terrific house merlot. Will definitely be back.....especially to sit in the quaint patio!!
Their prices are very reasonable. Mid teens for pasta and risotto. Most entrees are high teens to mid twenties. Their wine list is not terribly extensive but there is a nice selection and the prices seem to hover around $25-$30 per bottle. They have a few selections available by the glass (I had the house merlot and my friend had the house pinot grigio -- both very delightful). I did inquire about their corkage fee which is $7.00 or $7.50 (can't recall).
Well that's a shame! We have been there several times over the course of the summer and have not been disappointed even once!! We were actually thrilled at having found this "gem" (reference to the L.A. Magazine review). However, we did not order the rabbit or clams that Lipson speaks of. In all fairness though, he did praise the risotto dishes (which is kind of important given the name) and I concur. Personally, I am big fan of the risotto with shrimp. I hope his review doesn't discourage others from trying it out because there are plenty of dishes which are quite lovely and on a warm summer's night the patio at Risotto is simply amazing!!
Went to Risotto last night, and I was not disappointed. As stated before, the patio is very charming ... very Italian. I began with a lentil soup that was truly memorable. I then had the salmon which was fantastic, and the risotto pancake that accompanied it was really good. The desserts listed sounded awfully good, but I was just too full. The food servings are generous. The service was perfect ... our waiter was there when needed, but not on top of us ... and very personable too! As they used to say: "try it, you'll like it."
I wanted to love it.
The staff was kind and attentive, the patio was utterly charming, the wine list was very reasonable, and the food, uh not so much.
It wasn't terrible, just not good enough.
The eggplant app with goat cheese over a bed of leeks and tomatoes was good though the leeks needed just a bit more time in the sautee pan.
We ordered a trio of entrees: sauteed sole with capers over butternut risotto cakes, the lobster ravioli and a special, fusilli a la amatriciana - which would charitably be described as mediocre.
The fish over risotto was pretty good, though vastly over salted, as if the cook somehow never took into consideration the saltiness the capers might add to the dish.
The lobster ravioli was very rich, with ample lobster and plenty of tomato sauce a la vodka. It had all of the raw materials but none of the artistry, no touch.
The amatriciana was noteworthy in its lameness - there was none of the density of flavor that pancetta and carmelized onions lend to the dish when it is well executed. Also, there shouldn't be rapini in amatriciana. A special should be special, not borderline bad.
We skipped desert but lingered over a bottle of inexpensive yet enjoyable Sicilian wine. Total bill: $90 pre-tip.
I want this place to succeed, but I also want the food to be better and I truly hope both happen.
Went to Risotto tonight after trying to get into the new Tommy Ray Cafe in Studio City, only to find out they have not opened yet, due to a protest to their liquor license application, yet were having a private tasting dinner for friends/investors, etc., which we were obviously not a party to.
Well, Risotto became the alternative restaurant of choice, or by default as it turned out.
Bodie - you were right.
They never met a salt shaker they did not want to use 10 times more often than needed.
We started out with a mushroom risotto entree split 3 ways as an appetizer, which was very good, would be reordered if any of us would ever venture into the place again, and we should have stopped there.
The wine list sucks badly, and although the prices are in the affordable range, it looks like a glorified TJ bargains list. Any way, I had a glass of Ravenswood Lodi Zin, while one companion had a pinot grigio of no distinction other than battery acid. The other one had a sparkling water.
The entrees of lamb chops and chilean sea bass were tasty in their own right, adequately prepared, yet with 10x the salt, which became nearly the dominant taste to both dishes.
The 3rd entree was Bodie's amatriciana, which was fortunately not my order, but it was inedible, period, and after MUCH coercing, was taken off the bill. There should be laws against serving that dish.
A nightcap for the sea bass diner was a cappuccino, which was declared a winner. I passed on all future anythings, and they did as well as the dessert menu looked very uninteresting.
Nearly $90, and a unanimous desire to never step foot in the building. Avoidance of any eye contact by both waiter and owner did not help when both knew we were not liking our food, and I knew the waiter from his previous employment elsewhere in the Valley as well as his owning a restaurant in Weho a few years ago, and called him by his first name when we walked in.
To us, Lipson was generous in his review.
Yet another reason to not eat Italian food in the valley, with very few modest exceptions.