By Patti Pietschmann, photos by Richard Pietschmmann
Celebrities, rock stars and movie moguls meet for dinners at Il Piccolino. They go not to be seen but to enjoy leisurely, relaxed meals. We’re talking some of the best Italian food this side of the old country. But the show biz clientele goes there for privacy, I will honor that. We are regulars. It helps to know the co-owners, Silvio De Mori and Eddie Kerkhofs, veteran restaurateurs and self-professed foodies. We do get spoiled every time we go. Silvio or Eddie always send over some special dishes. Silvio usually outdoes himself sending over course after course. But we can’t complain. We just get a doggy bag and have it the next day. That sort of answers a question asked me by another patron. “How do you eat so much and stay slim,” asked a person at the adjacent table? I felt a bit like a glutton. But they didn’t know the trick is to taste and bring the rest home, which we do.
The chic little hideaway offers indoor and outdoor seating. Both are attractively decorated with fine art (some of which Silvio paints) and stylish furnishings. It’s cozy and small. It’s open straight from 11 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m. You can go for early or late lunches or early dinners.
Let’s take a foray through a meal we recently enjoyed at Il Piccolino. First came a heavenly, imported foie gras that melts in the mouth. Then came a pate you wouldn’t believe, laced with pistachios, mama mia. Then came French onion soup generously laced with imported gruyere cheese. I thought that would be it for me but I couldn’t resist he red beet risotto or the polenta that just danced with my taste. There was also a house-made fresh sheet pasta pesto with fresh burrata and asparagus that would have been foolish to pass on.
Save room for dessert
Silvio smirks happily as he watches our expressions when the server brings us one of the restaurant’s divine desserts. We claim we can’t eat another drop. But we do. Especially the chocolate mousse or marinated strawberries with whipped cream, and the salted caramel
Il Piccolino is located at 350 N.Robertson Blvd., (but it’s actually just around the corner) 310-659-2220, reservations are a must. Dress is California chic casual. A few people wear designer jeans, but many men don jackets especially at night, and women tend to doll up a bit.