15 Jan Dinner and Music at Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge Beverly Hills
When I went to lunch at Spago a few months ago, I saw that a new place was going in next door called Spaghettini. Silly me thought that meant that it was a “little Spago.” But it’s not. It’s actually the second location for a successful restaurant and music venue, owned by Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick, that has been in Seal Beach for 26 years.
Spaghettini is a large rectangular space that is wide open. With white walls and dark wood and blue accents, it is rather simple in its décor, but also modernly elegant.
We started at the bar and ordered a couple drinks to start the evening. We ordered The Home Slice (apple ginger soda, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, citrus) and The Duet (El Dorado 12 Year Rum, Rhum JM, honey, Italian sweet vermouth, Angostura, grapefruit peel). The Home Slice was refreshing with the sweetness of the bourbon on the finish. But, I would have liked a bit more acidity or bite on the front of the palate. The apple ginger soda seemed a bit muted. The Duet on the other hand was a well balanced cocktail. Perhaps not the first drink you want for the night on a chilly night, it was perfect. The cocktails range from $15-$18 and are a bit steep.
While we enjoyed our drinks, we were served a bread plate. Some bars offer nuts, others offer bacon. At Spaghettini, they offer a bread selection that includes three types of bread and three tasty spreads – caramelized onions, unsalted butter and strawberry rose jam.
After our drinks, we were seated at a comfortable booth across the room that faced a wood-paneled wall. This wall would later be removed to reveal the stage for the band that would perform around 10pm.
Our charming and friendly server Fernando came to our table to walk us through the menu created by Chef Scott Howard. The menu is what they call “inventive California cuisine with Italian sensibilities.”
The kitchen sent out two amuse bouche – a plate with egg salad on a buttery crispy toast topped with trout and a spoon of fresh crab salad and a mushroom soup with creme fraiche and truffle oil.
Jeffrey Blancq, the sommelier, came to the table to inquire which wine we wanted. Jeffrey lived in Italy, speaks fluent Italian and is very passionate about Italian wine. While the wine list is predominantly California wines, Jeffrey is slowing growing the Italian wines on the list. We asked him to pair our meal with wines by the glass selections, which range from $12-18.
We started with the Scarbolo 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Friui to pair with the first two dishes.Burrata with strawberry jam, miso, mizuna, yuzu, toast, aged balsamic ($16). Nothing is better than fresh burrata that you almost need to eat with a spoon.
Pommery Shrimp with pommery mustard, citrus, mache ($26)
A seasonal salad, I loved the Persimmon with lolla rossa, mascarpone, meyer lemon, pomegranate, mulled wine ($15). The sweet, fleshy persimmon, tart pomegranate and meyer lemon and creamy mascarpone were a nice harmony of flavors and the mulled wine was the perfect finish.
The Spaghettini with saffron, dungeness crab, shrimp, fennel pollen ($28) is the signature pasta. Thin house-made pasta (thinner than spaghetti) is wrapped in a cylindrical shape and topped with the fresh seafood and colorful flowers. The saffron sauce is earthy and rich which was a good match for the Inama 2012 Soave Classico Superiore, “Vigneti di Foscarino”, Veneto.
Full of flavor and perfectly cooked medium rare, the Dry Aged NY Strip with a bone marrow bordelaise ($58) is a beautiful cut of meat. It is served with smoked gouda orzo mac & cheese in a copper pot. This is some dangerously good mac & cheese. And, Jeffrey paired the strip with two small tastes of an Italian Super Tuscan and Silverado 2010 Merlot, Mt George Vineyard, Napa Valley.
As we were eating our entrees, the wood walls were removed and the band DW3 began to perform. While it got a bit too loud to talk, the music itself was the perfect level (and we were sitting next to the stage.) Some people even got up to dance but we just sat back and enjoyed the music and our full bellies.
No matter how full we were, we managed to eat desert, a Tiramisu with vanilla meringue, pistachio macaron ($15). More like a deconstructed tiramisu and presented like a menagerie, it was paired with a taste of sweet golden Hungarian Tokaji.
If you are looking for a great meal and world class entertainment all in one place, Spaghettini is the answer. Or just go for the live music and drinks.
184 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210