Aventine, Italiano Hollywood style.
1607 N Cahuenga Blvd | Hollywood, CA, 90028
All PHOTOS by Dawn Garcia©
My first introduction to Aventine was for Happy Hour one warm spring afternoon with my two friends, Artist Mike Chearney and his husband, Brian. We met for a double date – off to see a movie after a drink and some tasty bites and they suggested Aventine as one of their favorite places with truffle popcorn to die for. I was beyond intrigued and once we got there, it was not disappointing. The truffle popcorn was in fact, sheer surprise (and wonderfully addicting) as was their wine selection, impeccable service and ambient decor. So when I had the opportunity to return, only this time to have a full dinner, I was certainly looking forward to it.
When you walk into Aventine, you immediately see ornate and rustic details that remind you of both a hideaway somewhere on the Italian coast and the architecture of a place that welcomes you with open arms and pristine service. Tables line the entry all the way through to the outdoor patio, quaintly decorated with streaming lights and a tree growing up through the restaurant floor.
What truly astonished me was that all of the pastas are made in-house FROM true Italian flour which means, for someone like me with a wheat allergy, everything in wheat that I’m allergic to was absent in their homemade pastas and pizza crust. It’s hard to understand but so often a wheat allergy stems from an overuse of chemicals and unnatural processes. Needless to say, I was more than happy to be able to enjoy it in such good company. Dining with my partner, Matt and our friends, the fab Rachel McCord and her hubby, Rick Schirmer tonight’s dinner was certainly one to remember.
Below is my review of each dish:
Salumi E Formaggi Platter
This was a mixed selection of meats and cheeses and while the salumi was good, this wasn’t a particularly stand out dish.
Sautéed prosciutto wrapped jumbo shrimp, sage, balsamic glaze.
The large shrimp were juicy but it was the sautéed prosciutto that was the star of this dish along with the sage that muted the sharpness of the balsamic glaze.
Rosso Verde E Giallo
Amazing how good a salad can be when it’s done with the right combination of ingredients and the blood orange dressing sent this salad into a balanced bite.
Mozzarella, tomato, basil.
While I love anything with basil, this pizza was just okay. It wasn’t as unique as I had hoped it would be primarily because there wasn’t enough … oomph.
JT’s Spinich Pappardelle
Bolognese sauce. shaved parmigiano.
Homemade pappardelle that was cooked to perfection with the bolognese sauce also made fresh daily, this tasty bowl of hearty Italian goodness really was delicious.
Stuffed with short ribs, rice, swiss chard, demi cream sauce.
These ravioli were cooked flawlessly. The short ribs were like butter – as they should be – and the combination of acidity and texture was on point. I think this may have been one of the most delectable short rib ravioli’s I’ve had and it was the sauce that really sent it soaring. Not one thing I would have changed. It was hearty, happy and made with love.
Aventine is a beautiful stop amongst a Hollywood terrain that can be, all too often, lackluster. I appreciate the originality, the impeccable service, the Management, and the staff. I have yet to have a bad experience and tonight was no exception.