Il Cielo
9018 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Open every day and night, except Sunday, which is available for private affairs
310 276 9990

Considered by so many Angelinos to be the most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles, it is impossible for us to disagree. This celebrity hideaway is known foremost for its atmosphere; but we believe that the food is even better than the gorgeous surroundings. The omnipresent, yet unobtrusive, handsome and charming owner, Pasquale Vericella has poured his essence over two decades into creating near perfection. Off the beaten track on Burton Way (just around the corner from The Four Seasons Hotel, yet a continent away) you enter this garden paradise in a manner similar to arriving at the home of a welcoming longtime friend. The myriad twinkle lights, ivy covered brick walls and gorgeous palms, ferns, topiaries and assorted seasonal flowers together are warm and inviting. With two outdoor brick encrusted patios from which to choose, and two cozy inside rooms protected by an angel filled sky above (hence, “Il Cielo” or “The Sky”), the well-trained staff is ever present and yet never annoying.

As you partake in your first bite of any of the kitchen’s creations, you may not be aware that Pasquale’s mandate is that all of his fine food is only prepared at the time of ordering and never in advance. All of the recipes emanate from his family, which hails from the Amalfi coast region of Italy. The menu at Il Cielo, characterized by the explosive flavors of his ancestral locale, is changed quarterly to coincide with our seasons; and we’re not referring to California’s own unique seasons of Fire, Flood, Quake and Slide!

We were particularly blessed at our last dinner to still be in the season of the white truffle. All the pastas are homemade daily, but if you don’t order their Fettuccine with white truffle sauce which sports a hint of nut flavor, you will most assuredly regret not having done so. Pasquale also creates homemade scialatielli pasta with whole Maine lobster surrounded by a fresh cherry tomato sauce, which is beyond scrumptious. The veal “filet mignon” inspired by Aristotle Onassis, is a personal favorite of Michael (Scott would never touch the stuff): it is so tender, moist and flavorful, unlike anything you’ve tested before. But then again, there does not appear to be anything on the menu that’s not worth tasting. For those of us who are obsessed with our bodies, feel confident that Pasquale’s chefs do not use more than a tiny amount of cream or butter in any of their dishes. Don’t miss their superb country tomato basil soup drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and be gleefully aware that it does not include any cream. That said, it is a must to pair your courses with any number of fabulous wines from the restaurant’s comprehensive wine list.

Saturated with enough wine and exquisite food, enchanted by the serenading of music and charm-filled atmosphere, do try and pull yourself from your lover’s hands by ending your meal with any number of superlative desserts including one of the most decadent Chocolate Souffle’s we’ve ever experienced (made entirely from all Belgian chocolate); accompany it with homemade pistachio or coconut sorbet for a real taste treat. Don’t leave without a demi tasse of dessert wine created expressly by the Vatican at its own vineyard, “Viva del Papa”, which almost rivals Chateau d’Yquem at a fraction of the price.

Whether it’s dinner for two, or a private party for 60, if all of this doesn’t create an aphrodisiac for post-dinner activities, well then nothing will!

Posted by The Dining Duo | 2:33 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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