Twins Take On… Via Alloro and IL Cielo – Los Angeles

Via Alloro

Situated on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills on the corner is the beautiful Via Alloro one of our favourite restaurants we frequently visit when in LA. The atmosphere is second to none and you really get the true feeling of being in Beverly Hills. As you walk up to the restaurant you are always greeted by a happy smiling face at front of house. You can sit either outside on the patio area or inside the restaurant. Amazing italian food like back home and the wine list is outstanding. The service is great as always and you are always made to feel at home and looked after.

Brother’s Giacomino and Tanino Drago own eight restaurants collectively, all very successful including Tanino in Westwood and Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills and Via Alloro  located at Canon Drive on the corner of Dayton Way in Beverly Hills.
The Drago history goes back many generations to the town of Galati Mamertino in Messina, a region in Sicily. Giacomino and Tanino are part of an amazing culinary family and are two of eight brothers and sisters. The name of the restaurant, Via Alloro is historical as it is named after the street they grew up on along with many other relatives.  Alloro in Italian means bay leaf, a spice that is an essential part of Italian cooking and will play a role in numerous recipes.

Via Alloro features a menu of Traditional Italian Cuisine with a flair of Fusion. A swordfish Carpaccio or a zucchini blossom stuffed with fresh ricotta and mozzarella is a perfect way to start your meal. Choose from a vast variety of savory entrees ranging from homemade pasta dishes to stone oven pizzas.

Fish and meat eaters alike have their choice of delightful dishes such as Veal Milanese or a Branzino with capers, olives and Sicilian oregano. A tantalizing dessert such as Cannoli Via Alloro, or a warm Chocolate Tarte is the perfect finish to any meal. Via Alloro features an Enomatic that allows you to try a selection of wines by the ounce, this is the perfect way to pair every meal with an exquisite choice from the Wine Menu.

Also delight in a signature drink, or a dessert wine.

So here we begin… We started with the Fiori di zucca, fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and diced tomatoes served with a tomato sauce, this was very light and very tasty, full of flavour and the sauce was perfect. We also tried the Burrata, soft creamy mozzarella with toasted bread, extra virgin olive oil, basil, tomato and sea salt. The mozzarella was so creamy and melted in the mouth, perfect way to start the meal.

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For mains we had gnocchi Bolognese, homemade green spinach-potato dumplings in a Bolognese sauce with Parmigiano, and the spaghetti con aragosta e frutti di mare, spaghetti with half lobster, scallops, calamari, mussels and clams with a lightly spicy garlic tomato sauce. The gnocchi was very light and because it was made with spinach added a different flavour to the dish and worked well with the Bolognese sauce. The spaghetti with lobster and sea food was amazing, a feast… a big dish, but was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing.

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For dessert we had the cannoli, the shell stuffed with ricotta cheese, orange and pistachio mousse and tiramisu lady fingers dipped in espresso and mascarpone cream, both made very well, light, flavoursome and a great way to finish the meal. A must go if you are ever in Beverly Hills.

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301 N. Canon Drive – Beverly Hills, CA 90210

IL Cielo 

This place is a stunning eye catching restaurant. With the fairy lights covering almost everywhere on the outside dining area it looks spectacular. Sitting there you can really understand why it is known as the most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles. The food was outstanding and wine list to match. We highly recommend this place especially if you’re wanting to romance your loved one and want a fairy tale evening 😉

Since 1986, il Cielo has brought “the sky” to Beverly Hills. Often called, “The most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles”, il Cielo is more than just an Italian restaurant; it is a landmark. With fine dining for lunch and dinner, private rooms and tranquil gardens, il Cielo is the perfect location for almost any occasion, day or night. il Cielo has established itself as a place to impress; “A country restaurant in the city.”

il Cielo is the consummate restaurant where fairy tales come to life, and many of those fairy tales begin right here in our enchanted gardens. Owners, Pasquale and Pattie Vericella, had set their sights on the home of il Cielo for several years before the owners agreed to sell to them in 1986. Their dream has always been to create a restaurant that was a home. Pasquale states, “I want our guest to feel completely at home and comfortable and be surrounded by nature, beauty and magic. il Cielo is about all things authentic: Fresh food and fresh air in a beautiful garden setting.”

Over the years, il Cielo has evolved with the times while staying true to its Tuscan roots. il Cielo weaves together the many colorful threads in the rich tapestry of Vericella’s life by combining a modern way of thinking with classic good taste and charm. Implementing many elements of Pasquale’s personal upbringing with the traditions and culture of a Sorrento atmosphere. One could only enter il Cielo feeling as though they have entered into an Italian cottage.

As you walk up to the restaurant you are greeted by the beautiful decor and lights, it really is amazing to see. We sat outside in the patio area, which is very quaint and full of atmosphere. We started with Crostini di Cristina – Assortment of three Crostinis, braised cherry tomatoes & gorgonzola cheese, honey roasted bartlett pear & goat cheese, poached shaved asparagus, truffle cheese & truffle oil and the Tuna Tartare, Ahi tuna tartare with avocado puree, horseradish creme fraiche, sturgeon caviar and smoked paprika oil. Both very nice dishes, lots of flavour and presented very well.

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For mains we the Pappardelle al Cinghiale, Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Roasted Shredded Wild Boar in a Natural Au Jus Sauce with a Touch of Barolo Wine and Guanciale di Manzo, Beef Cheek Ravioli in Barolo Wine Sauce Topped with Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano & Fresh Sage. Both cooked very well and lots of deep flavours and very comforting.

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Dessert was Cuore di Cioccolata, Heart Shaped Flourless Chocolate Cake layered with Dark Chocolate Mousse & Fresh Raspberries and the La Passione, Warm Italian Flourless Chocolate torta with Chocolate & Vanilla Gelato. Both very light and looked picturesque,  we love chocolate so these were perfect picks for us. All in all a perfect place to dine and have great food with a great atmosphere.

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Il Cielo

9018 Burton Way

Beverly Hills, California 90211

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