Sunday, June 28, 2009

Madeo - The Stars Were Out Last Night!

What a night...from the impeccable food to the A-list celeb sightings, it made for an incredible evening. Madeo is by far one of our favorite Italian restaurants in LA and it looks like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Matt Damon and Jeremy Piven are fans as well (they all seemed to arrive following the BET awards). As for the restaurant, it has an authentic Italian feel with a huge wooden bar, cozy booths and B&W photos of old Italy. A lot of people compare this restaurant to Georgio Baldi. Let me set the record straight. Both have fantastic food, are run by old Italian chefs and employee mainly Italian born staff. That said, it is the service and atmosphere that differentiates Madeo and is the main reason we keep coming back.

Back to the evening...though hard not to stare at the beautiful faces around us, we still were able to enjoy the food in front of us...and the wine of course! Immediately after being seated they bring out a plate of crispy flat bread drizzled with olive oil. Make sure to ask for the green olives served with chunks of parmigiano cheese (always a nice touch but an added cost). If you've been there before, you know not to fill up on them (though it may be hard) as you have a big meal ahead.

The Filet Mignon Carpaccio appetizer is delicious and certainly one of the better carpaccio's in LA. It is sliced very thin, served with artichokes, Parmigiano cheese and lemon juice - a very light & refreshing dish. Choosing a pasta as an appetizer is also a great choice, especially if you're having a fish or meat as an entree. In fact, we believe it is the pastas, that makes this restaurant so good. They always seem to have a special or two (often fresh seafood, sea urchin, zucchini flowers, duck ragu, etc.) but are often not pastas you can find anywhere else. We highly recommend the Spaghetti Alla Bottarga with Sea Bass dried eggs (see attached pic) and garlic. While you may be thinking who would actually eat that, it is fantastic. Another great pasta is the Penne Madeo with fresh tomato-basil and Parmigiano cheese - very basic but very good. The sauce seems to stick to the pasta in a way that makes it difficult to explain, but if you are a fan of basic tomato based pastas, this might be the best one you have ever tried. We also tried the sea bass ravioli with a tomato sauce. It took us by surprise, icredibly light and delicate....found ourselves craving for more. Lastly, we want to point out the veal ravioli with walnut sauce. This is a heavy cream based sauce, but seems to work perfectly with ground veal & walnuts.

For entrees, we do enjoy the Tagliata alle Erbe Aromatiche. This is a thinly sliced broiled New York sirloin steak, layed out on the plate served with aromatic herbs and drillzled with olive oil. They also had a grilled rabbit special which we weren't a fan of as it was a bit dry.

You'll probably be full by this point but save a little room for dessert, specifically for the Mille-Feuille - layers of puff pastry filled with fresh cream. Yum!

We cant go without mentioning the wine service. We are big winos and truly appreciate when a restaurant goes to great lengths to deliver wine service. We brought two reds to dinner (Larkmead '02 - solid, decent value & an '05 Robert Foley Claret, big & bold) and had them both decanted immediately. The restaurant uses beautiful Riedel glasses (for all varietals) and with an attentive sommelier, the wine & service perfectly complement the meal.

Note: The meal comes at a price. Most appetizers fall in the $15-$20 range, pastas around $25-$30 and entrees $30-$50.

8897 Beverly Blvd.
Beverly Hills 90048

Rating: 95

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