I have mixed feelings about DineLA’s Restaurant Week. It’s not that it’s not a fantastic idea. A good excuse to finally check out that restaurant you’ve been dying to try and get a special, fixed price menu. I just typically find that you’re not saving all that much money. Especially for me, since I rarely order desert. I’d rather have another savory dish. It also really depends on what you order off that fixed menu at most places. And some restaurant’s DineLA menu have larger choices than others.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great deals to be had. You just have to choose them wisely. For instance, the AYCE experience at Fogo de Chão is $15 cheaper, a full 3 course steak dinner at Morton’s is suddenly $90 for two people, small bites at Picca are even more enticing, and dinner at Rivera isn’t reserved for just a special occasion. The same can be said for Piccolo Venice. When people ask for my top restaurants in LA, Piccolo continues to make that list. They’ve managed to keep their charm after their expansion a couple of years back. This is the place that asked to be removed from the Zagat guide, and I am happy not to share, but it doesn’t make it any easier to obtain a table at prime dinner hours. Get here early, or make a reservation for this cozy Italian spot near the Venice Boardwalk.
The inspired dishes coming out of the kitchen are perfectly prepared and artfully arranged. Not to mention almost every plate comes with a bit of that black gold, aka the summer black truffle. I returned to Piccolo last week, before DineLA kicked off, and it’s worth a repeat visit now that it’s in full swing. The ambiance and service are impeccable. Menu items for DineLA include pan seared sea scallops with parmesan-truffle fondue, a slow braised venison ragu, a Berkshire pork-chop drizzled with vanilla bean sauce, and a breast of wild duck with truffle honey sauce. Choose from an amazing selection of five courses for just $45 a person. You could easily spend twice that per person on any other night… and we did.