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Tuning in on Il Piccolo Verde for playful multo buono Italian cuisine

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Il Piccolo Verde

Rating:
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Nestled just off Sunset Blvd., in LA’s Brentwood Village, Il Piccolo Verde offers a warm and cozy showcase for Chef /co-owner Oscar Morel’s mix of traditional Italian cuisine and ‘Verde Naturale’, health-conscious organic vegetables and grains. The combination is multo buono.

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Morel created the four-month old restaurant, located at 140 S. Barrington Place, after spending 25 years running Spumoni in Santa Monica. Warm and cozy, with a heated outdoor patio and open kitchen, and a friendly wait staff headed by the amiable chef, Il Piccolo Verde is the perfect neighborhood spot.

Tables were booked to capacity on a Sunday night when we sampled the fare, mostly families with a few couples sprinkled here and there. The mood was festive (it is Christmas week) and the aromas from the kitchen intoxicating.

Chef Morel’s creations are interesting and exciting with new twists on his ‘Verde Naturale’ menu choice, chicken cacciatore—a grilled free range chicken served with red, yellow and green bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, sweet basil, light tomato and white wine sauce over a millet Verde.

Also among his ‘natural green’ selections are a 12 inch whole wheat Napolitano style pizza with spicy marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and avocado that’s yummy; gluten-free organic buckwheat risotto; Amaranth polenta with shiitake mushrooms; quinoa al rapini, a faro salad with organic carrots, corn, garbanzos, olives, organic yellow beets and other healthy choices.

The rest of the menu features classic old country fare such as penne arrabiatta, linguini al pesto (and other pasta dishes), white fish served with mushrooms, shallots and white wine, a fantastic grilled wild caught salmon fillet done picatta style with perfectly prepared broccolini and roasted potatoes, shrimp, cioppino(clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, fresh fish and crostini) and lots more.

There’s a delicious-sounding dessert list that includes chocolate or ricotta cheese cake, tiramisu, crème brulee, sorbet, gelato and an absolutely fantastic cannoli that tastes as good as any this Diva has ever eaten (and I’ve had a few).

There’s a good, affordable wine list by glass or bottle and of course a selection of espressos, cappuccinos and other beverages. The espresso is as good as it gets. The ambiance and food are well worth a visit especially with a group of friends or family when you can sample several dishes, but couples will also enjoy the experience especially out on the heated patio.

Reservations are strongly suggested at www.ilpiccoloverde.com or by calling 310-472-4939.

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