Restaurant: Gucci Osteria
Location: 347 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. (424) 600-7490
Date: May 5, 2022
Cuisine: Modern Italian
Rating: Amazing — and foamy!
Over a decade ago I had an amazing meal at Osteria Francescana in Modena, one of the most respected and highly rated restaurants in Italy. So, I was very excited, but cautious, to hear that Chef Massimo Bottura partnered with Gucci (of all things) to open a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
It has it’s own door right next to the store on Rodeo.
Here’s the main Gucci store. I can’t help but visualizing Al Pacino demonstrating some loafers.
The dining room is upstairs above the store and has a lovely and stylish greenhouse vibe. It’d be great for power lunch as well.
This is all serious tasting menus. We got the “Chef’s Experience” but added SEVERAL signature dishes off the other menus.
Erick proudly sporting the menu.
Truffle and Cheese Foam Tart amuse.
One “problem” at Gucci Osteria is that they don’t allow any corkage. But it turns out that their “regular” wine pairing is actually all interesting Italian wines, which I do love. They also have a premium pairing which has some nice Italian wines, but is corrupted by a bunch of French (fine but not necessary given how many great wines Italy has) and — gasp — new world wines. Why would they do that? Anyway, we got the (almost) all Italian set.
NV Ca’ del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige Brut. VM 91. Pale straw-yellow with a strong mousse. Bright, perfumed apple and pear aromas and flavors. Closes long with very good lemony cut and bright floral lift. One of the freshest, prettiest versions I can remember of the Cuvée Prestige, a sparkler that in my experience is often a little too heavy on sweet dosage. Disgorged fall 2017. (Drink between 2018-2023)
Lavash bread and raisin/fruit bread.
Normandy style butter.
Whipped Ricotta. Really light and delicious. Cough, cough: foam!
American Breakfast. Eggs, potato foam. Really smooth and luxurious. Notice the foam / velouté thing going on, you will see it again.
2020 Passo delle Tortore Fiano di Avellino Bacio delle Tortore. Fiano is a super dry and acidic white wine from the more volcanic coastal regions of southern Italy (in this case, Eastern Sicily).
From Japan & Italy to LA. Shigoku oyster. Nice oyster.
Prosciutto consommé. Cold and mild and porky. Not my thing.
2018 San Michele Appiano (St. Michael-Eppan) Sauvignon Sanct Valentin. VM 92. Bright straw. Aromas and flavors of passion fruit, green fig, sage and rosemary. Fresh and juicy with glyceral sweetness giving an impression of residual sugar. Closes long and focused with lingering hints of gooseberry and sage. A lovely Sauvignon Blanc. (Drink between 2019-2025)
Fish Tartare – Smoked and Crispy. Rock fish, potatoes, shiso.
2016 Cantine Bonacchi Brunello di Montalcino Molino della Suga. 92 points. This Sangiovese is starting to mature- pale garnet in the glass with thick legs (14% ABV). Pronounced aromas of cherry, leather and strawberry with hints of clove, rooibos tea, garigue and dried herb. The palate is dry and quite tannic. I get lovely crushed cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, strawberry coulis and earthy leather. This wine has juicy acidity and a full body- it’s just now starting to become drinkable. It is a very young wine with great structure and potential for aging that will allow tertiary flavor development. Right now it is still relatively primal. Delicious stuff that has a long finish and rather astringent mouthfeel right now. It will drink beautifully till 2030 and pair well with Italian fare, grilled ribeye or game. 93 points from me for this $40 wine makes it a 5 star effort.
Welcome Home. Polenta, taleggio, beef ragu. Super “creamy” and delicious. More foam!
2017 Monteraponi Chianti Classico Baron’ Ugo. VM 92. The 2017 Chianti Classico Baron’Ugo is a dark, potent wine. A rush of aromas and flavors hits the palate as this full-bodied, heady Chianti Classico offers its substantial richness and pure power. A wine of density and volume, the 2017 screams with character. Red cherry, spice, mint and blood orange saturate the palate. In 2017, warm, dry weather pushed ripeness to the edge. The Baron’Ugo is decidedly eccentric in 2017, and yet all the elements are so nicely balanced. (Drink between 2022-2037)
Risotto Camouflaged as Pizza. Tomato, Basil, Stracciatella. Incredible bright pizza Margarita flavor.
Bowl licking good.
NV Dante Garuti & Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara.
Tortellino Truffle. Parmigiano Reggiano sauce. This is a Gucci Osteria classic.
2018 Cascina Fontana Barbera d’Alba. 94 points. Rich, complex aroma with elements of black fruit, dried leaves, and red hots. Sappy flavors of huckleberry and fresh oregano up front, burst of acid laced cherry fruit in the finish. Smooth by Barbera standards, but with firm acids underneath. Lovely and distinctive wine.
Cod as Milanese. Farmer’s market tomato terrine.
2016 Giorgio Pelissero Barbaresco Nubiola. VM 88. The 2016 Barbaresco Nubiola is a powerful, dense wine. Black cherry, spice, menthol, licorice and leather are all amped up in this potent, concentrated Barbaresco from Giorgio Pelissero. Nubiola is typically a bit more refined, but in 2016 it is especially powerful and clenched, with huge tannins that need cellaring to soften. Time in the glass brings out the attractive floral upper register that is typical of Nubiola, but the textural richness and depth remain. (Drink between 2021-2031)
Bollito. Wagyu, apple mostarda, warm zabaione. Again creamy and rich. Woah, more foam!
2016 Val Delle Rose Maremma Toscana Aurelio. 88 points.
Chicken Skin Fries.
Mini Me. Beef ribeye, cotechino, salsa verde, balsamic mayonnaise. Super yummy mini-burger.
Chibi Zumo ‘Little Sumo’ Junmai Geenshu Sake, Hyogo Prefecture.
Cool Vibes. Pistachio gelato, lime, mint, sake.
2014 Azienda Agricola Prà “Passito Bianco Delle Fontane”. 88 points. A lot of white flowers. Acacia being the most dominant. Orange peel, overripe apricots, nectarines, yellow peaches. Full bodied; but some lift to it.
Honey comes in this cool bee!
Milk & Honey. Milk, honey, coriander.
Puff Pastry, Passionfruit Jelly, Chocolate.
The bill — for 1 — gulp!
We closed them out.
Then hung out in the kitchen with two of the chefs! They were super nice. The chef on the right is pastry chef Tamara Rigo (she’s Italian — and yes Italians can be redheads). Not pictured is Chef Mattia Agazzi who has garnered a lot of press.
Overall, this was an amazing meal. It’s really the only meal I’ve had in America that reminds me of my many many 2 and 3 star meals in Italy. Now, that being said Italy, and to a much lesser extent LA, has tons of lovely more “casual” or “homestyle” Italian restaurants. In fact it’s hard to go wrong in Italy and casual places are amazing. But these fancy places have a style unique all to themselves and Gucci Osteria really delivers on that. Its particular style is rather rich and opulent with an incredible bounty of foams, veloutés, and fatty emulsions. I happen to love these kind of smooth textures, and I can handle very rich, but not everyone does. Still, to my taste it was delicious.
Service was amazing also and I actually really enjoyed the creative and offbeat Italian wine pairings. Italy has so many stupendous wines in every possible style, so there is no reason to eat Italian food with wine from anywhere else.
The idea of going back again leaves me “foaming” at the mouth!