Restaurant: Hostaria del Piccolo
Location: 606 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401. P: 310-393-6633
Date: August 27, 2011 & May 6, 2012
Rating: Good new casual Italian
Hostaria del Piccolo is a casual new Italian with a rustic Pasta/Pizza emphasis from the people that brought us Piccolo (my review here).
It’s located in a chic modern space at the corner of 6th and Broadway three blocks behind the Santa Monica Promenade.
The interior has a modern rustic quality.
And they have a lovely patio, which given that it was 5pm on an 85 degree perfect California August day totally ruled.
Given the weather, I decided to take a cue from my Italian friends and order a glass of Lambrusco Frizzante. Sparkling grape juice with a kick, what more can you ask for in the heat?
Very nice thick and buttery grissini.
The menu. Secondi are not numerous in quantity, but they have a lot of pizzas and a number of tasty sounding pastas.
Valpolicella Ripasso is something I found in my Sommelier course on Italy. Ripasso means rested and this is basically baby Amarone.
“CANTALUPO tuscan melon and Bresaola.” Artfully arranged!
“MESCOLATA organic greens, roasted tomatoes, sliced almonds.”
“RICOTTINA seared fresh ricotta, seasonal mushrooms, vincotto.” This is a very Southern Italian dish and really, is pretty much identical to one I found in Apicus, the 1900 year old Roman cookbook. The sweetness of the vincotto (must) plays off against the creamy sweet cheese.
“FARRO organic farro, heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto, walnut, arugula.” Farro is also very common in ancient Roman food. This being a rustic Italian, we have more of those old school influences.
“COSTICINE roasted pork ribs, cannellini beans.” Pork and beans of this sort is classic Tuscan. This is basically like Italian babyback ribs.
Rigatoni pomodoro for the boy.
“PAPPARDELLE tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, mozzarella di bufala.”
“RIGATONI italian sausage, tomato-cream, peas, parmesan.” One of those meat, cheese, and pea pastas that I love so much.
“SALSICCIA tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella, sausage, bell peppers, Castelvetrano olives.” I actually ordered the FARCITA (which was a white prosciutto pizza) but he must have misheard me and anyway this was a tasty pizza. The sausage was very tender and flavorful. The crust was really yummy, and the whole thing not overly burnt like some wood oven pizzas are. If you want to see my Ultimate Homemade Pizza, click here.
A different sausage variant with broccoli, garlic, and fontina but no tomato sauce.
“QUATTRO PER tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes.”
“PARMIGIANA tomato sauce, breaded eggplant, basil, parmesan.” Looks like meat, but isn’t!
“AGNELLO Marinated and grilled New Zealand lamb chops, roasted garlic sauce.” Very nice tender straight up grilled lamb chops. Bone gnawing good.
The dessert menu. We were full and didn’t order any.
But they brought my 2.75 year-old this ice cream cone as a freebee and he was mighty pleased.
Overall, Hostaria del Piccolo is a very nice new contemporary Italian, with a heavy pizza/pasta focus. This is sure to make it a crowd pleaser. They could use to beef up the variety of anti-pasta and secondi a bit, but what I had was very nice.
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The open kitchen inside.