a charming spot in Beverly Hills

An old friend was in town on business and had been stuck at her hotel for an entire week. When I got there over the weekend, she told me she had been watching this channel on TV with tons of restaurant recommendations and she wanted to eat at one of them.

After eliminating the pretentious and those “seen and be seen” restaurants, we ended up at Pici Enoteca in Beverly Hills, a small bistro-style restaurant reminiscent of New York City rather than California. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising when we found out co-owner and Chef Jason Harley was a Brooklyn transplant and graduate of the CIA in New York.

What stood out upon entering the restaurant was the owner personally greeting his customers, and he went out of his way to set us up at a table even though we didn’t have reservations and he was fully booked that evening.

We started with Mushroom Soup ($7) a special of the day. It was full of heady mushroom aromas and texturally pleasing. A drizzle of pesto oil added an aesthetic finish but was not necessary to help the flavors any.

Arugula Salad ($9) was filled with beets, both red and golden. A refreshing plate of greens which we shared. In fact, I am almost always insistent on sharing everything just so I can taste as many things as possible.

My friend saw the pizzas on TV so we had to order one. Margherita Pizza ($12) arrived on a very thin crust with tomatoes and basil. It was my type of pizza, although it wasn’t exactly Napoli-style pizza, but it still tasted great.

What I came here for was the house specialty pasta — pici — something that is hand-made daily by Chef Jason. This was what enticed me from the TV. Pici is a hand-rolled thick pasta like spaghetti but cut into strips. Here, they are short, rolled up bits of pasta with the most perfect al dente texture to them.

We ordered the Shrimp Scampi Pici ($20) — plump scampi with shaved Parmagiana-Reggiano and a drizzling of pesto. This is what I would come back for again.

For dessert, Chef Jason suggested his special Apple Donuts with Vanilla ice cream ($7). Rounds of apple are battered and fried like fritters — although they were in the shape of a doughnut — and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Simple and tasty, they made a nice finish to a satisfying meal.

If you plan on visiting Pici Enoteca, make sure you have a reservation. That way, you know for sure you’ll get a table and get to eat your dinner!

Pici Enoteca
212 S Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: 310-274-7424

Pici Enoteca on Urbanspoon

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