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New Italian-Inspired Spaghettini Restaurant Cookbook and Ancient Hospitality

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) The absolutely perfect cloudless California weather was the final touch on new Italian-inspired Spaghettini Restaurant’s brand new patio to introduce their new cookbook, From Our Home to Yours by Chef Victor Avila – far out of reach of real world worries. (www.spathettini.com)


The 30-year-old Orange County mainstay was created at the height of the abundant 80’s, and the feeling is still there in both the hospitality and the California-Italian cuisine.

Dedicated Co-owners and managing partners, Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick just make it look so easy.  They self-effacingly credit their staff of ten, along with a crew that goes back to opening day in a few instances.

California product and Italian cuisine inspired — the best of each is in each of the easy-to-follow recipe.  All produce is available from Melissa’s Produce, which brings the best of global products to local markets. Starters, Salads, Pastas, Entrees and Desserts categories are complemented by a thoughtful addition of Sides, Dressings and Sauces.

Bold, beautiful, straightforward food and hospitality make Spaghettini an absolutely stellar experience.  We wandered into the restaurant for a self-guided tour and the hostesses were only too happy to help, not even knowing who we were.

The starter, Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta is lush and dense. One of the guests even as we approach winter.  This plus the highest quality vinegar and olive oil make all the difference.

Our friend and one of our favorite chefs, Shigefume Tachibe is given full credit for the delectable stacked tower,  Ahi Tuna Tartare. http://localfoodeater.com/new-contemporary-japanese-delicatessen-osawa-opens-pasadena/

Pommery Shrimp is so popular it has been on the menu since the restaurant opened.  It remains one of the top selling items.  The Pommery Mustard Sauce is enhanced by the Garlic Butter Sauce for true decadence.

In the Salad category, Beet Salad is a composed dish.  The baby red, yellow and Chioggia (striped) beets, along with the wild rocket (arugula)  are key to its delicacy.  

The classic Italian Caprese, on the contrary, is so big, bold and beautiful that  three slices of large red and yellow heirloom tomatoes fill the plate.

This totally contemporary version of the historic Wedge Salad, created in 1916completely won me over. Chef Avila  revived the iceberg salad with an open-face and the airy peels of red onion bring it up to date.  (Iceberg may have gotten its name after a Salanas, California farmer began shipping it cross country in-between layers of ice.)

Main dishes include a refined Spaghettini Spaghetti and Meatball.  Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese are Chef Avila’s secret for crispy yet tender meatballs.

The Carmelized Salmon here smiles underneath a hat of sweet potato crisps.  The Asian cilantro, lemongrass and ginger flavors are so subtle they simply enhance the fish.  The crispy rice wows even the most reluctant white rice eater (such as myself).

 

Mac and cheese is “all grown up” with Gorzonzola making it creamier and softer than an American cheese.  Gorgonzola also crumbles into the sauce.

Other dishes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts. The special ingredient is Sherry Vinaigrette in the dressing.

Spring peas and dry crumbly Feta cheese is another substantial veggie side dish.

White chocolate Cheese cake is silky and even more festive with white chocolate curls on top.

The very special champagne with the  Spaghettini label by Chateau St. Michelle in Napa, new on the menu, provides the perfect toast!

Spaghettini Restaurant, 3005 Old Ranch Pkwy, Seal Beach, CA 90740, (562) 596-2199, (562) 596-2199.  Menu: spaghettini.com

 


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Author
Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.