While star-fueled antics are commonly played out at Cecconi's, executive chef Andrea Cavaliere is nothing if not serious about what happens in the kitchen. Refusing to simply kick back and scope Rachel Bilson's fork-twirling technique, Cavaliere is preparing three challenging classics, giving each its own night at the WeHo restaurant. Thursdays find a preparation of Dover sole for $45, with the option of truffle butter or lemon and capers. The fish is filleted table-side, as if you were seated at London's Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, which is famous for its de-boning skills. Authentic Dover sole is hard to find in these parts, unless you attempt to do it yourself with frozen fillets from Surfas.
Sunday nights are reserved for a prime beef roast for $34, sliced table-side on a gueridon, and served with fontina potatoes, black truffle fondant, mostarda di frutta, arugula, and parmesan. Fresh truffles can be shaved over your beef for an extra fourteen dollars.
Mondays sound most thrilling, as Cavaliere will prepare a traditional porchetta, one of Italy's chosen dishes to receive an official cultural distinction. Cavaliere is seasoning the boneless pork roast with assorted herbs before firing it up in his wood oven and serving it in slices with summer beans drizzled in aged balsamic and a peperonata of baked bell peppers, potatoes, and onions for $24.
It's great to see a chef of Cavaliere's standards challenge himself and reward diner's high expectations with these famous dishes. We know Angelini Osteria does an Italian version of Dover sole and also has their own wood-fired porchetta on Saturdays, but welcome new authentic additions of these classics to our coast. Reservations for Cecconi's special menu nights can be made at 310-432-2000.