Our streets are suddenly bursting with new Italian options, from Locanda Positano in Marina del Rey and a panineria from Santino's in Venice to Greg Morris' Olive Bar and Kitchen in West Hollywood, Jason Travi's new menu at Mesa, a lasagna lab at Cube, and Downtown's Cucina Rustica joining newly arrived paisans like Culina and Osteria Mamma. Adding to this abbondanza of eats, Vintage Enoteca opened this morning on Sunset Blvd. just east of LaCienega. So where does it come from?
Vintage Enoteca is the passion project of two newcomers from the East Coast, Danielle Francois and Jennifer Moore, who left the world of corporate advertising with the dream of creating an understated wine bar of distressed metal tables, hanging bare bulbs, and black and white photos from local artists for the neighborhood to hang out in.
Helping these two deliver on their promise of a place that can be enjoyed by neophytes and experts alike, the duo consulted New York sommelier Sarah Sutel to come up with a list of international and domestic wines that spans from Prosecco to Spanish Rioja to Pinot Noir from our own Santa Lucia Highlands. By the glass options range from eight to thirteen dollars, with a low-cost "house" option ditched for more worthy Austrian and Sicilian vintages. A full wine list is available online.
Meanwhile chef Paul Dozois, who has no formal training but studied globally under names like Jose Andres, Puck, and Colicchio, is the executive chef. Dozois, Moore, and Francois collaborated on a tight menu that includes tapas-style plates of roasted marcona almonds and medjool dates stuffed with Parmesan, as well as five different bruschetta recipes, plus flatbreads and salami and cheese plates. Dozios' international influences show up in various panini, such as the version with Spanish grilled cheese, chorizo, and piquillos or a signature PLT of crispy panchetta slathered in bagna cauda.
Opening daily at 8:00 A.M., breakfast takes a simpler approach with pastries and bagels, teamed with coffee by Groundwork. No pizza or pasta options appear on the menu, which can be viewed online via PDF. Instead, Vintage Enoteca brings casual Italian innovation to the table. Not to worry, you should have enough new pasta and pizza options around town to keep you stuffed through summer.
Vintage Enoteca is now open at 7554 West Sunset Blvd. 323-512-5278.