REVIEW: PICI ENOTECA

Pici Enoteca (pronounced Peachy) is a brand new spot on South Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  Just debuting this week, The Monster decides to show unbelievable restraint by not going the day they open and hitting this restaurant on their second day.

In the former Bossa Nova space, the room is unrecognizable.  It’s a sliver, done up in tile floors with a black and white pattern, a beautiful tin ceiling and a bar hugging the back.  With the dim lighting it wouldn’t be out of place in a Brooklyn neighborhood. 

From the get-go the service is unbelievably warm and inviting.  Both our server and owner-chef Jason Harley go out of their way to make the night enjoyable.  The menu, divided into antipasta, pizza, sides, insalate, pasta and dolce is notable for its very fair prices (nothing cracks $20) in an area where tariffs can be ludicrous.  The only oddity is the music which feels like it’s out of an empty nightclub. 

Pici features a small selection of wine and beer so with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand it’s time to decide what the night’s meal will entail.

Here’s what we sample: artichoke fritters filled with boursin cheese and an herb aioli; spiced eggplant with paprika oil served cold; chopped salad with romaine, spinach, chick peas, roasted peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella pearls and balsamic vinaigrette; lemongrass pizza with caramelized onions and crispy leeks; a margherita pizza with vine ripened tomatoes and basil with chicken added; baked mac and cheese; potatoes au gratin; the special ravioli with lobster; onion rings, the cheesecake of the day, cannoli.

The very good: artichoke fritters.  A true hit for everyone.  Nicely fried, with a gooey, delicious filling.  The spiced eggplant.  Refreshing and fresh, perhaps the portion could be a tad larger but that’s only a middling complaint.  The lemongrass pizza.  Our server is correct, this is a unique and tantalizing thin crust pizza.  The cheesecake.  Gone in under ten seconds.  Wonderful.

The good: Chopped salad.  Nice medley of vegetables.  Wish the dressing had a bit more bite.  Mac ‘n cheese.  Loved the idea of this being baked, loved the noodles they use.  Could do with a touch more seasoning as the flavors prove a tad muddled.  The cannoli.  Crispy outside is delicious.  Filling not as special.

The ok: Margherita pizza.  Smidge overcooked.  Chicken would have popped if it was seasoned.  Potatoes au gratin.  Potatoes undercooked.  The cheesy au gratin isn’t decadent enough for a dish where it should be.  Onion rings.  These are more onion slivers where The Monster prefers actual rings.  Also, they came with no dipping sauce or ketchup.  Lobster ravioli.  Neither the filling nor sauce is memorable.

For a restaurant that hasn’t even had time to find its legs that’s a very good showing.  Many of the issues can be attributed to a new kitchen and staff all working out the kinks.

Ultimately, Pici is a good addition to Beverly Boulevard and a spot that with time may become a great one.

Why go?  Empty nightclub music is your jam.

Monster rating: 3 ½/5 Monsters

212 S Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

(310) 274-7424

Pici Enoteca on Urbanspoon

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