By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Those looking to try something new for dinner have to look no further than Santa Monica Canyon’s Caffé Delfini.
Helmed by childhood friends Alessandro Ercoli and Gianpietro Silardi, the nearly three-decade-old establishment has added a bevy of new items to its menu.
“By running the business from ‘in the trenches,’ a lot of the changes came from taking notes from people’s suggestions and feedback,” he explained. “Of course, we had piled up things from various other sources, like our own trips to Italy or sometimes a relative visiting town.”
Among the new items are Zinguine Salad, made with lukewarm zinguine with shrimp, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and red wine vinegar, and Orecchiette Broccolini e Salsiccia, pasta shells with broccolini, sweet Italian veal sausage, garlic and Pecorino cheese.
Ercoli recommended the new Finocchio Gratinato appetizer—baked fennel with béchamel and Parmesan cheese sauce—and the homemade Veal Lasagna.
Other homemade offerings include Tagliolini al Pesto Verde, Fettuccine Bolognese, Linguine al Radicchio, Linguine Mare and Spaghetti Squid Ink with Calamari and Shrimp.
Ercoli shared that it is “very important” that Caffé Delfini stick to keeping menu items as authentic as possible.
Both Silardi and Ercoli grew up in Pomezia, a suburb of Rome, where their passion for food began. The two then traveled the world together, landing in Los Angeles in 1987.
“It’s all about the food,” he shared. “It would not be easy for us to divert from what we grew up with. How can it be otherwise?”
The restaurant still offers some fan favorites, including zinguini (a shredded zucchini pasta alternative that resembles linguini) and Branzino Mediterraneo, Mediterranean striped bass, oven baked in white wine with a pinch of garlic and rosemary, served with rosemary roasted potatoes and spinach—a special item not listed on the menu.
“Five stars for this little Italian gem that gets everything jut right,” boasted one review of the restaurant. “Simply put, this is one of the very best ‘special date-night’ restaurants on the Westside of LA.”
Caffé Delfini is located at 147 West Channel Road. Its hours are Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit caffedelfini.com or call 310-459-8823.