970 Monument Street #110
Pacific Palisades, 90272
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Beloved Italian spot CinqueTerre WEST Osteria, run by Palisadians Gianbattista “Gianba” and Marlo Vinzoni, has kept its Monument Street doors open to serve community members in the Palisades and beyond through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The husband and wife team, who opened the restaurant almost a year ago, have lived in Lower Las Casas for more than 15 years.
“We are a part of the community,” Marlo shared with the Palisadian-Post about why it was important to stay open, “not only as a business, but this is our home.”
Gianba has garnered more than 25 years of experience, starting as a dishwasher and working at several Los Angeles hot spots, including Soho House and Beverly Hilton Hotel. He was inspired to open his own place in the Palisades because of the family-friendly atmosphere—and to majorly cut down on his commute time.
To comply with citywide regulations, CinqueTerre has shifted to curbside and takeout orders. The restaurant also offers delivery through Postmates.
To make ordering even easier, Marlo has set up a system for customers to either give their credit card number over the phone or to store it in-house, so that when an order is placed, they do not even need to provide card numbers.
“They just say my last name is so and so, and we plug it in,” Marlo explained. “It simplifies things for everyone.”
Marlo shared that one silver lining about this time is that she has a chance to connect with customers on a different level. She has received thank yous from community members expressing their gratitude for CinqueTerre remaining open. Regulars have begun asking about not only Marlo and Gianba, but checking up to make sure their kids are alright.
They are adapting to fit the needs of their customers, offering updated menu items.
“Our regular menu is a seasonal menu,” Marlo explained, “and now that people are home and their kids, there’s something for everyone.”
One of the dishes that has been added is a Cheeseburger—an eight-ounce blend of meat, served with fries—an item that Marlo shared has been well received and ordered often. The comfort menu also includes a Fried Chicken Sandwich and salad, Penne Vodka and Penne Arrabbiata.
For our review, we sampled two of CinqueTerre’s classic menu items that are both currently in high demand.
First was the Pappardelle alla Bolognese— with large, broad, flat pasta ribbons, covered in a hearty Bolognese sauce. The pasta survived the drive home well, making it a good option for takeout. The dish stayed warm and was enjoyed upon arrival.
Serving a dish with handmade pasta makes all the difference in the world. Blending flavors together, this dish was the ultimate comfort food experience.
Next was another popular choice, Pollo al Limone. Featuring a half chicken with garlic confit with a white wine sauce, I absolutely loved this dish. The chicken is cooked to perfection—still tender and juicy on the inside, with the skin slightly crispy and well flavored.
The garlic was a nice touch and the sauce so good that I could not part with it and instead mopped it up to eat with bread. Also, the to-go container held up surprisingly well, despite the saucy nature of the dish. The paper box kept all of the ingredients inside, with no leaking falling into the bag.
We finished off our meal with a fresh chocolate Cornetti, an Italian variation of the Austrian kipferl and the French croissant. The “little horn” pastry is flaky and soft at the same time. It makes for a divine, indulgent treat.
Chocolate and plain cornetti are available six days per week via pre-order. And Sunday, Cinque Terre opens only for cornetti.
Marlo changes up the ingredients, experimenting with a smoked salmon and cream cheese option as well as smoked duck with mustard grain. They have even served up a porchetta (roasted pork) choice.
Marlo shared that she has had one customer who two times now has placed an order of cornetti to be delivered to those working at essential businesses in the Palisades, including Pharmaca and the post office.
“You can’t see their smiles because of the masks,” Marlo said with a laugh, “but you can see them smiling with their eyes.”
Though CinqueTerre has temporarily put a pause on brunch offerings, the restaurant has instead shifted part of its focus to being a one-stop-shop for Palisadians, offering things like a 10 lb. box of Fresh Beef (a combination of ground chuck, roasts, fajita strips, carne asada and stew meat packaged separately), Chicken (boneless breast, thighs, whole legs and wings) and Frozen Seafood (Atlantic salmon and 16/20 shrimp). These items must be preordered by 3 p.m. on Thursday for pick up on Friday or Sunday by 2 p.m. for pick up on Monday.
Other bulk items available for purchase include a Dozen Large Eggs, 16 oz. of Bolognese or 16 oz. Marinara.
As CinqueTerre remains open to serve the community, they are also continuing to support The Painted Turtle—a camp designed for kids with serious medical conditions that allows them to attend free of charge. When ordering the Cinque Terre salad, Mandilli al Pesto or Broccolini, the restaurant donates a portion of proceeds to the program.
“It is even more important now that we continue to support The Painted Turtle,” Marlo explained. “The family camp and summer camp has been canceled. The Painted Turtle is trying to find ways to help these children.”
The restaurant is currently open Monday from 12-7:45 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-7:45 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:45 p.m. They open from 8:30-11 a.m. on Sundays for cornetti sales only.
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