Vitello's in Studio City was an old school Italian restaurant in Studio City famous for being a mafia hangout in the 50's and the site of the Robert Blake shooting incident. If you were to ask the current staff, even they will admit that the food back then was no bueno. All that changed recently. Major renovation of the interior, an entirely new menu under a new chef (who for once is actually Italian), and a wine and cocktail program.
The cocktail menu was pretty interesting. I ordered the Bad Lil' Wabbit made with whiskey, carrot juice, agave, lemon, mint, and ginger beer ($11). I was wary at first. Carrot juice? But this drink was good! The ginger beer complements it nicely.
The chef likes to put out special items and customers can pretty much request whatever they wanted, as long as they have the ingredients. My dinner ended consisting of dishes not on the regular menu (except for the dessert). Fresh salmon tartar was served with diced apples and cucumbers.
A big mound of smooth, creamy burrata is served with sweet and crisp heirloom tomatoes. I welcomed every chance I got to eat heirloom tomatoes before the season ended.
Risottos are mixed inside a parmesan wheel, slathering it with delicious parmesan which complements the aroma of the mushrooms nicely.
The duck breast we had was tender and mild in its gaminess.
I loved the tiramisu here, the coffee liqueur coming out strong and there was the right amount of cream for my taste.
I had never been to the old Vitello's but he contrast between the sleek interior and the old sign hanging outside is evidence of the renovation that took place recently and the direction the restaurant is heading. They want to attract a younger crowd with more focus on the quality of the food, cocktails, and wine offered here. So far they have garnered many fans from the local area which still only has a handful of good restaurants. Even tough the dishes I tried were not on the regular menu, it shows what the restaurant is capable of and hopefully the same quality and care is maintained throughout.
4349 Tujunga Ave
Studio City, CA 91604