I recently had delicious Sunday brunch at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, where the old Morton’s space used to be on the corner of Robertson and Melrose. I had already heard great reviews about Cecconi’s, whose original flagship restaurant was in London. As soon as I walked into the restaurant on that bright sunny Sunday afternoon, I was in love. The large outdoor patio with comfortable and inviting benches adorned with plush white shabby chic cushions took my breath away. Brilliant sunlight spilled generously over the entire patio, illuminating the colorful flowers behind the couches as chirping birds filled the air with summer song. Large open wooden framed accordion doors separated the patio from the inside dining room and bar. The center bar, made of white and black marble countertops and tall teal colored leather barstools with brass studs, was lined with perfectly polished wine glasses and colorful bottles of liquer. Middle aged men in jeans and collared shirts drinking bourbon seemed relaxed and happy as they chatted with the handsome bartenders through hanging hams and sausages. To the left of the dining room was a gorgeous private room called the Butterfly Room, ornamented with a large chandelier, tall iron candelabra and a large orange heart-shaped wall installation with floating butterflies. As the servers promptly set my table with crisp white napkins, silver salt and pepper shakers and polished cutlery, I felt like nobility in this peaceful colonial chic restaurant.
We started off with freshly squeezed blood orange juice which was nicely tart and refreshing. Each order was an entire full carafe of juice, which I appreciated. The grilled squid salad with lentils, spicy salami and sundried tomato was marvelous. It’s actually difficult to find a restaurant here in Los Angeles that not only serves squid but does it well. The thick cuts were perfectly cooked to an exquisite tenderness, and the saltiness from the salami and sun dried tomatoes was well balanced.
The baked pancetta frittata came straight out of their wood baked oven behind the bar. The eggs were cooked just right and the pancetta had great savory smokey flavor.
I loved their thin crusted wood baked pizza with homemade sausage and roasted red peppers. The crust had a splendid chewy consistency with a crispy warm outer shell, and the sausage was delicious.
So far so good…I felt confident that they would make a good tiramisu. I still have yet to encounter a restaurant that can make a tiramisu better than mine, but this one was pretty close. The sweetness of the mascarpone was nicely subdued, and the ladyfingers were perfectly soaked.
Too bad I was only there for brunch that day with one other friend, otherwise I could have ordered much more. I will definitely be back to try more items like their pastas and grilled meats. I also have my eye on their cicchettis (Italian tapas), such as the bone marrow with focaccia, grilled octopus, and zucchini blossoms. What’s amazing about this elegant restaurant is that they are open for almost 24 hours. I can go for early breakfast at 7am, lunch at noon, afternoon eats at 4pm, dinner at 8pm or afterhours munchies at 1am. Or maybe I’ll just hang out on one of their comfortable patio couches for a continuous 19 hour Cecconi fest.
Random trivia: Did you know that in the male squid, one smaller arm is modified for the purpose of planting a packet of sperm in the female’s oviduct? Next time you eat these scrumptous long delicacies, see if you can tell which one that is!