FAMILY-OWNED ITALIAN FAVORITE OPENS IN WOODLAND HILLS
Valley people listen up, as well as foodies who don’t mind driving for good eats, Cafe Fiore, a venerable favorite for Italian food in Ventura, has opened a second location in Woodland Hills.
Café Fiore (“fiore” means flower in Italian) is a casual trattoria style restaurant offering a modern twist on classic Italian dishes inspired by chef Saverio Posarelli, including homemade breads, pizzas rolled by hand, house-made porchetta and tortellaci with an approachable menu that captures a wide selection for both lunch and dinner.
Walk into Café Fiore and immediately you will notice the refurbished, reused and reclaimed wood and iron that captures a sleek but comfortable design. Located in a commercial area of Woodland Hills, it’s a popular spot with the working crowd, which means a packed house at lunch and happy hour, offering quick and easy deli dining with daily breadsticks, focaccias, biscotti, artisanal salads, Panini and dolci. While the area itself is sleepy on the weekends, that’s also a great time to dine as you can really take your time and enjoy a fine Italian meal.
Their casual lounge is also the perfect place to relax, unwind and sample their handcrafted martinis and cocktails, which include bar staples such as the London Fog, as well as the sturdy Fiore House Martini (Ketel One Vodka, dry vermouth with garlic and herb cured olives) to the strictly California inspired Avocado Martini prepared with muddled avocado, to the Cucumber Martini and Espresso Martini. There are also 12 draft beers to choose from and a bar menu to complement your selection. Enjoy live music Wednesday thru Saturday.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started our meal with the larger-than-life homemade bread straight out of oven. It’s unbelievably huge! When our waiter told us he was coming with bread we had no idea it would be such an awe-inspiring starter. It comes hot so be careful not to dive right in, as hot steam will rise when you cut into it.
With a nice glass of house recommended 14 Hands wine, as well as the Blood and Sand Martini, an American classic made with Glenlivit, Luxuardo cherry Liqueur, sweet vermouth and a splash of orange juice, a nice, relaxing meal was underway.
We shared the Trio Della Casa appetizer, which comes with Pancetta-wrapped jumbo shrimp with Gorgonzola over sautéed spinach, crab cakes over soft polenta, and goat cheese fritters over pepperonata. The shrimp are killer all by themselves. They were an immediate favorite; so flavorful.
Another great dish to share is the Spinacina salad, made with baby spinach, sautéed wild mushrooms, crispy pancetta, red onions, and a warm poached egg in a balsamic dressing. This is a meal if you’re eating solo; it’s that big. A flavorful and hearty salad indeed.
For our entrees we opted for the Risotto special prepared with soft shell crab, corn and figs. This is a tasty and filling dish and if it’s being offered, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Personally, I love anything with figs, and served in this dish, they offered a savory sweet finish.
The Tagliatelle Al Ragu, Fiore's Bolognese, is another hearty option perfect for sharing. The plates at Café Fiore are oversized so don’t order too much and share whatever you get, or be prepared to take leftovers home.
Time for dessert and we went with the zesty Tiramasu (Mascarpone cheese layered with nutella and espresso dipped Savoiardi cookies), and the no-nonsense Budino di Pane, an Italian style warm bread pudding served with Jack Daniels creme anglaise; decadent but so delicious. And we couldn’t resist the homemade Limoncello. It’s just a must when eating Italian, and this limoncello really hit the spot.
For folks in the 818 area code, this is a great spot to try, and for those of us closer to Los Angeles proper, take a nice drive down the 101 and indulge in a fine and filling meal. Make a night out of it.
Café Fiore is located at 21550 Oxnard Street in Woodland Hills. Call 818-888-4514. Lunch: Mon - Sun 11:30am – 3pm; Dinner: Mon - Thurs 5 – 10pm; Fri and Sat 5-11pm; Sun 5-9pm. Valet parking available.