IL PICCOLO VERDE
BRENTWOOD BONANZA FOR ITALIAN CUISINE
Tucked away in charming Brentwood Village above busy Barrington Avenue on the much calmer S. Barrington Place, Il Piccolo Verde is an Italian dining gem loved by locals and people in-the-know. Founded by Oscar Morel, who spent most of the past 25 years running Spumoni in Santa Monica, Il Piccolo Verde offers refined and comforting Italian cuisine.
“We really want guests to feel at home at Il Piccolo Verde,” says co-owner Oscar Morel. “The area is comprised of so many great neighborhoods and businesses and we are very much looking forward to serving our guests.”
With a comfy and homelike atmosphere, Il Piccolo Verde exudes a relaxing vibe while serving iconic dishes such as their acclaimed homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs, Risotto Contandina, and Veal Saltimboca.
During our recent visit for Sunday night dinner, we started with hot, fresh homemade flatbread along with a nice glass of house red. Looking over the extensive menu, we shared the Bietole e Pecorino Salad mixed with organic red and yellow beets, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado and goat cheese. It was so flavorful and delicious. This one is a really great starter.
While Italian fare can often be indulgent, Chef Oscar offers a tasty and vibrant health conscious menu too—his Verde Naturale is dedicated to healthful, low calorie, great tasting Italian dishes, using gluten free grains, organic and fresh vegetables and organic unrefined cold pressed oils.
From the healthy menu, we split the Verde Salad, a nice mix of Romaine lettuce, kale, organic carrots; purple cabbage with Verde salad dressing, organic unrefined flax seed oil, and organic unrefined cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Think of this one as a light and refreshing, not to mention guilt free, alternative.
Taking full advantage of their wood fire oven, Il Piccolo Verde specializes in two types of pizzas—classic Italian and hearty New York style. The Cheese & Sauce Pizza is a simple NY type of pie—tasty and filling and really hits the spot. Meanwhile, the Prosciutto Pizza, made with Mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, fresh arugula and prosciutto, is a fine Italian style pizza made in the wood fire oven. It is outrageously delicious and just so great tasting. Consider this a must-have item—perfect to share.
Looking for savory entrée dishes, we split the Pollo Cacciatore, braised chicken with tomatoes, onions, herbs, and bell pepper. This one is another healthy option if you’re not looking for an over-the-top Italian feast.
But if you’re not counting calories and you’re only concerned with taste, the Ravioli Casarecci—homemade ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta cheese in a pink sauce—is really the way to go. This dish is perfect Italian comfort food. It’s rich and flavorful, and is exactly what you want from an Italian family style dinner.
Another healthy choice that doesn’t miss the mark when it comes to taste is the Quinoa Al Rapini, prepared with organic gluten free quinoa, rapini, organic baby spinach, organic carrots, organic unrefined extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, lemon, and Celtic sea salt.
Maybe if you choose enough healthy items you won’t mind indulging in dessert with classic decadent dishes like Crème Brule or the Ricotta Cheese Cake (and don’t forget the Tiramissu). Any of these are a great way to round out your dinner, and probably motivate you to work out again to burn off one hell of a delicious Italian meal.
If you’re local, make this a regular haunt for fine Italian dining, and if you’re not, it’s worth braving traffic and whatnot to make your way to the west side for scrumcious fare.
Il Piccolo Verde is located at 140 South Barrington Place in Brentwood. Lunch served Monday - Friday from 11am to 5pm; dinner Monday - Sunday from 5pm to 10pm. Call (310) 472-4939.
By: Jose Martinez.
Photography courtesy of: Il Piccolo Verde