Many people who live in the heart of Pacific Palisades and westside towards the Highlands tend to forget about an interesting cluster of restaurants in Santa Monica Canyon, off PCH.
One gem, Caffé Delfini, located at 147 W. Channel Rd., was proclaimed “My favorite!” by long-time canyon resident Sharon Kilbride who added, “Everything is delicious!”
Circling the News has been urging residents to try a new restaurant every week, and this could be a perfect choice for some. The eatery has delivery ($5 for a $20 minimum) that includes the Castellammare and Marquez areas. Take-out is available every day from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Kilbride said one of her favorite dishes is Delfini’s H.M. fettuccine bolognese ($24), which is homemade fettuccine with delicate lean ground natural veal in tomato sauce.
The restaurant has other popular items, including the petto di pollo piccate with boneless, skinless pounded breast of chicken sautéed in lemon and butter sauce, served with rosemary roasted potatoes and sautéed mixed vegetables ($28) and the asparagi — chicken broth/non-dairy and fresh asparagus puree, with a little onions, garlic and potatoes ($13).
The insalta di Carciofini ($18) with shaved baby artichoke, fresh rugola, celery, parmesan cheese, lemon, and extra-virgin olive oil, and the crostino de prosciutto e buffalo mozzarella ($12) with baked sliced bread, fresh buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto e Parmigiano, both caught my eye and sounded delicious.
Kilbride also recommends the rigatoni alla Norma ($22) that has eggplant, plum tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, onion and a touch of chili flakes.
The restaurant has a large selection of superb pasta dishes that include homemade ravioli, fusilli, tagliolini, penne spaghetti and linguine in the $18 to $25 range, depending on whether they are made with salmon, calamari or olive oil and garlic.
Additionally, zinguine, made with zucchini, is a great alternative for those who are cutting down on carbs or have problems with gluten. The shrimp diablo ($28) with garlic and a medium spicy tomato sauce sounds tasty. For the seafood lover, the zinguine mare ($27) includes Manila clams. P.E.I. black mussels, shrimp, calamari, blue-crab claw, garlic and parsley in a medium red sauce.
There are eight risottos, ranging from the risotto ai porchini ($26), an Italian arborio rice with porcini mushroom in Parmesan cheese sauce to the risotto al Rosmario ($25), beef demi-glass [a richly concentrated brown stock that is carefully reduced until it forms a deep meaty flavored glaze].
There are 10 main dishes that offer a choice of meat or poultry. The veal chop Milanese ($48) served with rosemary roasted potatoes, fresh chopped tomatoes and basil, sounds incredible, although I would be more likely to try the boneless, skinless, pounded breast of chicken sautéed in tomato with garlic, shallots, oregano and wine, served with rosemary roasted potatoes and sautéed mixed vegetables ($28).
Seafood lovers can enjoy wild Alaskan salmon from mid-May to the end of October or Atlantic salmon from November to mid-May ($33), the Mediterranean striped bass with white wine ($38), the jumbo shrimp ($40) or the zuppa de pesce in guazzetto ($36), which has Manila clams, P.E.I. black mussels, calamari, shrimp snow crab claw and fresh fish in a lightly spicy tomato sauce, served with garlic bread.
Yum. Simply Yum.