Il Moro – Shakespeare's Namesake
West Los Angeles
I heard about Il Moro Restaurant from diners that loved good Italian food and I finally dined at this marvel. From the moment of entering I noticed that the diners dressed with respect for the restaurant, and all though it's an old overused word, the place has class. There's something about their state-of-the-art lighting that gives people extra energy, and at the moment I thought I could lift the beautiful white linened table, candlelight, crystal and all. In addition, the dining room lights reflected from puffs of wave-like clothed ceilings, and the outdoor patio seen through huge walls of glass has lots of twinkles and a waterfall. One could never imagine from the outside that there were two glorious dining rooms with a "Gastrobar" and busy open kitchen, making it a special surprise. With it all, some of the serving dishes looked like original works of art, especially the coffee cups.
Il Moro gets its unique name from Shakespeare’s Othello, often referred to as “Il Moro,” which means, “the Moor.” Othello was exotic, revered, and passionate to a fault. In addition, Il Moro strives to deliver the absolute best of authentic Italian cuisine. As classic and vibrant as its Shakespearean namesake, the restaurant offers a rich sampling of dishes from the region of Emilia-Romagna, the gastronomic heartland of Italy, celebrated for the quality of its culinary delights. In this passionate countryside, homemade pastas, prosciutto, parmigiano and balsamic vinegars are produced. This is where every town has its own specialty as remarkable and unique as the next.
Il Moro’s cuisine is refined, with an enormous repertoire of rich, often elaborate dishes that hark back to the days of the royal courts, featuring ingredients that are rustic with rich sauces, home made pastas, grilled meats, succulent calamari, savory prosciutto and exquisite tasting wines.
The standard specialties include homemade spinach pasta layered with Béchamel and Bolognese sauce; Spaghetti sautéed with green olives, imported Italian porcini mushrooms, and chicken sausage; also Prime Beef Filet Mignon, wrapped with Parma ham sautéed in cherries and Barolo wine.
Their standard desserts among many others are a trilogy of chocolate ice cream, with layers of bittersweet white and hazelnut chocolate, a crumb crust with toasted Hazelnuts in a crème Anglaise and chocolate sauce. Another popular version is an envelope style pizza dough stuffed with hazelnut cream, baked to order. In fact, the pizza dough is served with your meal right from the oven, and I can't imagine how they can puff-up this marvelous taste.
Diners at the Gastrobar can enjoy smaller, and simpler samplings of the regions offering antipasti, grilled meat and seafood dishes, as well as 14 varieties of pizza, gourmet Italian finger foods and cheese plates.
Executive Chef Davide Ghizzoni, always dreamed of becoming a chef, as were both of his grandparents. He has a treasured past and reminisces about his grandmother's cooking when he closes his eyes to inhale the aromas.
During the holiday's a Pumpkin Tortelloni is presented from an original recipe that goes back to the year of 1584. Gaetano Folani, owner of Il Moro still remembers as a young kid how he helped his mother prepare the traditional holiday's homemade pasta. The Tortelloni's are filled with salty and sweet combinations; pumpkin, fruit mustard, nutmeg, crushed Amaretto cookies, and sautéed with veal and chicken Bolognese sauce, flavored with a touch of cinnamon. It's an incredible presentation, served in a pumpkin!
We had remarkable tasting of lobster and shrimp bathed in a creamy saffron sauce; Linguine pasta sautéed with porcini mushrooms and shrimp; Linguine sautéed with fresh clams, white shrimp, calamari and sea scallops a'la spicy tomato sauce; also a trilogy of thinly sliced cured meats, (prosciutto, salami and coppa). I wouldn't want to forget the great tasting Ahi tuna mixed with finely chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes, served with avocado mousse.
My original order was their great tasting grilled wild salmon, and as you can imagine after all that food, I took half of it home and lunch was a treat for the next day. I won't forget the wonderful food with service to match!
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. LA CA (valet parking around corner on Purdue Ave.) (310) 575-3530; (310) 575-4911
Lunch, 11:30am – 3:00pm Monday to Friday; Happy Hour 5:00pm–7pm Monday to Friday; (complimentary Italian finger food) 200 wine varieties; Dinner; 5:00pm-10:00pm Monday-Thursday; 4:30pm-9:30pm Sunday; Late Menu,10;00pm-Midnight. Prices from $8-$34; Gastrobar and Late Night menu, 5-$15; Sunday Art exhibition, 5:00pm-8:00pm; Tuesday Wine tasting at Gastrobar, 6:00pm-8:00pm; Friday Live jazz; 8:30pm-Midnight. For more information, visit www.ilmoro.com