One of my favorite meals in recent memory was at chef Chad Colby’s Antico Nuovo. Now in its third iteration (the original Antico opened in 2019 and pivoted into a focaccia pizza takeout operation during the peak pandemic), the restaurant is firing on all cylinders and as vital as ever.
The best seat in the house is at the bar which offers full views of the open kitchen. Even with all the action surrounding us, from roasting squabs to plating pastas and glowing embers, it was easy to tune out the noise and focus on the conversation or dishes when needed.
Diana and I sipped a big, bold Barolo while making some very tough decisions about what to order — the entire menu sounded delectable.
An order of the hot-from-the-oven focaccia ($9) was a given, but the proper accompaniments took some hemming and hawing. The anchovies ($14) served in a pool of bagnet verd turned out to be a solid call; the supple and meaty filets were incredible.
Also terrific slathered on the focaccia was the classic duck liver pate with saba ($20). One day soon, I want to return to Antico Nuevo and make an entire meal out of wine, focaccia, and the half-dozen or so accompaniments.
No one appreciates a well-composed salad more than Diana, and this broccoli chicory Caesar with Parmigiano and torn croutons hit the mark in her book.
The amberjack crudo with caper, shallot, and chive was delicate and refreshing.
My friendship with Diana was forged over a decade ago through a shared passion for carbohydrates (and blogging), and we exercised our joint interest tonight with a trio of pastas. The foglie d’ulivo ($36) consisted of hand-formed pasta resembling olive leaves served with fire-roasted squab, olives, and squab skin cracklings.
The toothsome malloreddus ($42) hit a totally different but equally memorable note with its tomato and Calabrian chile sauce and cockles.
The plin dell’ alta langa ($34) in a sugo di arrosto was the most tender pasta of the bunch. Each parcel was filled with rabbit.
Impeccable ice creams have been a menu mainstay through all of Antico’s various iterations. Tonight, we shared the pistachio and the Meyer lemon.
It was all a delicious blur.
4653 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90004
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