We have found one of our Top 10 restaurants of 2016.. and it’s only March!
Officine Brera is an awesome new Italian restaurant on 6th Street in DTLA’s Arts District. According to the restaurant’s website, the inspiration behind Officine Brera comes from classic recipes of cucina povera, the countryside along the River Po’ Valley in Northern Italy where Chef Angelo Auriana and Chef Matteo Ferdinandi grew up. Both have fond memories here of hearty meals shared with family and friends, and they are serving up those memories in DTLA.
Let’s first talk about the restaurant. From the outside it’s a nice large square building on 6th Street, but as soon as you walk inside… WOW! This might be the best interior of a restaurant in DTLA. It’s a huge warehouse space that has been transformed into a beautiful open dining room. Just gorgeous!
Okay, now let’s talk about the food. Our server, Deven, answered all of our questions and offered up some great recommendations. I started with one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails called the Brera Mule ($12). It was a delicious blend of Ketel One vodka, Fernet Branca, ginger syrup and lime. Everyone else ordered off the wine list.
We started with three of the appetizers. First up was the Lardo al Pepe ($10) which was slices of cured pork back fat with chestnut honey, mâche salad, candied walnut and pink peppercorn. It was a fine start. Then came the Fagiolini ($14). It was Blue Lake green beans with radicchio, baby kale, toasted hazelnut, raspadura and garda oil. We ate it up, but all decided it needed a little more dressing. Our third appetizer was the polpo ($18), a nice chuck of grilled Mediterranean octopus with water cress, frisée salad and sunchokes purèe. This was one of the freshest pieces of octopus I have had in a long time. Delicious!
We had a difficult time deciding on our main courses and asked Deven a lot of questions (thanks Deven), but ended up with the Manzo All’Olio ($28). It was a healthy serving of slow braised beef shoulder with root vegetables, anchovy-oil, potatoes and natural jus. It was good, but nothing compared to the next two dishes. The Foiade Bergamasche ($24) was hand-cut chestnut pasta, ox tail ragu’ served with fava beans and lodigrana. This dish was delicious. The pasta was perfect, but even better was the Milanese ($22). It was a generous portion of Vialone Nano rice with saffron and Lodigrana cheese served with a bone filled with roasted bone marrow (photo at top of post). AMAZING! You must order this dish!
We ended the meal by sharing Deven’s choice of desserts. He picked the Torrone ($10). It was honey and nut nougatine semifreddo covered in warmed fudge sauce and topped with amarena cherries. Great choice Deven! Thanks!
If you are looking for a great restaurant, with great service, great atmosphere and great food, then you need to head to Officine Brera. Right now, they are only serving dinner, but start lunch service on March 21st. I can’t wait!
Officine Brera 1331 East 6th Street (in the Arts District) 213.553.8006 officinebrera.com