Monday, September 12, 2011

Brunch at Cecconi's

This past weekend, I called myself a lady who brunches. Saturday brought me to Canele in Atwater Village, and Sunday was Cecconi's in West Hollywood. Unfortunately we were seated in a dark corner at Canele so you're only being treated to my Cecconi's experience. I love brunch. It is one of my favorite things to do, but I don't do it often because I'm usually busy farmers marketing and cooking for the week. Yesterday ended up being clear and bright, and thankfully not too hot which was a nice break from the horridly hot weather from the past week. It was the perfect day to sit on a patio, have a cocktail, and a ton of food.

We started with a few appetizers. Baked Gnocchi "Romana" with Gorgonzola Sauce ($12). We were warned that this is a rich dish, but when you're sharing between four people, it's not so overwhelming. The fluffy pillows of gnocchi were enrobed in the rich gorogonzola sauce punctuated with the sage and were totally heavenly.

Baked Gnocchi ‘Romana’, Gorgonzola

Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce. I'm always a little wary of goat cheese, but it was nice and light in this dish and didn't mask the flavor of the delicate squash blossoms and sweet tomato sauce.

Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Porchetta and Cheese Sliders were reminiscent of a Cubano sandwich with salty porchetta, tangy mustard, and mild cheese sandwiched between the bread.

Porchetta and Cheese Sliders

Quail Eggs. Hardboiled and in a mustardy sauce were a nice preview to the egg dishes we all ordered as our main course.

Quail Eggs

For the main event, I went with the Potato Rosti with Duck Eggs and Truffles ($18). I'm really picky about potatoes, so I had to make sure I would eat these before ordering. The potatoes are grated, shaped into a spiral, and fried crisp. They come topped with a decadent fried duck egg and shaved truffles. I would have appreciated a tad more salt in both the potato and egg and a bit of ground pepper on the egg, but otherwise, this dish was perfect. It's not too big, so I didn't feel overwhelmed eating the whole thing, and it's rich without you feeling bogged down.

Potato Rosti with Duck Egg and Truffles

My dining companions also ordered egg dishes. HC had the Wood Baked Fritatta with Mushrooms and Pancetta ($10). The eggs in the fritatta come out light and fluffy with a gentle saltiness from the pancetta and earthiness of the mushrooms.

Wood baked Frittata with Mushrooms & Pancetta

The Minty went with the Full English Breakfast ($16). It's a ginormous platter of eggs cooked any style, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, bread, and tomatoes.

English Breakfast

Of course it's not really brunch without cocktails. Sitting Pretty with grapefruit, ginger, and thyme. Moscow Mule with housemade ginger beer, Fragrant Mojito, Peach Smash ($14 each). My Moscow Mule was on the strong side so I'm sure worth the price and packed a significant punch from the housemade ginger beer. All of the drinks were perfectly refreshing.


Of course by this point, I was perfectly sated, but we were sent a dessert platter, and who was I to turn it down? On the platter were profiteroles with cherry gelato and chocolate, ricotta cheesecake, panna cotta with berries, pistachio gelato, cannoli, and chocolate brownie. The platter is not on the regular menu, but the restaurant will make it for you upon request. I could only manage a small bite of each offering, but my favorites were the gooey brownies and pistachio gelato.

Dessert Platter

One of the main attractions at Cecconi's brunch are their Ricotta Hotcakes with Blueberry Compote ($10). We ordered them as dessert and these were some of the best pancakes I've ever had. I sometimes find ricotta to be tasteless and boring. I'm not sure if the restaurant makes theirs in house, but I love the way they dollop it into cooked pancakes and it's slightly sweet and melting when you get your platter. The blueberry compote is a perfect pairing.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Blueberry Compote

Cecconi's is a nice retreat away from the bustling hub of the Boystown section of WeHo. You feel secluded from the street, but it's an excellent spot to people watch and the food is great. Besides having extensive options at brunch, Cecconi's also has a Sunday night dinner option that can't be beat. For $55 you can get dinner for four served family style. That is unheard of in this town and had all of us seriously considering going back again later in the evening.Cecconi's also has locations in Miami and London, so the next time you're in one of those towns, check it out!

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own

One year ago:Grilled Sausage and Fig Pizza
Two years ago: Foodbuzz Community Table at Beso
Three years ago: Cabbage Salad with Edamame and Cucumber

8764 Melrose Avenue (free daytime valet)
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 432-2000

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Erica said...

Somene should be comping my brunches too ;) favorite meal!! Both the gnocchi and the blossoms look outrageous!

Heather Christo said...

those squash blossoms look so incredible- in fact the whole brunch looks like a dream!

Joanne said...

Brunch always sounds like such a wonderful idea to me and yet somehow I never get around to eating it! If only it were guaranteed my meal would be this good...

lisa is cooking said...

Clearly, I need to go out for brunch more often. I want the potato, duck egg, and truffle dish. Looks amazing, as does the dessert platter and pancakes!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

This brunch looks heavy, rich & fabulous in the best of ways!! How fun :)

Nancy said...

I agree with Lisa - clearly I need to go out to brunch more often since it seems I missing out on some wonderful meals! Thanks for keeping me up to date on what's happening with brunch!

vanillasugarblog said...

geeez esi
now that's a breakfast or brunch.
how long did it take you all to eat?
the photos came out so good; probably because you're outside.
that cuban sandwich is what i need now. man

Georgia Pellegrini said...

Those duck eggs look mind boggling!