Also locations in Irvine and Del Mar
Our server was adorable and was patient while we browsed the extensive menu. There was plenty on the menu that I could have ordered which says a lot. You can see what we ordered. Everything was really tasty especially The Grilled Cheese Bacon Sandwich. Since it was truly a carb overload lunch, we took the tasty truffle fries home and finished with a delicious homemade Blackberry and Mint Sorbet, compliments of our server and Cate Hughes, the director of wine & beverage marketing. She could not have been more accommodating. The decor in the restaurant is really cool eclectic and has tables to seat large parties. They are big into serving family style which I think is a fun way to go because you can sample so many of their dishes. Cucina Enoteca is definitely worth a visit.
Also locations in Irvine and Del Mar
Do we all miss Sorento Grill in Laguna Beach? Well I can honestly say that its usurper 370 Common is one of my favorite restaurants in Laguna. They have an extensive menu of small starter dishes that are really all full of flavor and provide many different selections that are fun to share with a group of people.
Their burger is outstanding and of course you have to get the egg on top. The pasta is excellent, and the brussel sprouts and cauliflower will blow your socks off.
It is so much fun to sit at the counter and watch the chefs do their thing while you sip on a healthy pour. My favorite thing on the menu, which is not offered all the time, is called Sending the Chef To Cooking School. When it's on the menu, trust me. You have to try it out.
The owner, Ryan Adams, did me a huge favor two years ago. As we all know, fois gras is illegal in California. I decided the day before it became a law, I was going to give a send off fois gras party. So I contacted Ryan, and he ordered three fois gras lobes. He was so amazing, had me back in the kitchen when I picked them up, and put me through a mini-cooking class on how to braise and sear the fois gras. It turned out delicious, my guests were amazed, and I have remained a fan of Adams and his staff ever since.
An added bonus... They are open on Mondays! Try to sit downstairs. As I said, the counter is my favorite. It's loud, the acoustics are a little noisy, but it is fun and delicious.
370 Common is located at 370 Glenneyre Street in Laguna Beach, CA
For me, brown butter is the queen of sauces. When my kids were little and wouldn't eat anything, I would just put brown butter on their food and they would eat it up. It's delicious on steamed vegetables, grilled chicken, and fish. Burnt butter is a sauce that can be put on pretty much anything. Even ice cream (which is so damn good).
This particular recipe I would like to share with you came from Toscana Saporita Cooking School outside of Lucca, Italy. I was lucky enough to go to the school during truffle season. I even got to go truffle hunting with a pack of dogs (and some canines too).
Cheese Tortellini with Burnt Brown Butter and Truffles
16 oz. Tortellini Stuffed with Cheese, Pancetta and Cheese, or Spinach and Cheese
Half a Stick of Butter
2 Tablespoons Shaved Truffles
Parmesan to taste
Rosemary or Sage to taste
First, bring four cups of water in a pot to a rolling boil. Add your tortellini and cook to al dente.
Drain and transfer the tortellinis to a serving plate.
Take your half a stick of butter and boil it until the milk solids are gone and the butter turns to a rich dark brown.
At that point, add your rosemary or sage to the sauce. Cook no more than 30 seconds to one minute.
Pour the rich sauce over the tortellini, add your shaved parmesan and truffles on top of the plate.
And voila! You have a delicious entrée or side dish.
Note: Truffle season is around late Summer for black truffles and Fall for white truffles. However you can often find them available throughout the year in specialty stores.
Trust me on this one.... I am a food snob. Every morsel tests my palette and I will make sure you know the finest eateries, recipes, and delicacies.