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Chef Moves and Special Dinners for Valentines Day in the San Fernando Valley

Posted By Karen Young On February 11, 2011 @ 8:09 am In Featured,Food,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight | 2 Comments

BY KAREN YOUNG

The big news this Valentines weekend is a change at Georgio’s Cucina in Studio City.  Chef Gary Robins has left the original “pop up” that opened last September and is replaced by Jeffrey Nimer, a James Beard nominee and owner of Haute Chefs, a personal chef and catering company whose short list of clients includes Jennifer Lopez, Adam Sandler, Warren Buffet, Arianna Huffington, Rupert Murdoch and Mayor Antonio Villariagosa.

Nimer, a classically trained French chef who helmed top kitchens in Miami Beach before coming to Los Angeles to cook at the Loews Santa Monica Lavande, said that his coming to Georgio’s is the second phase of the restaurant’s evolution from becoming  a “pop up” to inviting new chefs. Nimer plans to keep some of the favorite items from Robins’ menu, while  over the next month roll out his own personal menu creations.

Georgio’s Cucina will be offering a special Valentine’s Day three course dinner for $50 per person featuring seasonal, market driven cuisine.  With an emphasis on local, he intends to shop at the Studio City Farmers Market.

The restaurant is run by Theresa Smith, whose family has owned the establishment since 1979 when it started as a  traditional, NY style Italian restaurant. The warmth and ambiance is still there, but the food has taken on another life.

Restaurants in San Fernando Valley are all open for business this weekend leading up to big red heart day on Monday. While most are presenting their regular menus, those listed below are dishing up special menus for this romantic occasion.

EAST VALLEY

The Bistro Garden

This legendary restaurant with Beverly Hills roots is one of the most elegant dining rooms in Los Angeles with an indoor European winter garden setting and 30-foot ceilings. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a three course meal with choices that include Native Main Lobster Ravioli, Peppered Tuna Carpaccio and Grilled Filet Mignon. And of course, not to be missed, a choice of one of Bistro Garden’s famous dessert souffles. Added for a romantic touch is a long stem rose. Interesting tidbit: Last year’s Valentine’s Day with Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner was filmed here. $78 per person. 12950 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City(818) 501-0202

Firenze Osteria

Celebrate Valentine’s Day the whole weekend with Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani at this new Lankershim establishment (and the former Barsac Brasserie). There is a special Valentine’s menu available for $50 per person, in addition to the regular menu, plus chocolate covered strawberries. Live romantic guitar music will serenade. 4212 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood 818-760-7081

Georgio’s Cucina

New chef Jeffrey Nimer will offer a special prix fixe menu for $50 per person. The three course dinner will be seasonal and locally driven by produce he finds at the Studio City Farmers Market this Sunday. 11922 Ventura Blvd, Studio City 818-985-1072

Il Tiramisu

This father and son owned Ventura Blvd. trattoria has a real feel of Italy. Ivo and Peter Kastelan are offering a three course Valentine menu which includes Lobster crepes, Osso Buco,  
Australian sea bass and Valentine themed desserts like 
chocolate covered strawberry and chocolate gelato hearts with fresh strawberry sauce. $50 per person. 13705 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 986-2640.

Mistral

With its dark wood. dimmed lights, crisp white cloth tables and chandeliers, Mistral is sophisticated and romantic. Dine on classics like Escargots a la Bourguignonne and Steak with garlic, parsley and butter. Indulge in a French martini or choose a wine selection from one of the best lists in the San Fernando Valley.  $77 per person.  14016 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA  818-981-6650  .

Pinot Bistro

This Studio City mainstay is offering their Valentine’s Day celebration from February 11 to 14 with a choice of of three courses for $65 or four for $75.  Choices include: Saffron-Pernod mussels, Pan-roasted Cod “vichyssoise,” Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Rhubarb Marmalade;  Leek Crusted Salmon Filet, Duo of Beef—Braised Short Rib and Grilled Prime Hanger Steak.

Raphael

The most mod and sophisticated restaurant on Ventura Boulevard, Raphael is known for its global, seasonal menu. It also has the most extensive wine list in the San Fernando Valley with 50 choices of wine by the glass. There will be a special menu for Valentine’s Day, but it was not available at press time. Contact them for prices and details. 11616 Ventura Blvd Studio City (818) 505-3337

Valley Inn

This San Fernando Valley mainstay is over 60 years old is a reminder of yesteryear with some twists. Owners Sophia and Boris are offering a variety of options for Valentines Day. A special dinner for two for $89.95 includes Cupid Salad,  two Maine Lobster Tails and one 12 oz- sliced Filet Mignon served with baked potato and a Vegetable Medley, Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Black Cherry Sauce. A special Early Bird menu for $34 per person includes a glass of champagne and three courses. 4557 Sherman Oaks Ave, Sherman Oaks (818) 784-1163

The Wine Bistro

A special three course dinner is being prepared at this favorite neighborhood bistro with a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $55 per person. The menu includes Stuffed Tiger Shrimp with salmon mousse, Main Lobster Tail Risotto, Oven braised Lamb Shank and Butterscotch Bailey’s Crème Brulee. The big highlight? Owner JB’s smiling face at the door. 11915 Ventura Boulevard (818) 766-6233

WEST VALLEY

Brandywine

This renown Continental restaurant with room for only 40 people is offering a four course menu featuring lobster, lobster and more lobster.  Call for the menu. The price is $150 per person. 22757 Ventura Boulevard; Woodland Hills; (818) 225-9114.

Inn of the Seventh Ray

Set among the trees and next to a creek in Topanga Canyon, this is one of the most romantic spots in Los Angeles.The five course menu, plus an amuse bouche, is $100; vegetarian route $90.There is a wine flight with 3 oz pours paired for each course at $45 per person. There are vegan, vegetarian, meat, fish and poultry choices (which are organic or sustainable), including Vodka Cured Salmon with Caviar;  Oven Roasted Filet Mignon; Be My Seafood Plate Medley (a lover’s plate to be shared); Vegan Duck; Lobster Tail. 128 Old Topanga Rd.,Topanga; (310) 455-1311.

Saddle Peak Lodge

Rustic, yet sophisticated and elegant, this long standing restaurant hideaway off Las Virgenes Canyon is a real special occasion destination. This is Chef Adam Horton’s last specialty dinner before he officially becomes Executive Chef at Raphael in Studio City. This special four course menu runs all weekend and includes. such choices as kumamoto oysters, black truffle soup, New Zealand Elk Tenderloin and Pan roasted Icelandic Charr with lobster sauce. $150 per person and it’s an additional $70 for wine pairings. The regular menu is also available.  419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas; (818) 222-3888.

Villa Piacere

This French Country style restaurant has one one of the most beautiful patios.  This Valentine’s Day, they are offering a three course prix fixe with the price based upon the entree. Choices include Crispy Duck, Roasted Halibut, Black Linguini, Butterscotch Tortellinim Braised Lamb Shank and Fillet of Beef. Price per person is $35-$48. 22160 Ventura Boulevard  (818) 704-1185

Tour Eiffel

This modern style, romantic French restaurant is offering both two prix fixe menus for $45 and $70  per person, as well as the regular menu. The five course meal includes a Kir Royale. Selections  include Escargot,  Salmon Tartare, Truffle Scallops and Chocolate Fondant. There are two dining rooms; one with a fireplace. The back patio is located against along a rolling creek. The restaurant owner and chefs are all from France.  23504 Calabasas Road, Calabasas

Le Sanglier

This elegant and  classic 40 year old French restaurant is offering a three course meal that includes foie gras,  escargot, lobster,  rack of lamb, veal and venison. One step into this small restaurant and you’ll find yourselves miles away. 5522 Crebs Avenue Tarzana (818) 345-0470

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email: Karen@mydailyfind.com


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