Aventine Hollywood Turns One: Gia On The Move Reviews

aventine-smReview and photo credit: Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Earlier this year, a restaurant in Hollywood that I had not dined at, celebrated its one year anniversary.  I was amazed to discover, I had already eaten there before…sort of…well let me explain…

Upscale-casual intersected by comfortable California chic and very charmingly Italian, Aventine Bar PatioTrattoria has been rather quietly existing on Cahuenga just above Selma in the backyard of Hollywood grit. Set amongst more than a few ructious sportsbars, un-branded local coffee shops, hole-in-the-wall clothing stores and uber-goth hair salons, it is quite the hidden jewel. 

In fact, had I not had the necessity a week earlier to walk into the restaurant to ask a quick unrelated parking question, I might have continued to pass it by.

Enjoying a  LIVE DJ, sparkle lit,  bar enhanced back room dining area, lined with small banquettes and furnished with a large high-top group table, I barely came up for air in between evolving menu samples and Napa Valley wine pairings of Pinot Noir with distinct black cherry notes and bold, rich Cabernet.  But then a familiar voice sounded my name and I lifted my head in excitement.

“Maurizio! — Oh my gosh!  I’ve been looking for you! What are you doing here?’ 

“Well here I am bella! I can’t believe it’s you!  So good to see you!”

 …it was my long lost acquaintance, the former Sicilian owner one of my favorite, but now closed, restaurants on Melrose, shouting above the din,

“We’re all here!…the staff…the kitchen…everyone!”

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Celery Soup Puree with White Truffle Oil

The authentic Italian flavors, cooking style, and overall ambience created by owners/brothers Gian-Paolo Veronese and Chef Adolfo Veronese with Los Angeles restaurant aficionados Sylvain Bitton and JT Torregiani, plus a familiar local assemblage have divined exquisite simplicity into a glamorazzi destination. And there could not be a more perfect Italian meal to eat in Hollywood.

Endive with Tuna Tartare

Endive with Tuna Tartare

There is nothing to downplay on this menu. The fare is delectably light — not typical of garden-variety Italian served throughout the city.

Unusual items stood out in the special celebration menu such as the pureed Celery Soup with white truffle oil, Foglia d’Endive stuffed with tuna tartare, mouthwatering Burrata with baby arugula pesto, reduced cherry balsamic, black lava salt, evoo and  grilled crostini.

The pizza, always, my most criticized feature of any menu, was cooked to perfection and topped with sweet tomatoes.

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Meatball over Polenta

Sides of shrimp wrapped in bacon; meatballs over creamy, unusually light polenta with mozzarella and raisins disappeared within seconds of being served at the table. Final courses included tender beef skewers, white pizzas with prosciutto and arugula, ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and pancetta and pumpkin amoretto cookies.

The party was jam packed and everyone was as happy as Pharrell Williams hit song played in the background. The entire atmosphere was contagious.

Ravioli with Pancetta

Ravioli with Pancetta

On the regular menu you will want to sample interesting dishes such as the Popcorn Al Tartufo - truffle popcorn with parmesan and Italian parsley; Agnolotti stuffed roasted chicken breast and goat cheese. Topped with sweet yellow corn, baby heirloom tomatoes and a white wine butter sauce; Scottadito Costoletta Di Maiale - Seared pancetta wrapped double Duroc Pork chop, grilled polenta, baby carrots, porcini thyme white wine sauce; and the Caramel Budino - chocolate-pecan crumble, salted Caramel, soft whipped cream, Maldon salt, for dessert.

The absolutely stunning feature of this menu is the price points. Not a single item is unreasonable.  You will be able to heartily enjoy a festive evening filled with delicious variety without going broke.

But see for yourself. (Click here for the menu – there are 3)  Reservations are recommended.  This restaurant is always filled.

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Bella Gaia LIVE May 10th at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara

Bella Gaia.
“A remarkable work of art, with the potential to open people’s hearts and minds to the bigger picture of living here together on this planet.”
(Soul Connect Now)
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Created in conjunction with NASA, BELLA GAIA is an unprecedented, immersive audiovisual experience that combines NASA satellite imagery of Earth, time lapse nature photography, and cultural heritage footage with stirring live performances of music and dance from around the world.
Created in conjunction with NASA, BELLA GAIA is an immersive, multimedia exploration of the relationship between human civilization and our ecosystem with a “message of oneness amidst a deeply moving and shimmering soundscape that combines sacred dance with gorgeous sets and stunning imagery” (Blog Talk Radio).
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Buy Tickets

The Granada Theater
Santa Barbara, CA
Sat., May 10th 8 p.m.

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“BELLA GAIA transported me back into orbit, to feel the beauty and power of the Earth.”
  (John Grunsfeld, Astronaut)
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Experience  BELLA GAIA right now!  Watch the video below:

Having performed over 200 shows in 10 countries at venues like the Guggenheim Museum, the UNESCO Headquarters, and the U.S. State Department as part of Barack Obama’s Cairo Initiative, the award winning BELLA GAIA is gearing up for an international tour this spring and summer.

 

Moore, Sky and Lilies at Gallery House in May

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From May 3 – May 31, 2014 Gallery House  will show “78/46″ works by Myron Zabol’s Platinum/Palladium print series.  Public Opening is on  Saturday May 3, 2:00-5:00 pm

Myron Zabol exhibits a series of Platinum/Palladium print on the finest and purest papers in the world. This old process requires hand coating platinum/palladium metals onto paper.

The beautiful, subliminal qualities of Zabol’s work includes: architecture, floral and a rare look into the Iroquois Six Nations Confederacy with photographs such as Jack and Cody Moore and Jim Sky, which was a travelling exhibition that included the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery and was permanently archived by Canada’s National Gallery, The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and curated by the Iroquois Woodland Cultural Center.

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For more information including a sneak peek of his works please contact Belinda Chun at 416.587.0057 or info@galleryhouse.ca

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Save The Date: Friends of El Dot Los Angeles

El Dot Gallery of Chinatown, Los Angeles will be making a special appearance  at the POP UP Gallery Show on Bainbridge Island, Washington on May 2, 2014. They will be part of the first Friday Art Walk on Winslow Way, in walking distance from the ferry, the Art Museum, and so much more.

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el dot
Mindful Furniture and Accessories
www.eldotdesigns.com
www.bcorporation.net/eldot

Music Legends Jazz It Up In NYC For A Cause On April 26

cirque du jazz

JAZZ FOUNDATION OF AMERICA presents the 23rd Annual Jazz Loft Part, Cirque du Jazz”  at the Hudson Studios in New York City.

Sponsoring the event is Parmigiani Fleurier and will be featuring iconic jazz legends The Heath Brothers, Randy Weston, Billy Harper, Kahil El’Zabar, Hamiet Bluiett and more; blues aristocracy Sweet Georgia Brown, Ray Shinnery and Blind Boy Paxton; imported tango gems Pablo Ziegler and Julio Botti; piano phenoms ELEW, Isfar Sarabski and Matthew Whitaker; Russian folk rebels from New Orleans Debauche; vintage swing’s coolest bands Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks and The Baby Soda Jazz Band; flamenco dancers from Seville.

There will be other serious jaw-dropping surprises to come beginning with special appearance by Richard Marz and Dianne Reeves starting at the VIP reception.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented during the evening to Bruce Lundvall for a career spanning half a century which included signing a wide array of artists, including Willie NelsonHerbie HancockDexter GordonJames TaylorStan GetzWynton MarsalisDianne ReevesRichard MarxNatalie ColeCassandra WilsonAnita Baker andNorah Jones. He headed the following labels: Blue Note Records (jazz), Angel Records (classical), and Manhattan Records (adult pop).

Lundvall began his music career in marketing at Columbia Records where he remained for 21 years, becoming President of the domestic division of CBS Records in 1976. In the course of his tenure, he built Columbia’s jazz roster into the largest of any major label.

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014

WHERE | Hudson Studios
601 West 26th Street, 13th Floor
7:00PM – Midnight

 The Cause: For 24 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been dedicated to saving the homes and lives of elderjazz and blues musicians in crisis. We now assist in nearly 6,000 cases a year, including hundreds of musicians and their families affected by Hurricane Sandy in the New York region as well as those still recovering from Katrina in New Orleans.

Our Programs Include: Preventing homelessness and evictions by paying rents and mortgages, creating dignified work through our Agnes Varis Jazz in the Schools program, providing free medical care and operations through our partners at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and keeping the heat turned on and food on the table through our Musicians’ Emergency Fund.

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS
Standard ticket: $300
VIP ticket (includes admission to VIP reception): $400       
Available here: http://jazzfoundation.org/loft2014
 
GALA SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES
($10,000/$25,000)
Visit http://jazzfoundation.org/loftsponsorship

 

DJ Equal…On a Dime

DJEqual

Saturday night was an extravaganza of food, art and dance stops.  Gia On the Move accidentally ran into DJ Equal spinning at the Dime on Fairfax Avenue.  Totally chill, sexy, and totally tight, everyone at the bar was in the groove.  On his way to the final day of Coachella this past Sunday, he’ll be back in New York City April 24th.

He and his girl gave us a CD (oh yes — they did — and we LOVE IT!!!)  Check out the tracks from Vibe Called Fraîche. Find DJ Equal on Twitter: @DJEqual.  Check out the Facebook page.

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Happy Easter

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