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The Collection Officially Opens in Malibu, Hangover Observations from Firenze Osteria Media Night

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MALIBUThe Collection inside Malibu Country Inn, formerly known as The Hideaway Cafe, announced its grand opening this week. That means new menu, new chef, new design. Details here. [GS]

NoHo— Last night Fabio Viviani hosted a media night for his recently opened Firenze Osteria. So, we popped by to check out the goods. To start, the food was a smashing success. Highlights include pillow-soft pesto gnocchi with shaved Parmesan, delightfully rich short rib ravioli with balsamic reduction (overheard: “it’s like a savory hot fudge sundae”) and, ironically, from the man who coined the phrase "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop," a perfectly textured version of the said mollusk on a bed of butternut squash mashed potatoes topped with fried sage and crispy pancetta. As for bevys, Jacopo is an awesome bartender and gets major props for keeping our thirst quenched.

We loved the strawberry balsamic martini which had just the right balance of sweet, fruit, tart and sour. All in all, the night included a decadent array of small plates and booze. More like a sit down dinner with an hors d’oeuvres-sized tasting menu, last night was a far cry from most opening parties where you’re lucky to get one crostini before a linebacker-sized guest scoops up the whole tray?or the tray whole. We actually walked away full. [EaterWire] —Tara de Lis

Firenze Osteria

4212 Lankershim Blvd., Los Angeles, CA