From the ashes of All' Angelo rises a perrrrrrty new wine bar, TiroVino. And my, what a welcome change from that previous non-decor. Here, commander Maurizio La Rosa (former GM at Chianti and Dolce) combines the flavors he grew up tasting in Sicily with inspiration from Tuscan-born chef David Giani (Il Cielo). The menu is comprised of small plates, actually more like medium sized plates, for a party of two about five dishes will leave you well fed. Guests start with warm bread and an onion-tomato dipping sauce, a recipe straight from Maurizio's childhood. Additional reflections of his youth include the Arancini stuffed with beef, peas, and mozzarella, and the Toast of Baccala served over polenta.
As one would expect from a Southern Italian menu, there's more than enough seafood like the house special of chewy purple octopus diced and served over slices of potato with fresh green favas; house-made fettuccine (all pasta is made in house) with zucchini strips and clams; plus pan-fried sole with lemon.
Now, let's talk about what's going on inside. DeMar Interiors is responsible for the cohesively jumbled design, out front there's a patio lounge area with a movie screen, and in the next few weeks Maurizio plans to open this area up for brunch.
The best table in the house falls to the communal eight-seater toward the back, which sits underneath a set of vintage movie lights from the 1940s, sourced from a store on La Brea. And what's going on with that back wall? It's papered over by pages from a Latin book Maurizio loved as a child.
Since there's always room for dessert, one last food recommendation. Make sure to try the tiramisu, a different preparation than the norm, and another recipe from Maurizio's childhood. No ladyfingers or anything like that, just two layers of airy mascarpone cream with some crushed amaretto cookies and a dusting of cocoa.
·Ply: Primavera, Michael's Pizzeria, TroVino, Mongolian BBQ, more! [~ELA~]
·TiroVino Brings Italian Country-Style Small Plates to Melrose [~ELA~]