If you feel the need to escape to Italy for the day, Cecconi's is your spot. A chic Euro social center, perhaps a rival to The Ivy with its rich and skinny clientele, Cecconi's has been serving pizza and pasta with a healthy dose of white truffle shavings to the West Hollywood vicinity for the past three and a half years. Dating back to 1978, Enzo Cecconi (GM of Cipriani in Venice) first opened Cecconi's in London, though years later sold the eatery to Soho House. West Hollywood came next, then Miami. In LA, Cecconi's is buzzy as ever thanks in part to GM and sommelier Marino Monferrato. Here now Monferrato on magicians, whole roasted pigs, and more.
It's 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. What's the wait for two? Usually around 30 minutes if you have no reservation and you "absolutely" want to sit on the patio, but we are always trying to shorten the wait, so if the guest is flexible with location we can make things happen faster.
Is 8 p.m. on Saturday your busiest time of the week? Surprisingly, no. Monday nights are great fun here, as well as Thursdays and Sundays. Most of the locals come out those nights and they create a great energy at Cecconi's.
Is there anything I can do to make my wait shorter? Timing and kindness are key. If you plant sugar you will harvest honey. Did I mention be nice?
What's the longest wait you've ever seen here? There was a group of four that came without a reservation and requested a specific table. They were happy to wait for over an hour for it. We do our best to get customers seated as quickly as possible, but if you do wait the bar is a lovely place to have a drink and a quick bite from our cicchetti menu.
Do you have many regulars? Lots. Lucky for us most of our clientele are regulars (all of our sister properties tend to refer their loyal guests to each other), and the locals are so good to us. We are very blessed.
How would you describe your clientele? I wouldn't say we have just one type of guest, it's a melting pot. Depending on the night we'll see the young and hip dressed to go out or stopping in for late night cocktails and cicchetti, and we see big groups enjoying brunch on the patio on the weekend. We have a Sunday Supper that attracts local families so we have a magician at the restaurant to provide a little entertainment. We're also open at 8 a.m. every day, so there are busy professionals who love our cappuccinos and Breakfast Club.
What's the strangest request that you've been asked to accommodate? Here in LA? Too many to list! One of the more memorable was when we had a party that wanted to have a whole suckling pig prepared, but did not want us to carve it for them. “Just put it in the middle of the table," they said. We did and they gave us back an empty tray.
Have there been any requests that you guys haven’t been able to accommodate? Very few. I suppose the most challenging would be when guests ask to “squeeze" the 8th person that joined a party of four at a table for four. Even then we try to make it work.
Who are your VIPs here? Everyone is treated like a VIP, but we have a sweet spot for the guests that have stayed with us since the opening. As you know, there are a lot of bumps on the road when you are a new place. They are like family and have grown with us into the restaurant we are today.
What would you say are the more difficult aspects of working in this restaurant? Being away from my family. Luckily we have amazing food, so my daughters and wife often visit me here.
Where do you like to eat when you're not here? I don't go out for pizza because I love ours too much, but my family and I enjoy going out for Korean BBQ together. We love to eat food that we do not cook at home. We also go where our friends work because they always prepare things that aren’t on the menu. When Giacomo is in the house at La Piazza, we completely blow our diet!
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