Those familiar with New York’s clubby dining scene will have heard of Cipriani, the legendary 92-year-old restaurant that’s a regular celebrity hot spot. For years the storied restaurant maintained locations across the globe in Manhattan, Las Vegas, Miami, Mexico City, and Italy (Venice and Milan), but never on the West Coast. But as of January 10, Beverly Hills is home to the latest outlet at 362 North Camden Drive.
Cipriani, one of the world’s longest-running Italian dining brands, began in 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani Sr. opened the original Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. Cipriani famously invented two iconic standards at Harry's Bar: the Bellini cocktail made with peaches and Prosecco, and carpaccio, the dish of raw beef pounded thin. The current generations of Ciprianis — Arrigo, Giuseppe, and his sons Ignazio and Maggio — now run the show, operating New York City’s Cipriani 42nd Street, Cipriani Downtown, a travel company, catering company, and Harry Cipriani in the Sherry Netherland hotel, a duplicate of the original Harry’s Bar.
For the West Coast’s only location, Cirpriani’s longtime Florentine architect, Michele Bonan, took a year to redesign the former Madeo space including upgrading the main dining room to seat 114, refurbishing the downstairs bar, and expanding the kitchen. The 98-seat jazz cafe on the restaurant’s top floor was designed by architect Carlos Almada who handled all the Cipriani Socialista lounge locations in New York, London, Dubai, Istanbul, and the forthcoming one in Ibiza, Spain. Cirpriani’s jazz cafe channels a 1920s Old Hollywood vibe complete with a grand piano. An 80-seat covered patio in the rear of the restaurant will open in the spring.
As for the menu, Cipriani Beverly Hills serves the same food and drink as the other locations. Best-sellers include tuna tartare, risotto primavera, baccala mantecato (Venetian salted cod), and Chilean sea bass a la Carlina with tomato sauce, capers, and Worcestershire sauce. Some specialties from Harry’s Bar in Venice also appear on the menu, like the baked tagliolini with ham and vanilla meringue cake.
To drink are plenty of Bellini and a variation called the Harry’s Bar Special Roger made with white peach puree, fresh orange juice, and vodka or gin. The Mr. C cocktail is made with Wheatley vodka, fresh mandarins, lemon juice, and prosecco. Italian and French wines dominate the wine selections, but vintners from California, Oregon, Argentina, Spain, Chile, and New Zealand are featured too.
Cipriani Beverly Hills is open for lunch and dinner daily at 362 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 11:30 p.m.