Hotel Guests And Locals Alike Say Saluti To The Italian-Inspired Concept Featuring Small Plates From Chef Denis Dello Stritto And Regional Varietals From Wine Director Luca Bruno
This fall, the executive and culinary team at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills introduces Vinoteca (located at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills at 300 South Doheny Drive in Los Angeles, California), a new Italian wine bar and espresso café adjacent to Culina restaurant. As the new go-to destination in Beverly Hills for stylish locals and visitors alike, Vinoteca will be an extension of creative pulse of Los Angeles as the city’s newest wine bar – the place to be and be seen at.
“We have a very clear vision for Vinoteca,” says General Manager Michael Newcombe. “We see our guests and neighbors utilizing Vinoteca as an extension of their home or office. With a newly built-out space, powerful Wi-Fi and top-notch culinary offerings to match, creatives and industry executives are welcome to visit Vinoteca any time of day to sip on a cappuccino in the morning while catching up on the daily news, or drop by after work to enjoy a glass of Vermentino and montanara pizza from Naples.”
The Espresso Bar is open Monday-Saturday from 6:30 am to 11:00 am; and Sunday from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm. Vinoteca Wine Bar opens Monday-Wednesday from 11:00 am to 10:30pm; Thursday-Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; and Sunday from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Chef Denis Dello Stritto and the Menu
Twenty-nine year old Chef Denis Dello Stritto draws inspiration from his upbringing near Naples to curate a menu of hyper-seasonal sharable plates with a focus on traditional Italian “street food.” Utilizing the best produce available in California, Dello Stritto showcases the bounty of local farmers, combined with authentic ingredients shipped daily from Italy, such as burrata and olive oil. Vinoteca offers three distinct menus for breakfast, lunch, and apéritivo. Signature dishes (USD 5-15) include:
- Neapolitan Montanara (Fried) Pizzas – classica, burrata, lobster, eggplant, sweet ricotta
- L’Arancino – Sicilian salmon, arancino, squid ink bread crumb, meyer lemon aioli; the pear-shaped dish is a Western Sicilian specialty
- Crudo – Yellowtail, swordfish carpaccio, tuna tartare, branzino carpaccio
- Frutti di Mare
The roots of Dello Stritto’s culinary ardour were planted during his childhood in a small farming village north of Naples, Italy. The village, Caiazzo, is historically known for the quality of its olives and more, and nearly everyone is engaged in food production. “The smell, the taste, and the honest culture were part of my upbringing,” he says.
Dello Stritto combs farmers markets and fish markets each week throughout Los Angeles to inform the menus at Vinoteca. “As for the rest,” he says, reeling off Italian olive oil, cheeses, cured meats and more, “I work my connections. For the best, you need the right connections. Sixty percent of what makes a professional Italian chef is the chef, and forty percent is the quality of the product.”
To complement Dello Stritto’s modern Italian menus at Vinoteca, Wine Director and Assistant General Manager Luca Bruno (formerly of Providence, The French Laundry, Bistro don Giovanni, and The Fat Duck) has conceptualized a unique wine experience that honors the classic, imported masterpieces of Italy, alongside their artisanal Californian descendants. Through detailed research into the vineyards of Napa, Carneros, Paso Robles, Mendocino and the Santa Clara Valley, Bruno has discovered a variety of indigenous Italian grapes cultivated in California. His wines have been carefully chosen to showcase the finest examples of the classic terroir of Italy, as well as the artistry of locally –sourced talent honoring the Italian varietals and style.
“With a large selection spanning various elevations, a multitude of soil types and native Italian varietals, guests are invited to customize their selection,” says Bruno. “We want the Vinoteca experience to be educational, immersive and authentic. Our guests will encounter a diverse array of creative wines, which will instil memories that pull them back again and again. We are also happy to curate a tasting flight or have guests design their own to taste and compare the wonders of Italy both at home and abroad.”
In addition to approachable wines by the glass and bottle, Vinoteca offers 3 ounce flights as well as “Icon Wines” from the Coravin. Aperitivo cocktails (USD 14-18) include:
- Il Carosello – gin, Aperol, lemon, absinthe and prosecco
- Strawberry Basil Limonada – vodka, lemon, simple syrup strawberry, basil leaf and egg white
- Summer in Amalfi – bourbon, Campari, pineapple, lime, ginger syrup, egg white and soda
- Aperol Spritz – prosecco, Aperol, soda with orange wedge
- Negroni Sbagliato – Campari, sweet vermouth, and prosecco
- Vinoteca Espresso
Vinoteca is designed to evoke an Italian sensibility with modern utility, which effortlessly transforms each morning into Vinoteca Espresso. Curated by Assistant General Manager/Coffee Director Jeff Villa, the coffee hideaway is equipped with an elegant, multi-tiered, eight hour drip, cold brew coffee maker (Yama), featuring South roast imports from Caffè Umbria, founded by a multi-generational Italian family based in Seattle.
Open daily at 6:30 am, guests and locals are invited to stop in to Vinoteca for a morning menu consisting of hard-to-find housemade pastries baked daily starting from 3:30 am, in addition to freshly squeezed juices and açai bowls. Twists on traditional Italian pastries crafted by Chef Federico Fernandez (who hails from Buenos Aires, where there is a large Italian influence), the decadent lineup includes:
- Sfogliattele – scalloped, shell-shaped Italian pastries filled with lemon ricotta, native to Campania in southwestern Italy
- Connoncini – cannoli-shaped pastry from Verona that is traditionally stuffed with cream, Chef Fernandez fashions the Vinoteca version with hazelnut cream
- Croissant – butter and almond
- Cheddar Bacon Scone
- Pain au Chocolat
In the coming months, world-renowned Four Seasons Artistic Floral Director Jeff Leatham – known for his brilliant creations at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and who has recently returned home to the Beverly Hills property – plans to debut a retail floral stand with custom arrangements for guests to grab on-the-go.
The reinvigorated Culina Bar captures the spirit of the Vinoteca tradition and adds greater dimension to the experience of an already successful Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. Drawing on the Vinoteca theme, the design direction combines the cultural legacy of Italy and “the sophistication of the simple” with sensitive design to elevate the overall guest experience and position the bar as an easy, relaxed and fun destination for authentic Italian flavors and experiences.
Like the menu itself, the material palette relies on the beauty of nature: large slabs of Italian marble for the bar top, natural wood for the shelves, a custom glassed-panel wine display, and accents in brass. Large glass windows offer a view to a warm outdoor patio dining area. The result is a stylish and luxurious environment imbued with a sense of residential comfort.