Venice, California is known for its eclectic culture and artistic vibe. Among the many shops and stands are hidden some of the best dining destinations in Los Angeles. Barrique easily scores at the top of the list for fine Italian faire.
Barrique is located on Main Street in a lovely, yellow, bungalow-style home with indoor and outdoor seating. It is clean, modern and very romantic. Soft lighting intentionally keeps the room dark and reliant upon the ambient candle light from each individual table. The atmosphere is very intimate and perfect for a memorable dining experience.
The Hollywood Press Corps Magazine was greeted by Tony Black, owner of Barrique Venice. He seated us upstairs at a cozy table for two by a window. The tables are made from wine barrels giving the modern theme a rustic twist. Tony presented us with a wonderful, light, crisp white wine Molise from Italy to be paired with our first course, a delicious Branzino and Sea Urchin Carpaccio with Sea Weed and Orange Wedges. This was an amazing choice to begin our meal. Light and full of flavors, perfectly balanced and just enough to entice us before our next antipasto treat.
Chef Antonio Mure joined us at our table to inquire about our experience so far and to present our next tasting, Grilled Foie-Grass served with Pan Brioche and poached pears. The understated elegance of this dish was a pleasant surprise. Not too rich or heavy, this also paired beautifully with the wine. The portions at Barrique are exactly right. Just enough to enjoy the flavors and move on to the next delicacy.
Chef Mure and Tony Black were both very attentive and a real delight to spend the evening with. Chef Mure would arrive with each of his courses to give us a little history of the dish and a back story on his process and presentation. The next course was home-made Red Beet Tagliolini Pasta, Marsala Quail Ragù on a Bed of Taleggio Cheese Fondue. Tony paired a fruit forward Sicilian Red wine with this dish and the two flavors played in perfect harmony. Chef Mura was so proud of his dish and referred to his pasta as “orgasmic” and “better than sex”. And with that statement came the next pasta dish, a traditionally hand-pinched, home made ravioli filled with fontina cheese from the Piedmont region of italy. The ravioli were delicately dressed in a white truffle butter sauce and Chef Mure personally shaved truffles over the top of the dish for an extra bump of exquisite flavor.
For our main course, we were presented with a Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass with Braised Maui Onions and Zucchini in a Blood Orange Sauce. We also reverted back to a white wine, a lovely citrus toned chardonnay that enhanced the slightly tart fruit flavors of the seafood dish. Once again, it was the perfect pairing. The sea bass was tender and flaky with a delicate hint of Italian seasoning and earthy flare.
To finish our evening we enjoyed a traditional Italian Easter cake from the Naples region. It was a light version of a cheesecake, sprinkled with powered sugar and lined with a creme fraise sauce and berries. Buttery, flakey and simply delicious.
The entire meal was satisfying yet light and healthy, allowing us to have enjoyed many wonderful flavors without feeling over stuffed at the end of the evening. Great food, incredible ambiance, and delightful character from both restauranteur Tony Black, and Michelin Star rated chef Antonio Mure left us feeling happy and satisfied and ready to make reservations to come back very soon! HollywoodPressCorp definitely recommends Barrique for an incredible dining experience and an intimate retreat for close family and friends.