Chef Scott Conant, along with Stephane Bombet, of BHG Restaurant Group, opened The Ponte Ristorante, off Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, just four months ago. Chef Conant, famous for his television series, cookbook and Scarpetta Restaurants, has created a modern Italian eatery with a very approachable menu. The French inspired decor gives the restaurant a casual feel, and the outdoor patio offers a refreshing setting to dine.
The San Danielle Prosciutto & Burrata — a delicious way to start the evening, however the Wood Fired Prawns with Calabrian Chile Butter and Black Risotto was divine. The heat from the rice was uniquely satisfying, and gave the dish personality.
The pastas at The Ponte were exceptional. The Ricotta Gnudi with fresh asparagus and morels were light and plump with a delicate earthiness that melted on your tongue – probably some of the best gnudi I’ve had in some time.
The Braised Duck Agnolotti with Foie Gras Emulsion was perfection. The bite size pasta is handcrafted beautifully with a nice al dente bite. The sauce had a great balance of flavors, along with fresh peas and pickled Spring onions.
As entrees go – Wood Roasted Branzino with fresh Clams and Leeks was wonderfully prepared, and the salsa verde, added a contrasting tang to the smokiness of the dish. Loved the crunchy skin!
Don’t skip dessert here — Chocolate Torte with Jivarra (Chocolate) Mousseline, Sour Cherries and Toasted Almond Gelato. The cake had a nice crunchy top, which heightened the softness of the cream.
Chef Conant, along with Executive Chef Freddy Vargas, have created an inspiring restaurant with The Ponte. The food and environment is something the locals will definitely enjoy often, and I am no exception.