No. 38: Vincenti

Photograph courtesy

Maureen Vincenti’s welcome is hearty and warm. Nicola Mastronardi’s cooking is intelligently robust. He muscles up butter lettuce with warm polenta croutons or bastes a spit-roasted pork shoulder as it slowly turns. Chicken cacciatore is not some retro-rustic flourish here but a satisfying perennial favorite. Of course this is Brentwood, and the scale of the dishes—diminutive servings of potato gnocchi or a mere twirl of tagliolini with leaves of bottarga—never overshoots the mark. The atmosphere is moneyed (Dover sole is always on the menu), playful (Monday is pizza night), and refreshingly real. Those aren’t mere air kisses Vincenti bestows on regulars on their way out.  

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