Guy Gabriele and his daughter, Sylvie, didn’t just remodel their storied Manhattan Beach restaurant, Café Pierre, they took it down to the studs, recasting the warren of rooms as a single, airy space with a communal table as backbone. Influenced by his Italian American heritage and his time in prestigious resorts like the Greenbrier in West Virginia, Michael Fiorelli creates a confident version of pasta-centric coastal cuisine. The new venture is formal enough that a waiter scoops bone marrow over the cavatappi yet lighthearted enough that English muffins with house-cultured butter and mortadella franks with pickled relish aren’t out of place. The house red—a blend of 80 percent Dolcetto and 20 percent Refosco from Santa Ynez—is that much more spectacular when the sea air ripples up the boulevard at sunset.
The Vibe: Loud, rowdy Italian with a hint of salt air.
The Crowd: Every person in Manhattan Beach, it seems. We’re pretty sure they’re all here.
The Must-Have Dishes: Cavatappi with bone marrow, lamb tongue panino, rabbit porchetta.
The Drinks: Wines are separated into bottles “from the boot” and “from the neighborhood.” It’s a formidable list. Might we suggest starting with the sparkling Nebbiolo?
Getting a Table: Love & Salt can be a mob scene, but opt for the buzzy communal table and you’ll get in quickly. Otherwise, it’s Open Table in advance for you.
Insider Tip: English muffins for dinner? Oh dear lord, yes. We’re not saying you shouldn’t get another order to-go for tomorrow’s breakfast, but don’t overlook these delicious nook-and-cranny-filled creations. – LBS
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