Spartina Sparkles…

Short Rib Tortonelli

Fabulosity…that defines my Valentine’s Day.

Breakfast in bed, hike in Malibu, a 90 minute massage, a Dry Bar blowout and then dinner at the new and delectable, Spartina.

The restaurant is on Melrose next to the now shuttered Johnny Rockets where I spent many a late night after concerts.

photo:wanho frank lee eater.com
photo:wanho frank lee eater.com

Spartina opened in December with Chef Stephen Kalt at the helm.

Kalt is a part of the Iron Chef posse, the former executive chef of Corsa Cucina at the Wynn Las Vegas, Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel and Casino and was most recently in residence at Caulfield’s Bar & Dining Room in the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills.

He opened the original Spartina In 1993 in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood.

Spartina
Spartina Bar

My husband had booked for outside, but when we arrived we decided to move indoors where the action was.

The hosts were accommodating. The service impersonal and lackluster, but we still had a great time.

Spartina Kitchen
Spartina Kitchen

Surprise, surprise. It was a Valentine’s fixed price menu. They had told David that is would not be.

Whatever. Each course had four options so there was plenty to chose from.

An adult beverage being a priority, we ordered an appealing Barbera from California. We were drawn to the name, Forlorn Hope ($64).

Salad
Salad

The first course we opted for a simple salad of Upland cress, arugula, kale, lime and parmesan. It was tasty, but uninspired.

Scallops
Scallops

The other antipasti was raw sea scallop with lemon and truffle. The scallops were tender, sweet and the truffle provided a delectable accent.

Additional options were the popular grilled avocado and baked little neck clams with preserved lemon and truffle.

Short Rib Tortonelli
Short Rib Tortelloni

The Pasta course was fabulous.

I went with the short rib and broth tortelloni with brown butter and sage.

Lobster Gnocchi
Lobster Gnocchi

David indulged in the lobster gnocchi with tarragon and lobster butter. Both were heavenly.

Pacific White Bass
Pacific White Bass

David’s main course was an amazing Pacific white bass with delicious slow roasted carrots, Meyer lemon, capers and brown butter.

Seared Tuna with Foie Gras
Seared Tuna with Foie Gras

I selected the seared tuna with foie gras which was wonderful although my first try was way to salty. They prepared another tuna and it was spot on. The foie gras was not worth the additional $10 charge.

Also on the special menu grilled prime sirloin with charred yams and radicchio and a vegetable platter.

Crack Pie
Crack Pie

Dessert was west coast crack pie made famous by easterner, Christina Tosi of Momofuko Milk Bar fame …it’s addictive.

Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta

David went with the mascarpone panna cotta with heather honey.

Multigrain Bread
Multigrain Bread

For $4 extra, home made multigrain bread with or without seeds was an option. It was tasty, but honestly it did not compared to the bread at Wildair in New York. Wildair bread is orgasmic and worth any additional charges

The four course Valentine menu was $62.

We sat next to a delightful couple who have been married for 58 years. She divulged her secret to a happy union…fight every single day.

Their charming daughter, Carrie, accompanied them and we had a good yack.

Spartina is cozy, casual yet sophisticated, the food very good.

If I lived in the neighborhood I would definitely revisit, but I’m not sure it is worth the schlep from Pacific Palisades.

Spartina Patio
Spartina Patio

Spartina opens for breakfast and lunch at the end of February and with their attractive patio it will be a happening place for daytime dining.

Spartina 7505 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, California. Open Monday-Thursday 5:30-10pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-11pm and Sunday 5:30-9pm. Reservations on OpenTable.com. Valet and street parking.

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