Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Hour at Cecconi's is no Baloney's

When you think of a restaurant so swanky the only term that comes to mind is "hotspot" and you use "hotspot" to describe such restaurant despite absolutely loathing the term "hotspot," how would YOU envision their Happy Hour-esque menu? Probably limited, right? Probably not that great of a bargain? At the very least, small portions? Or, if anything, available during very short timeframes?

I thought all the above. And I was wrong on all accounts regarding the "4 to 7" Menu at West Hollywood hotspot, Cecconi's. The aptly-monikered bill of fare is available Tuesday through Saturday from 4-7 pm and includes NINE well-portioned $4 food items (and beer on tap) as well as an additional four sizable $7 delicacies (and cocktails). Also awesome: free valet before 6 pm. All this within the friendly turquoise and marble confines of a tony indoor/outdoor Melrose restaurant that looks exactly how  all your friends in Wisconsin imagine all Hollywood restaurants appear.

The most ballyhooed "4 to 7" foodstuff is definitely the Truffle Burger. The seat-filler, the LeBron of the menu, if you will. Rightfully so too, as there aren't many better $7 Happy Hour menu burgers in town. It's a nice, thin, but not slight, well-griddled patty, with melted fontina, a thin slice of pancetta, a whole grain mustard and a subtly strong black truffle paste-oil-aioli, all on a house-made, croissant-level flaky, onion brioche bun. It's indulgent and almost hard to finish solo, just the way Happy Hour food thrives to be, yet rarely achieves.

The burger is not the only menu standout though. Here are the three other "4 to 7" dishes you should definitely order on your next visit...

Burrata, Tomato, Avocado & Basil ($7)

Probably my four favorite ingredients on Planet Earth. All in one dish. All super duper fresh with a complimentary balsamic reduction drizzle on top. Great for sharing - or hogging like I did.

Pizzetta w/ Asparagus, Broccolini, Chili, Scamorza ($4)

As my fellow dining patron, Sam, asserted: "This is only four bucks?" Yep, that firm, yet chewy-crusted, veggie-packed gondola fresh from the wood-burning oven is a measly four buckaroos. It even comes with a fancier version of mozzarella in the form of cow's milk smoked Scamorza. 

Baked Gnocchi Romana, Gorgonzola ($4)

This is a Venetian-influenced restaurant, so it seems absurd not to order at least one pasta dish. Their mini-skillet serving of creamy, cheesy, BAKED gnocchi is a tremendous, delicious deal. No one-gnocchi-a-serving-Happy Hour here.

8764 Melrose Avenue, WeHo
"4 to 7" Menu, Tuesday through Saturday, 4-7 pm
Free valet parking before 6 pm 

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