Unbeknownst to Michael and I, Gaetano’s Restaurant has a monthly pre-fixe dinner that features a different region of Italy. If I were a chef, I would look forward to opportunities to exercise my originality and creativity; thus I was hoping to experience an interesting meal*.
Gaetano’s Restaurant is family owned and operated. The restaurant was named after Gaetano Guilano; co-founder of Guilano’s Deli. Owner Dori Guilano’s grown children run the restaurant: Vince Guilano is the executive chef/partner and Vince’s sister, Andreanna Liguore is front house/partner.
The Sicilia Regional Dinner was a 4 course pre-fixe dinner.
The roasted pepper appetizer was a nice beginning. The peppers and cherry tomatoes were paired nicely with olive oil, fresh mint, garlic and red onions. The use of fresh ingredients without heavy sauces allowed the taste of the fresh vegetables to shine. This is one such example of “less is more”.
Primi or first course was a very simple spaghettini with a light anchovy sauce. The pasta was fresh and cooked al dente. The anchovy taste was barely detectable and didn’t overpower the dish. In true Italian tradition, they contrasted the crisp appetizer with a soft primi.
The next dish was a tribute to Vince and Andreanna’s grandmother: Braciole della Nonna. Because it is very labor intensive, Grandma Guilano only made this dish once a year. They braise top sirloin for 5 hours. Then the meat is pounded and stuffed with rolled bacon, ricotta, sautéed eggplant, artichoke hearts, green peas and fresh tomatoes. I think Michael said it best when he said that it has “layers of flavor”. The red sauce was thick, rich and extremely complex. From the next table, you could probably hear Michael and I saying “ooh and ahh” after each bite.
The fourth and final course was dessert. A cannoli shell was stuffed with a blood orange gelato. It was dusted with powdered sugar.
On October 16, Gaetano’s Restaurant will feature the Lazio region which is the central part of Italy near Rome. A four course pre-fixe dinner will be the regional dinner that day. Customers may also opt to select items from their regular menu. Their events are posted both on their website as well as their Facebook page.
- Gaetano’s Restaurant
- 2731 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance CA, 90505; (310) 326-3354
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GaetanosItalianRestaurant
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GaetanosSoBay
* Some items mentioned in this article were provided on a complimentary basis for the purpose of this review. This story was accurate when it was published and reflects the uninfluenced opinions of the reviewers.