You might think you have the wrong address when approaching Antico Nuovo, a reiteration of the original Antico squeezed into a strip mall off Beverly Boulevard. But inside, the rustic dining room, with wooden tables lit by candlelight and walls ordained with cast iron pans, intimately frames chef Chad Colby’s open kitchen. Start by pairing focaccia and whipped ricotta topped with hazelnut pesto, then try the rich, housemade fazzoletti in duck offal ragu. Meats are fire roasted to tenderness; the lamb shoulder topped with savory Niçoise olives falls off the bone. The Italians steal the show on wine director Rachel Grisafi’s list, which focuses on minimal intervention wines with classic terroir expressions. The structured tannins and balsamic-tinged earth on the Paolo Bea 2015 Rosso de Veo paired perfectly with the sumptuousness of the lamb shoulder, simultaneously highlighting the flavor of the olives. Another plus? Many bottles fall under a hundred-dollars.
When asked about a favorite bottle to pair with, Grisafi mused, “It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d say the Pietro Caciorgna 2016 N’Anticchia Etna Rosso with our fennel-dusted pork ribs. The char from the almond wood-burning grill with the smokey notes of the wine are a perfect marriage. You get crunchy, bright red fruit from the nerello mascalese with highlights of caramelized orange peel, herbaceous anise & caraway that mingle with the integrated tannins cutting through the fattiness of the rib.”
4653 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
Based in Los Angeles, California, Alissa Bica is the Associate Editor at Wine & Spirits. She is also a sommelier at 71 Above and co-runs the home wine tasting company, Côte Brune and Blonde. In any rare moments of free time, she writes about obscure grape varieties in the blog Off the Beaten Wine Path.
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