3.5 stars for Italian & steak at Sardelli in Hollywood

Fried Baccala with oven roasted tomatoes $14, at Sardelli's, 331 Van Buren St., Hollywood, May 18, 2012.

Sardelli Italian Steakhouse looks like a Mediterranean-style townhouse amid the small homes and motels on Van Buren Street, half a block from the Broadwalk on Hollywood beach. We didn’t even see a sign. If not for the valet parking guy out front, you could drive by without realizing you’ve stumbled upon the city’s most intriguing new restaurant.

While Sardelli is just 4 months old, owners Carmen and Fulvio Sardelli started out three decades ago with a pizza place in Davie and now own Fulvio’s 1900 and the Vino Wine Bar in downtown Hollywood. Their son, Fulvio Jr., the co-owner and chef, grew up in the business and then went to culinary school.

Ambience: The four-story, $3 million fine-dining destination has a cozy but contemporary decor. With its long drapes, mahogany furniture and crystal chandeliers, you could be dining in an expensive home, except this one has a chic onyx bar and a gleaming open kitchen.

There’s a crowd and a buzz in the 25-seat first-floor dining room and bar, especially on weekends. If you want a quieter, more romantic meal, request a table in the second-story wine room, where there’s another small dining room and outdoor balcony. The third and fourth floors are for private parties. Wherever you sit, service is excellent, with an accommodating staff that anticipates your needs.

What Worked

  • Warm, homey bread
  • An extensive international wine list with 14 by-the-glass choices
  • A starter of crisp, tender pork belly served atop aromatic risotto combining Granny Smith apple, pancetta and rosemary
  • A generous portion of burrata drizzled with balsamic vinegar & served with arugula and oven-roasted tomatoes
  • A superb egg-yolk ravioli appetizer – gently cooked yolk, ricotta and spinach enclosed in fresh, silky pasta and plated with chopped pancetta and a brown butter-sage sauce
  • House-made pappardelle, ravioli, fettuccine and stuffed pasta
  • Imported dried rigatoni and linguine
  • Pasta bolognese with house-made green pappardelle and a meaty tomato sauce with braised veal, pork and beef
  • Flavorful, juicy & perfectly cooked Key West yellowtail snapper filleted and steamed in parchment with fingerling potatoes, sweet-and-sour cipollini onions and oven-roasted tomatoes or breaded, deep-fried & served with fennel slaw
  • Terrific farmed Scottish salmon roasted on a cedar plank with lovely charred edges
  • Porcini-rubbed New York strip
  • An ultra-tender, juicy & perfectly cooked 20-ounce, bone-in rib-eye with just enough fat to enhance its rich flavo
  • A la carte steak sauces ($4-$5) – red wine, green peppercorn and Gorgonzola
  • Escarole and beans
  • Baby sweet potatoes with truffle oil
  • Excellent oyster and shiitake mushrooms sautéed with shallots, parsley and thyme
  • Delightful, house-made & remarkably light Italian-style ricotta cheesecake served with tufts of whipped cream and berries
  • Apple torte with cinnamon ice cream
  • Lemon sabayon in a shell made of ground pine nuts 
  • Classic crème brûlée

More Information

  • Sardelli Italian Steakhouse
    331 Van Buren St, Hollywood

  • Hours: 5-11pm Monday-Saturday
    Prices: Starters $9-$15, pasta (half and full portions) $14-$34, entrees $28-$50, sides $8-$10, desserts $10

  • FYI: Full bar; 14 wines by the glass; no outside bottles. Street parking; valet $6. AX, MC, VS


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