Goodbye, La Terza; hello, Minestraio
Expect to see big changes at La Terza by the weekend. Chef Gino Angelini and his partners in the 3rd Street Italian restaurant located in the Orlando Hotel have decided to change the name to Minestraio.
The concept is being retooled too, and the slightly formal La Terza will become a more-casual trattoria focusing heavily on handcrafted pastas and traditional dishes, such as handmade tortellini in chicken broth, butternut squash-filled tortelli in butter and sage sauce, rigatoni all’ Amatriciana, fusilli with lamb ragù and mint, agnolotti di osso buco, rotisserie chicken and beef tagliata al balsamico.
"We wanted to do a new concept and feature good quality at a reasonable price," co-chef-owner Gianluca Sarti says, with the check average per diner aimed at $16 to $28. The wine list is 18 regional Italian vintages for less than $50 a bottle (six wines by the glass are available from $6 to $9), and the corkage fee is only $15. The hope is that the changes will draw the numbers of diners that La Terza presumably didn't.
Sarti says that test dinners begin this week -- "Wednesday, or maybe Thursday" -- and that they expect to unveil the new menu to the public over the weekend.
"Minestraio" is a nod to a restaurant with the same name just outside Bologna that is well-known for its pasta tasting menus. Says Sarti (over the phone, but you can almost hear him shrug): "Gino and I, we're both from the Emilia-Romagna."
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times