Valentino wine dinner; Ortolan's $40 spring tasting menu; Tweet-a-dish at BLD
"Sonoma in L.A.": A little of Sonoma comes to Santa Monica. At Valentino on Thursday, May 6, executive chef Nicola Chessa will pair his Italian cuisine with a variety of wines from the Russian River Valley. Here's the menu: stuzzichini of duck prosciutto and melon, arancine and crudo with Iron Horse sparkling wine; fregula and tuna salad with ginger-tarocco orange dressing served with Joseph Swan Chardonnay; rhubarb risotto with smoked pera and sage-scented spring vegetables with Inman Family Pinot Noir or Longboard Pinot Noir; quail "in porchetta" served with fennel, mushroom tortino and crispy potatoes with Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir or Joseph Swan Pinot Noir; and dolce al formaggio with Longboard Syrah or Joseph Swan Zinfandel. 6:30 p.m. reception; dinner is at 7 p.m. $100 per person. Call (310) 829-4313 or e-mail email@example.com for reservations. 3115 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, www.valentinorestaurantgroup.com.
Spring menu: What says spring like ... $40 for three courses? Chef-owner Christophe Eme at Ortolan today launches a $40 tasting menu, available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the next few weeks (it's an additional $20 for wine pairings). The three-course menu includes dishes such as a first course of marinated salmon with lemongrass sorbet, ginger and ponzu; a second course of lobster spaghetti with beef jus and white asparagus cream; and chocolate ganache with brownies and chocolate sorbet for dessert. Call (323) 653-3300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. 8338 W. 3rd St., West Hollywood, www.ortolanrestaurant.com.
Tweet-a-dish: Tweet an idea for a dish to BLD's chef de cuisine, Diana Stavaridis, @BLDChefD. If she likes the sound of it and puts your dish on the menu as Thursday night's plat du jour, then you and a friend eat for free. Entries are due Thursday, April 15, by midnight for the following week's Thursday (April 22) special. 7450 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 930-9744, www.bldrestaurant.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Valentino restaurant. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/Los Angeles Times