8265 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dining date: 2/25/17
The Ponte marks Scott Conant’s return to the Los Angeles dining scene after Scarpetta’s closure last year. Partnering up with LA restaurateur Stephane Bombet, The Ponte is a different concept from Scarpetta although there are a lot of familiar dishes. The famous spaghetti is here, as well as a take on the Scarpetta truffled mushroom polenta and tuna/yellowtail tartare. Ex-Scarpetta and Georgie chef Freddy Vargas has returned here to lead the kitchen.
We ordered a number of things off the menu, some of them familiar and some brand new.
Seasonal Mushroom “Boscaiola” polenta, truffles, bacon
Wood Roasted Prawns calabrian chili butter, squid ink farro risotto
Pasta al Pomodoro
Mezze Rigatoni Verde bolognese, parmigiano fonduta
Slow Roasted Trout rock shrimp, venetian black rice, porcini mushrooms, guanciale
Tiramisu Affogato mascarpone, gianduja, espresso, vanilla gelato
Highlights from this meal included the spaghetti (of course), trout, and tiramisu affogato. The spaghetti was pretty much right on point with how I remembered it. The polenta was richer, thicker and with a different savory depth from the bacon. The trout was cooked perfectly; it had a crisp skin and a hearty and flavorful black rice to go along with it. The dessert was a fun take on a tiramisu-affogato hybrid – it definitely had the flavors of a traditional tiramisu with the playfulness and creamy textures of an affogato.
The meal was a different experience from what I’d been accustomed to at Scarpetta; I was definitely spoiled by the beautiful chefs counter there. It will be missed. However The Ponte represents the next best thing in LA and I’m glad to have access to Conant/Vargas’ cooking once more.