West Hollywood: Cecconi’s
Brunch can be a balm on a rough week. It’s something to look forward to. I was invited to Cecconi’s in West Hollywood a couple weekends ago. It was a casual Sunday at its best. After talking about a mimosa or a bellini, we opted for cocktails from list. It looked good, I was a bit surprised to see the Queens’ Park Swizzle on it. It’s one of my favorite rum drinks. Then I found out Chris Ojeda came up with the list. He used to bartend at the Edison and the Varnish so this was a “proper” cocktail list in my mind. I also tasted a Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger) , Sitting Pretty (vodka, ginger, thyme) and a Peach Smash (rye, peach). I found it a bit amusing our server kept calling the Queen’s Park Swizzle a “modern and fragrant mojito.” Well, it’s been around for a few decades. I was drinking these long before I ever called myself a cocktailian. And it really is not a mojito. Sure, there’s simple syrup, lime and mint but there’s something beguiling about a Queen’s Park Swizzle. Some places will only allow you 2 max.
I also enjoyed the Peach Smash. It’ll be fun to see what will replace it when the summer fruits disappear from the market. Until then, I’d also pick Intro to Aperol (gin, Aperol) or perhaps a Gold Rush (bourbon, honey, lemon).
We started our indulgent brunch with a round of cicchetti (small plates). Everything looked so good but we narrowed it down to quail eggs, squash blossoms, gnocchi and the porchetta “sliders.” I enjoyed them all but my fave were the squash blossoms and sliders.
I loved the whole grain mustard with the sliders. It was actually more like a Cubano sandwich than a slider for me.
I usually tend to stray towards lunch more than breakfast when it comes to brunch. However, this day I was feeling the Full English. Cecconi’s first restaurant is in London. I was feeling a bit nostalgic over my London trip I had taken earlier in the year. On Saturdays, Cecconi’s host Brit expats and the Full English is even slightly discounted.
Despite being slightly full from the cichetti, I still ate the entire Full English minus the toast. I was saving my carbs for the upcoming ricotta hotcakes with blueberry compote. I really liked the bacon, tomato and I requested scrambled eggs. Those were perfectly done.
Truth be told, I’m not a fan of pancakes so I generally don’t order them. But Cecconi’s hotcakes sounded intriguing. Ricotta? I’m told other restaurants tend to fold the ricotta into the batter and it just leaves a richer pancake. However, Cecconi’s stuffs their hotcakes with them, bathing you with a full luscious flavor. They were soft, creamy and so much better than any pancake. Hotcakes all the way from now on! It also didn’t hurt that the blueberry compote was on point- not too sweet and just the right thing to top the hotcakes.
The restaurant also sent out a dessert sampler showcasing their gelatos, canolis and cream puffs. But my favorite were the mini chocolate cakes. Although not on the menu, you can request it in advance and they’ll make up a dessert sampler for you as well.
Call me a lady who brunches, I don’t care. I’ll just smile at you over my Queen’s Park Swizzle, Full English Breakfast and Ricotta hotcakes.