Club Pirozzi—Membership Not Required
Despite its size, Laguna contains many treasures and Chef Alessandro Pirozzi is no exception. In addition to his very popular Alessa on Forest Ave., he acquired Salerno Ristorante, (renamed Salerno by Chef Pirozzi) and has breathed new life into this quaint dining spot. Warm weather invites open windows for street-side patrons and the chatter of guests blend perfectly with the sounds and aromas of the kitchen. Beyond its pleasing aesthetic and highly efficient service, guests can comfortably nestle into its interior to enjoy the divine food and wine. All this makes the experience well worth repeating.
Server Luis recommends the Chef’s favorites: Seaside braised Italian Octopus and sashimi grade Tasmanian Salmon plated with teardrop peppers, lemon preserves and Italian capers, right down to the Calabrian chiles and Maldon salt flakes. The antipasti (to share) appetizer is paired with Chef’s favorite white wine, Nova Serra’s Greco di Tufo made from grapes that are grown in the volcanic region in Southern Italy. Homemade bread and pesto (affectionately dubbed “Salsa Verde” by Chef Alessandro) a blend of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, spinach, parsley and parmesan cheese perfect this meal.
Pappardelle Vittorio (his father’s favorite) is slow- braised shoulder of lamb, shredded so tender in a marinara Ragù (tomato meat sauce). The homemade Pappardelle pasta swirling between the fork and spoon will have your eyes roll back with pleasure. This is Italian comfort food at its best paired with Zenato, Valpolicella Ripassa, Veneto that delights you with a combination of zesty flavors of dried fruit and licorice, chocolate and coffee. To “cleanse the palate” you must indulge in the sorbet of the day with inhouse creations like the basil and mint made daily.
If you are fortunate to meet the charming and humble Chef Alessandro, your experience will hit a new high. Reservations are highly advisable in peak times but spontaneity will not be frowned upon. They always aim to please. Located at 220 Beach Street. For reservations or more information call 949.497.2600 or visit SalernoLB.com