IL CIELO RESTAURANT… “A Dream Worth Stepping Into!”

 It’s a bit like arriving at an upscale provincial estate in Tuscany when you enter Il Cielo restaurant. The feel of warmth and serenity embrace you as you enter the garden patio through the front door, a sincere and caring hostess ushers you to a table amongst one of the numerous areas inside the garden patio or private rooms, and a peaceful calm surrounds you at your table while your visual perception is filled with imagery of towering glass ceilings, flickering candles atop tall pedestals everywhere you look, intricate chandeliers overhead and romance in the air. There’s no denying why Il Cielo was rated ‘Los Angeles’ Most Romantic Restaurant’, and was named  one of the ‘Top Seven Places To Get Married’. Quite impressive. However, that won’t surprise you so much once you visit this alluring establishment to see for yourself just how much romance exists here.

Details are meticulously refined throughout the restaurant’s charming and captivating dining areas. You may forget you are in the city and believe you are dining in the middle of a cultivated Italian garden behind a private estate during your experience. Don’t be alarmed. Just absorb it all and remember that feeling doesn’t have to leave you as long as you are here. Since 1986, Il Cielo has been enticing its clientele with its intimate setting, divine Italian cuisine, and overall refinement.

On our last visit, our focus was on the lounge. Specifically, the popular Happy Hour that is scheduled every Monday through Friday from 4:30 PM – 8 PM. All specialty cocktails are two-for-one, as well as most bar appetizers. We discovered that these libations are creatively engineered by the Il Cielo lounge staff. There are no unsavory, watered-down, overpriced cocktails here. Just meticulously-crafted, hand-shaken, stunningly gratifying liquid libations that will turn you into a regular customer.

Below, we enjoyed several of Il Cielo’s specialty cocktails and sampled an item from the lounge appetizer menu as well…

Ivory Bliss Martini

This is a favorite of ours…the Ivory Bliss martini. This is a perfect opportunity to sip your way into a coconut fantasy unlike anything else you’ve ever tasted. The imaginativeness of the Il Cielo mixologists will not permit you to forget about this harmonious concoction. Made with a combination of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur and Ciroc Coconut vodka, this tropical refreshment is then shaken with fresh coconut shavings and served extremely chilled with a Belgian chocolate grated crown.

Il Cielo Peartini

I love a fabulous pear-flavored martini. This conglomeration of Grey Goose La Poire, fresh mint and a splash of citrus was topped off with a slice of crisp cucumber. Refreshing and visually attractive, each sip of this fruity and potent martini was satisfactory, well-accepted, and a definite to order again on a future visit.

Spiedino Caprese Appetizer

The Spiedino Caprese appetizer showed off the vibrant hues of red and green it possesses. Succulent sliced of fresh cherry tomatoes atop decorative skewers of mouthwatering orbs of mozzarella and crisp greens drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. A perfectly portioned nibble between exploring Il Cielo’s array of cocktails.

Strawberry Bellinitini

I’m a huge fan of strawberries. Here is one specific example of that popular fruit that can easily put a smile on my face most any time. The Strawberry Bellinitini. Created with Vodka, fresh strawberry puree, lemon juice, then topped with Champagne, the flavor of strawberry dances across your taste buds in celebration.

Limoncello Drop Martini

The Limoncello Drop martini is Il Cielo’s rendition of the standard Lemon Drop libation. Made with Absolut Citron, Limoncello, and fresh squeezed lemon juice, this liquid sensation will force you from never having a traditional Lemon Drop martini ever again!

Il Cielo exudes charm, is undeniably romantic, and is profoundly enchanting in terms of its overall ambiance, decor, cuisine and service. We recommend it highly and we look forward to experiencing a dream of our own soon within this fantastic venue of  relaxing comfort and beautiful allure.

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Lush garden-themed ambiance with romance in the air, flickering candles throughout the dining rooms, comfortable seating and an extremely intimate setting that will make you think twice before leaving at all.
  • FOOD / DRINK: We have yet to experience dinner at Il Cielo (It’s on our list!) However, the quality of the appetizer we shared an the four specialty signature cocktails we indulged in inside of the Il Cielo lounge were delightful and memorable.
  • LOCATION: Il Cielo is located at 9018 Burton Way in Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
  • HOURS: Il Cielo’s popular Happy Hour extends from 4:30 PM to 8 PM every Monday through Friday in the restaurant’s spacious and inviting lounge. Lunch is available Monday through Saturday from 11:30 AM – 3 PM, while dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM, then again Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 PM – 11 PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Our bartender, Virgil, offered us excellent service, attentiveness, and made reliable suggestions.
  • PRICE / VALUE: We were extremely satisfied with the price of our beverages and appetizer that we shared while enjoying ourselves in the Il Cielo lounge. On our last visit, specialty cocktails were $7 each, and they were also two-for-one! 
  • CORKAGE FEE: $25 per 750mL bottle
  • PARKING: We had no trouble locating a metered parking space just outside the restaurant on our last visit to the establishment.
  • TOTAL BILL: Our final bill for four specialty cocktails and the Caprese appetizer came to just over $32 (including tax).

Il Cielo on Urbanspoon

Ilcielo Italian Gardens Restaurant on Restaurantica

Il Cielo  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

 

TRATTORIA AMICI @ THE BEVERLY TERRACE HOTEL… “You’ll Feel Like Family!”

The word ‘trattoria’ in Italian translates to ‘an informal Italian-style eating establishment with a neighborhood feel and the intention of making customers feel like they’re part of the family’. ‘Amici’ in Italian means ‘friends’. Trattoria Amici offers proportionate servings of both. We visited this surprising eatery tucked alongside the Hotel Beverly Terrace at the corner of Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills on two ocassions within a week of each visit. Our first trip was so incredible, we had to revisit the restaurant again before writing this review. As we suspected it would be, the service, cuisine and attention to detail were all outstanding once again.

Red cloth napkins and bright white tablecloths adorn the several bistro-style tables both indoors and on the garden patio. Tall wrought iron gates welcome you into the dining establishment’s main entrance as you walk inside along a red carpet. A natural carved hedge surrounds the outdoor dining section giving it a cozy and intimate feel, while tiny white twinkling lights are strung overhead and in the surrounding foliage. Walking into this Italian venue could not be more welcoming if it tried. We immediately felt at home as we entered this delightfully amiable neighborhood dwelling.

The owners make a successful attempt at creating the perfect setting for an intimate feasting experience. As you can see in the photos above, fresh vibrant-colored flowers are placed on each table creating a romantic allure that cannot be resisted. The flickering votive candles also add to the delightful ambiance.

Trattoria Amici offers a simple $15 corkage charge for patrons who choose to bring in their own bottles of wine to enjoy with their meal. I loved the way our waiter used the foil of the wine bottle to suspend its cork! Just a very creative little “extra” that is one of the many things this great Italian restaurant presents to its customers. The above larger picture is of our wine bottle once the cork was attached via the foil by our clever waiter. The two smaller images are of our table after our vino was opened and poured and Trattoria Amici’s bread basket accompanied by marinated fresh tomatoes and a Cannellini Bean Dip that’s just insanely delicious!

Zuppa Di Lenticchie Pinaci

Let’s start with soup! The delectable creamy Zuppa Di Lenticchie Pinaci is an organic lentil soup with fresh julienne spinach. Catchy to the eye as well as the palate, this starter is incredibly savory and enriched with only the best of ingredients. It’s perfect for a cool evening or anytime you feel like having a comforting bowl of healthy goodness!

Artichoke Puree Soup Special

Another special soup offering was the Artichoke Puree Soup above. This starter was incredible tasting and every bite included the flavor of artichoke. Simply delicious!

Parmigiana Classica Di Pollo

If you love Chicken Parmesan…I mean really LOVE the dish, you have to have it at Trattoria Amici! The Parmigiana Classica Di Pollo is a lightly breaded paillard “parmigiana” with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. My husband loved the way the chef served this dish. The chicken is pounded very thin, unlike other versions we’ve enjoyed. It was a nice change with all of the expected flavor and savory tomato sauce one could want.

Polleto Al Mattone Alla Fiamma

I thoroughly enjoyed the Polleto Al Mattone Alla Fiamma, which is the restaurant’s version of a half chicken that’s flame broiled with wild herbs and garlic then served with hearty potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The chicken was tender, moist and well-prepared. I finished the entire thing leaving nothing on my plate!

Bolognese Sauce and Fettuccine Alla Bolognese Di Vettelo

The chef was kind enough to prepare a tasting of their veal Bolognese sauce for my husband. This lucious bowl of heavenly Bolognese convinced my husband to order the Fettuccine Alla Bolognese Di Vetello (top right photo). With its homemade fettuccine and old fashioned veal ‘Bolognese’ sauce, a satisfied smile crossed my husband’s face. A very good sign, as he is pretty critical of most cuisines we experience.

Lasagne Alla Piemontese Di Tacchinella

I especially enjoyed the Lasagne Alla Piemontese Di Tacchinella above. This homemade lasagna with a turkey ragu and tomato sauce was tasteful, flavorsome and gratifying all at once. Have we mentioned how amazing Trattoria Amici’s tomato sauce is? In a word, it’s downright scrumptious!

Grilled Dover Sole

Above, the grilled Dover Sole presented with seasonal vegetables and topped with capers was a tasty and light choice and was one of the specials for the evening.

Grilled Lobster & Apple Salad

The Grilled Lobster & Apple Salad (above and below) was refreshing and perfect for when you want something filling, light and savory.

Grilled Lobster & Apple Salad

For dessert, we chose two sorbet selections. The Coconut Sorbet is offered in an actual coconut shell! We adored this presentation! (Another “little thing” that makes such a difference in one’s dining venture at this restaurant!) This sorbet is large enough to share between two people, and the sweet indulgent flavor will prove astonishing when you try this chilled dessert. The powdered sugar and grated coconut on top was also a nice touch.

Coconut Sorbet

Below, the Peach Sorbet is served in a frozen hollowed-out fresh peach then garnished with a frozen slice of the fruit. Yet another ingenious presentation from the kitchen of Trattoria Amici!

Peach Sorbet

Another nice touch at Trattoria Amici is the fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookie plate that is promptly delivered to your table to enjoy. These morsels of melty milk chocolate and sweet cookie are drizzled with more chocolate on top and garnished with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Just delicious! These actually reminded me of baking cookies as a child, bringing back wonderful memories from many years ago.

House Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies

No matter what attractive options from the menu you choose, you will not go wrong. In fact, you’ll feel a bit as though you’ve dined at a cozy eatery in Italy, and you’ll be left wanting to repeat your experience over and over!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Intimate interior and garden patio setting. Romantic and worthy of a medal for the exceptional ambiance!
  • FOOD / DRINK: Outstanding, authentic, memorable cuisine that will have you coming back for more.
  • LOCATION: Trattoria Amici is located on the side of the Hotel Beverly Terrace on the corner of Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard at 469 North Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
  • HOURS: Open daily for dinner from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM, Monday through Saturday for lunch from 12 PM to 2:30 PM, and every Saturday for brunch between 11:30 AM and 2 PM. Remember that reservations are highly recommended, especially on the weekends, due to the available space and popularity of the establishment.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Our server, Jason, was exceptional both times we dined at Trattoria Amici. Unmatched customer service, friendly demeanor, sincere personal service and incredible attention to detail.
  • PRICE / VALUE: We agree with the price range at this wonderful Italian eatery. Moderate prices for delicious authentic Italian cuisine!
  • CORKAGE FEE: $15 per bottle.
  • PARKING: Parking is available along the fence opposite of the restaurant, as well as with the Hotel Valet.
  • TOTAL BILL: On our first visit last Friday evening, we ordered a glass of Cabernet, an Arnold Palmer, the Zuppa Di Lenticchie, the Chicken Parmigiana, the Lasagne Alla Piemontese and the Coconut Sorbet for a total of $75.79 (including tax). Our most recent visit included a corked bottle of Pinot Noir we brought in for a $15 corkage charge, as well as the Fettuccine Alla Bolognese, the Polletto Al Mattone Alla Fiamma and the Peach Sorbet for a total of $66.78 (including tax). Both phenomenal experiences well worth the splurge!

Trattoria Amici on Urbanspoon

Amici Trattoria on Restaurantica

Trattoria Amici  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

BAR NOIR @ MAISON 140 & OLIVERIO LOUNGE @ THE AVALON HOTEL… “Beverly Hills Sisters!”

We don’t usually blog about two establishments in the same post, but this was a special exception.   My husband and I are big fans of the Viceroy Hotel Group.  Among their line of fine hotels are two unique, very individually-styled properties.

Bar Noir, (housed inside the lobby of the cozy, intimate, Parisian-styled Bed-and-Breakfast Maison 140), and Oliverio, (located on the first floor of the retro-chic Avalon Hotel). Both located in Beverly Hills, and sister properties not far from one another, these distinct gems present a wealth of intriguing offerings.

Bar Noir seductively draws you into it’s romantic, dark Parisian-styled lounge space contributing to an intimate, private feel with a classic connotation. This modest-sized bar is petite in comparison to most, but exudes abundant character and substantial charm.

Oliverio emanates that poolside patio upscale-retro appeal that was eminent  in the 50s and 60s.  With their private pool-side cabanas, one can indulge in the airy, open outdoors without having to be inside on an agreeable evening. For cooler temperatures, Oliverio furnishes overhead heaters in the cabanas, while around the outdoor open seating area, stand-up heaters are provided. This property embraces the spirit of both the young and the young at heart with its suave style, it’s commanding attention to details, and its undeniable elegance.

Let’s get down to business! At Bar Noir, there is what’s called their “L’Heur Verte” Daily Absinthe Tasting.  For $5 a tasting, between 5PM and 7PM daily for the Absinthe Happy Hour, a masterfully-skilled mixologist will not only prepare a fantastic concoction with the pre-2007 forbidden liquor (you know, the one which was banned in the U.S. in 1912), but will also entertain you with an entire presentation as he prepares your beverage taking advantage of their hundred-year-old absinthe dispenser at the bar! L’Heur Verte means “the green hour”.  Absinthe is a green shade due to the herbs contained within it (mostly Green Anise, wormwood and fennel).  If you’ve never tried absinthe, it is a highly concentrated anise-flavored extract. As with any concentrated extract, it is intended to be combined with water. The colder the water, the better it is.

We arrived at Bar Noir and took a seat at the intimate bar.  Our bartender, Jake,  was courteous and happily welcomed us into the property and the lounge.  We ordered an absinthe tasting for each of us, and Jake got right to work.  First, he presented the the ages old absinthe dispenser (above) in front of us on top of the bar. Antique-looking, distinguished and intriguing, this device is filled with ice and water in the upper glass portion. The ice water was left to thoroughly chill, then two cognac glasses were placed before us. Silver feuille-shaped absinthe spoons were then laid upon each glass and a sugar cube distributed atop each spoon. The sugar mixed into the absinthe counteracts the bitterness of the liquid, thus making it more enjoyable. The word “absinthe” is the French word for “wormwood”, a plant from which medicines and tonics were made long ago.  People took to drinking it for pleasure in the 18th and 19th centuries, then continued until eventual banning of the extract occurred.  Thujone is the ingredient that was removed from absinthe before it became legal again in the United States, but even without this “essential” ingredient, it is still a lovely aperitif to have before dinner.

This is where things got interesting.  A shot of absinthe is poured into the glass over the resting sugar cube, and then lit on fire!  (How great is that!)  It makes for quite a presentation.  The sugar cubes are lit on fire because not only does this enhance the visual experience, but it also caramelizes the sugar, which gives the added sweetness a delightful flavor.  While the water is still chilling in the absinthe dispenser to it’s coldest liquid state, the sugar cubes are allowed to melt a bit more just until they are perfectly caramelized via the bartender’s watchful eye. Up until this point, the absinthe is a crystal clear green vibrant hueNext, the chilled water is released from one of the four absinthe dispeser spigots straight down onto the flaming sugar cube.  This not only stops the sugar cube from flaming any further, but it also is what is needed to complete the cocktail.  Three parts water to one part absinthe. Anything less, the extract would be too bitter and too concentrated to swallow or enjoy.

Once the chilled water is finished being added to each glass and briskly mixed, the absinthe turns a milky green shade.  Very appealing, and definitely a sight well worth the wait. (Certainly unlike anything else I’ve ordered before). The taste of anise when you take the first sip, the subtle hint of fennel in the background, and the cool refreshing chill of the beverage all combine to create quite an exclusive cocktail. Above, the finished product served with complimentary pickle-flavored popcorn. (Yes, we know, we’d never had pickle-flavored popcorn before either, but it was surprisingly delightful)!

The absinthe tasting was indeed outstanding, and the staff couldn’t have been more warm or welcoming.  We look forward to returning for our next absinthe tasting soon.  (We’ll bring some friends along with us next time to share in the fun)! After we left Bar Noir, we went just down the street to their sister property, the Avalon Hotel, where the Oliverio Lounge sits.  We then walked into the main entrance at the indoor portion of the restaurant.  After being told that we could take advantage of their Happy Hour anywhere in the indoor or outdoor seating areas. We elected to sit outside inside in one of the poolside cabanas. (Enter “Part 2″ of our Savor Hour for the evening).

Seated inside our private poolside cabana, a waiter, (Joey), immediately appeared to hand us menus and take our drink orders.  He departed as swiftly as he had arrived and returned promptly with our beverages.  Ice cold and colorful, they made a beautiful contrast against the azure pool just steps away.  Oliverio’s Happy Hour is accessible Monday through Friday from 4-7PM and is available at the bar and lounge tables, however, this particular evening, we were asked to sit wherever we liked, so we chose one of the private poolside cabanas, which was quite lovely.  

Happy Hour cocktails are only $6 and if you’re in the mood for something other than a Dirty Martini or a Cosmopolitan, their Happy Hour well drinks (also $6) include Smirnoff Vodka, Gordon’s Gin, Jim Beam, Jose Cuervo and Myers’s Platinum.  One can conjure up more than a few brew options with this list! There are also Happy Hour wines for $5 and $6 each, and Beers for just $4.  (The Apple Martini pictured above tacked on an additional $2, so it ended up being an $8 cocktail).

Oliverio’s Happy Hour edibles are quite surprising in taste, portion size and quality. We were happily surprised by our findings. Oliverio’s nibbles consist of the following: All for $5 each – Seafood Ceviche, Spicy Rock Shrimp, Guacamole and Chips, Truffle Fries, Spaghetti Piquante and Mini Burgers with Fries. Also, for $8 each, you can get their Napoletana Pizzetta or their Calabrese Pizzetta.  We chose three of Oliverio’s appetizers: the Mini Burgers with Fries, which is Angus beef cooked to perfection, and hands down has to be one of the BEST burger sliders we’ve had this year.  We also enjoyed the Napoletana Pizzetta and the Spicy Rock Shrimp…

These miniature Angus beef shockers are dressed with onion, ketchup and melty cheese accompanies by a pile of fries and ketchup on the side.  I know I’m repeating myself, but these HAVE to be some of the best burger sliders we’ve had!

I just HAD to add the above picture of a close-up shot of the Oliverio’s Mini Burgers!

Oliverio’s incredible flat bread (above) is covered in a zesty marinara-like sauce, cut into six slices, then topped with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese!  This is not a small bite.  In fact, it was so amply proportioned that we wound up having three slices remaining.

Don’t let the name fool you.  These tempura-battered beauties are called “spicy”, but in reality, they were perfectly invigorated with flavor.  We were hesitant to try these, being that my husband can’t handle much spicy food, but we were assured by Joey that they were a favorite at Oliverio and that the “heat” wasn’t bad at all.  He was right, in fact, because we devoured these luscious bites in no time with no problem.

Now, I know we’ve covered a lot here.  However, since these two establishments are sister properties, very close in proximity to one another, and since we didn’t have any edibles at Bar Noir, we thought it would be good to combine them together to make a perfect Savor Hour. The best part, is that everything from BOTH places stayed below $50.  Success!

  • DECOR / ESTABLISHMENT: Bar Noir maintains a coveted intimacy which can be greatly appreciated.  Their deep reds, blacks and whites offer a distinctively classic, welcoming feel.  Oliverio expels delight also, but with a retro-hip vibe just begging to be admired.  The poolside patio cabana dining makes Oliverio a terrific spot to catch up with friends, or have a romantic evening our with a significant other.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Bar Noir astounded us with our very first absinthe tasting. Refreshing, incredibly dramatic presentation, and blended to perfection.  Oliverio Lounge served up smashing cocktails that pack a punch and large-portioned Happy Hour bites that would complement any occasion for an evening out.  
  • LOCATION: Bar Noir is located at 140 Lasky Drive, Beverly Hills CA 90212 inside the charming and witty Maison 140.  Oliverio Lounge is positioned on the first floor of the Avalon Hotel at 9400 West Olympic Boulevard in Beverly Hills CA 90212, which has a terrific corner locale.
  • HOURS: Bar Noir  is open nightly from 5:30 until 1:30 AM, while Oliverio serves Breakfast daily from 7 AM – 11 AM, Lunch & Dinner daily from 11 AM – 11 PM, and for Happy Hour Monday through Friday between 4 PM and 7 PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: At Bar Noir, Jake was kind, friendly, knowledgeable and we loved talking with him about all things “absinthe.”  The receptionists at the lobby registration area were also very professional and generous in their assistance regarding our inquiries. The staff at Oliverio was very informed, welcoming and professional.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Bar Noir impressed for just $5 per absinthe tasting, while the Oliverio Lounge showed comparable value with their cocktail and edibles selections.
  • CORKAGE FEE: $25 per bottle during Happy Hour and non-Happy Hour times of the day at Oliverio.
  • PARKING: Metered street parking close to the hotel entrance at the Avalon or Valet service, then for Maison 140, there is parking right in front of the hotel, as well as metered street parking surrounding the property.
  • TOTAL BILL: Bar Noir’s two absinthe tastings totalled $10.88 (including tax), while Oliverio came in at a total of $34.81 (including tax).  The grand total for BOTH totalled $45.69  for the evening.  Great food, outstanding service, and a bit of education along the way!

Oliverio  Restaurant Reviews * Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

BAR 12/21 @ MORTON’S STEAKHOUSE… “The Great Escape Inside Morton’s Steakhouse!”

On the corner of South La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills on the famed “Restaurant Row” sits a steakhouse you’ve probably heard of: Morton’s. Inside the restaurant sits Bar 12/21. Tucked off to the side of the restaurant as you enter the main threshold, you will find that this lounge not only offers great deals on their Happy Hour libations and edibles, but also hosts a feel of elegant comfort and charm.

Bar 12/21 got it’s name from the opening date of the original Morton’s in Chicago, IL on December 21,1978. Hence it’s name, 12/21. Besides their high standards for keeping their cherished customers happy and the intimate feel Morton’s is commonly known for, Bar 12/21 offers an astonishing Happy Hour they call their “Power Hour”. In fact, it’s not just one hour. It’s several hours. Bar 12/21′s “Power Hour” is available Sundays through Fridays from opening to 6:30pm. But wait…it gets better. There’s a reverse “Power Hour” again from 9pm until closing (11PM) on the same days. (We LOVE double Happy Hours)!

Let’s talk “Power Hour!” Bar 12/21 offers Bar Bites at an unreasonably terrific value. Their list of goodies includes: Iceberg Wedge Bites for $6 – normally $10.50 (four mini wedge salads with tomatoes, bacon bits, egg and Blue Cheese dressing), Blue Cheese Steak Fries for $6 - normally $10.50 (fries with red pepper flakes, melted blue cheese and chives), Chicken Goujonettes for $6 - normally $11.50 (crispy chicken strips with a mustard mayonnaise), Mini Crab Cake BLTs for $7normally $16 (three crab cakes served on silver dollar rolls with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mustard), Smoked Salmon Pizza for $7 – normally $15 (Morton’s smoked salmon with capers and purple onion layered on a warm crust with dill sour cream), Prime Cheeseburgers for $7 – normally $14 (three cheeseburgers served on silver dollar rolls with lettuce, tomato and purple onion), and their Four Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches for $7 – normally $15 (with a mustard mayonnaise). But wait…that’s just their Bar Bites menu. Their beverage menu offers the following: Beer for $5 (Sam Adams-Seasonal, Budweiser, Bud Light, Heineken and Heineken Light), Wines for $6.50 (Canyon Road Chardonnay, Cavit Pinot Grigio, Montevina White Zinfandel, BV “Coastal Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Crest “Two Vines” Merlot, Colores del Sol “Reserva” Malbec), and fabulous Mortinis, (LOVE the name!), for $7.50 each (Power Hour Vodka Mortini, Power Hour Gin Mortini, Power Hour Cosmopolitan, Power Hour Manhattan, and their Power Hour Mojito). (Phew… thought I wasn’t going to make all that in one breath)! Needless to say, Bar 12/21 offers an extensive collection of Power Hour libations and Bar Bites sure to please anyone.

Above, I indulged in a Power Hour Cosmopolitan, while my husband enjoyed a Power Hour Mojito. Both were prepared quickly, hand-made in front of us and blended to perfection. We were pleased to discover that both beverages were quite refreshing and beautiful in color. The Cosmopolitan wasn’t too fruity or sweet, and the Mojito wasn’t too minty or sugary. They were both perfect. Our bartender, Taylor, was extremely pleasant and offered a kind smile.

We placed our order for appetizers after I ordered another Cosmo leaving us anxiously awaiting and curious about the food we were soon to receive. If the Power Hour cocktails were any indication of the quality of the upcoming Bar Bites, we were certainly in for a treat. We selected the Iceberg Wedge Bites, the Smoked Salmon Pizza and the Four Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches. We were right. The cocktails were indeed an indication of the greatness of the food. Here are photos of what we ordered, then happily consumed:

We had more than enough to eat with the three appetizers we ordered. Our total bill came in under $50, however for the type of establishment it is, it was a great deal for the two of us.

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upscale, old-style lounge with several separate bar tables and a popular main bar area along windows that overlook the Boulevard.
  • FOOD / DRINK: The hand-crafted cocktails were phenomenal, while the Bar Bites we had definitely delivered.
  • LOCATION: Located adjacent to the SLS Hotel at 435 South La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA 90086.
  • HOURS: Power Hour in Bar 1221 is available Sunday through Friday from 5 PM – 6:30, and again from 9 PM until closing (usually 11 PM).
  • SERVICE / STAFF: The service we received from our bartender was to our satisfaction. Her kindness and professional attitude were appreciated.
  • PRICE / VALUE: The combined price of our appetizers and cocktails was under $50, but the value of everything from the staff to the drinks to the food to the establishment proved well worth it.
  • CORKAGE: The corkage fee in the bar is $25 per bottle. (SHOCKING!!!). But their wine selection is well worth ordering there.
  • TOTAL BILL: $47.83 (including tax) for two Martinis, one Mojito, a fairly sizable Smoked Salmon Pizza, a plate of Petite Filet Mignonette Sandwiches, and the Iceberg Wedge Bites.

Morton's The Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Arnie Morton's-The Steakhouse on Restaurantica

Morton's, The Steakhouse  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.