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Team Tiramisu : Italian chef and father-son owners put wits together on new menu.


Il Tiramisu, the popular Italian place in Sherman Oaks, has a new team of owners, a new chef and a new menu.

Ivo Kastelan and his son Peter took the reins in July and brought in chef Giancarlo Lorio, who hails from Venice, to run the kitchen.

"It's really wonderful to see my father and Giancarlo work together," Peter Kastelan says. "It's like seeing the classic European restaurant tradition--good food and good service--come alive.

"My father came here 40 years ago from a little island, Rab, in the Adriatic . . .. He had restaurants in Brentwood and here in the San Fernando Valley--family businesses when I grew up.

"I went to school and began my career in interactive television, but I took the opportunity to come back to the restaurant business to help my father."

Chef Lorio adds a light touch to the cream and cheese sauces that distinguish the cooking of Northern Italy; his mahi-mahi, for example, comes with a sauce of anchovy, basil, wine, garlic and Parmesan.

Lorio serves his pollo Cipriani with artichokes and tomatoes in a white wine sauce, and the salmone al forno with a sauce of tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil.

He also offers a long list of daily specials. Recently these included a light zucchini soup, a pasta crepe stuffed with ricotta spinach in a light pink sauce, grilled swordfish with herbs and garlic, a lamb filet with a light brown sauce flavored with wine, a T-bone steak marinated with herbs, and a chicken breast stuffed with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, with a light wine sauce.

The pasta dishes go for around $10, the entrees for $12.50 to $15.50. The desserts--which of course include a special tiramisu--top out at $6.50.

Il Tiramisu is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, lunch Tuesday through Friday. It is at 13705 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 986-2640.


Fans of 2087 An American Bistro in Thousand Oaks will want to know that the restaurant has a new executive chef in Marcel Vincent, who has done stints at such other Southern California restaurants as Jimmy's in Beverly Hills.

The same fans will also want to know that the inventive Richie DeMane continues as sous chef and chef de cuisine--which is to say, he's the one who comes up with the great dishes at this place.

2087 An American Bistro serves lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Sunday. It is at 2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., across the street from Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center; (805) 374-2087.


This being October, the owners of some San Fernando Valley Italian restaurants want to help you celebrate Columbus Day.

Monday, for example, Sisley Italian Kitchen offers four special dishes from Genoa, Columbus' native city: sorrel and egg pie, for $9.95; tagliatelle Genovese, for $11.50; braised beef Ligurian, for $13.95, and sea bass stew with pesto, for $15.95.

The idea, say Francine and James Alba who run the Sisley restaurants, is that Christopher Columbus' first act upon landing may well have been to claim his discovery for the Spanish crown, but then he realized how much better off the natives would be with some good Italian restaurants in the neighborhood.

You can't argue with that, right?

Sisley is at 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 905-8444; at 24201 West Valencia Blvd., Valencia, (805) 287-4444; and in the Westside Pavilion shopping center at 10800 W. Pico, West Los Angeles, (310) 446-3030.


Meanwhile, Santino De Felice and partner, Cheryl Keller, will host a five-course wine dinner Oct. 27 at Di Gennaro Ristorante in Woodland Hills.

On the menu: Maryland crab cakes, Caesar salad, cheese ravioli with radiculo sauce, osso buco with glazed carrots, and for dessert, chocolate decadence ice cream.

The wines: a 1997 Principessa Gavi, a 1997 Lerime pinot grigio chardonnay, a 1990 Borgogno Barbaresco, a 1993 Borgogno Barolo, and finally, a Brachetto d'Acqui sparkling wine.

The cost: $55 per person, including tax and tip.

Reservations are a must. Di Gennaro Ristorante is at 20969 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 347-3413.

* Juan Hovey writes about the restaurant scene in the San Fernando Valley and outlying points. He may be reached at (805) 492-7909 or fax (805) 492-5139 or via e-mail at

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