Aventine, a new Italian restaurant, sits just north of the Hollywood corner of Cahuenga and Selma, in the historic Marion Building. Brothers Gian-Paolo Veronese, chef Adolfo Veronese and restaurateurs Sylvain Bitton (Les Deux), JT Torregiani (Beso) and David Jarrett (the Dolce Group) have brought the second location of the San Francisco restaurant, named after hills in Rome, to the heart of Hollywood.
On Monday evening, the restaurant is full by 9. Actors Hunter Parish and Dan Byrd are among the diners inside, while a pair of hungry paparazzi with cameras trained at the entrance camp out just beyond the door.
The L.A. installment pulls from the rustic decor of its San Francisco predecessor. Dark, distressed wood and brick encase diners in a dimly lit, warm dining room. A framed American flag is prominently displayed on the side wall, and chandeliers a la "Game of Thrones" hang from the ceiling. There is a counter near the wood-burning pizza oven where people can eat and watch the pies being assembled then bubble.
On the patio, two trees are wrapped with twinkling lights, and the tables, made of refurbished wood, sit low to the ground. A wall separates the patio from the alley behind the restaurant, but that will soon change. The alley behind the San Francisco location is a central part of the restaurant and where numerous events are held throughout the year. Gian-Paolo said that plans to convert the alley behind the Hollywood location into an event-ready area are already underway.