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Valentino's Northern Italian menu is not something your Nona would have recognized, with its beet purées and warm goat Brie. Trendy specials -- whole bronzino; grouper with rock shrimp; turbot with lobster; skirt steak rollatini; a stuffed zucchini blossom appetizer or a special salad made with corn and mushrooms; pasta with lobster sauce, hot chilies, and sea urchin roe -- with all their fancy ingredients still evoke the smells and flavors of traditional Italian cooking, and that's part of what makes eating at Valentino's so interesting. Some of the nightly specials, like duck confit with garganelli, are so popular that they've become fixtures; they draw on known flavors and textures but in the combination arrive at something unexpected. It's like hopping a high-tech bullet train for the ride to your old hometown.