Food Review: Dining at Divinio

“My Linguine ai Frutti di Mare was equally special and delicious. The linguini pasta with its zesty tomato sauce is served with fresh clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp.” Photo: Divino (Facbeook).

Divino
11714 Barrington Court
Brentwood
(310) 472-0886

By Grace Hiney

A meal at Divino is always a pleasure as the food is terrific, the setting delightful and, better yet, you can HEAR those dining with you (which you often cannot in other restaurants). Owner Goran Milic was born in Montenegro which is just 10 hours by boat from Southern Italy where the Italian influence was made strong on his cooking.

Not only was cooking the main event in his young life but he played water polo at a competitive level for the Young Montenegrin National team. Just look around the restaurant as you wait for your meal and see all the black and white photos of the team with Goran. Why does Goran speak such good English? Because he studied English in London in 1985 and then immigrated to the United States in 1986. He loved California where he worked for ten years developing skills he needed to open his own restaurant which he and his brother, Davor, did in 1996. Divino offers authentic Tuscan cuisine. And, Chef Goran believes that continuous learning is essential, so that he continues to visit Italy and various Italian chefs as he hones his trade.

To those of us who are just diners, Goran’s sociable personality and first class service, along with crisp white linens, helpful servers and an easy to read menu make any meal at Divino special. Not only did I enjoy my dinner with my friend, Barbara, but just a day or two before I had a quick lunch with my son and his wife.

As none of us were very hungry that day, we shared a delicious little salad and a Margherita pizza with its light tomato sauce with basil and mozzarella. The $16 pizza was perfect, light, crisp and excellent.

For dinner, Barbara and I each enjoyed a glass of wine while checking the menu. We also nibbled the delicious bread with olive oil and a touch of pungent Italian balsamic vinegar. A shared salad of grilled fresh julienne vegetables in a light lemon dressing made a perfect start for $16.

Barbara was delighted with her Pollo Fantastico boneless whole chicken roasted with herbs and balsamic sauce along with special potatoes and spinach. ($35). She was thrilled that it was enough for her to take some home for lunch the next day.

My Linguine ai Frutti di Mare was equally special and delicious. The linguini pasta with its zesty tomato sauce is served with fresh clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp ($28). It too was more than enough for me so that I too could take some home.

Here, the dinner menu includes special soups such as homemade family-style minestrone ($16) and a selection of seven antipasti ranging in price from $16 to $19 for the pan seared scallops (Cappesante). There are half a dozen pizzas listed, with the various pastas all in the $26 to $28 price range. There are two risottos along with five dinners in the $34 to $41 price category.

Naturally, there are desserts, too. A shared slice of rich chocolate cake and a coffee for me concluded our delightful evening. Hours for lunch are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. while dinner is from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

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