A business that was missing in Pacific Palisades — a wine bar with charcuterie — has opened in the 970 Monument building, paired with the adjoining Cinque Terre restaurant.
Circling the News attended a sneak preview at Enoteca 5 on August 26 and enjoyed superb pairings of wine and delicious food.
Co-owners Marlo and Gianbattista “Gianba” Vinzoni have created the perfect atmosphere to try delicious charcuterie and cheeses, including paper-thin slices of prosciutto, Lardo di Colonnata (cured pork fat from Italy), Finocchiona (fennel salami from Italy), Salame Rustico and Jamón Ibérico, and French and Spanish cheeses such as Tomme de Savoie Fermier (cow’s milk cheese made in France), Fontina Valdostana (cow’s milk cheese made in Italy), Cana de Cabra (goat’s milk cheese made in Spain), Sottocenere al Tartufo (sheep’s milk cheese, seasoned under ashes made in Italy), Idiazabal (smoked semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese made in Spain) and Malvarosa (semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese in Spain).
The arrangement of cheeses, meat, Marcona almonds and honeycombs was tastefully done on a large board that made sharing with others easy, as we enjoyed a glass of wine and quiet conversation.
There will be daily specials that are paired with wines and flight pairings curated by sommelier Antonino Scaglione. More than 100 varieties of Italian and California wines will be available. (Editor’s note: a wine flight is described as a wine tasting of three or more similar wines which are unrelated by flavors or aromas.)
At Thursday’s special opening, guests were treated first to Andreola Verv Prosecco, an extra dry bubbly that went well with the cheese and meat.
Next up: pizzette, a favorite at Cinque Terre with their thin crusts and flavorful toppings. Someone mentioned that she was gluten-free, and 10 minutes later Chef Gianba presented a pizza made specifically for a guest to try.
Next, a Cinque Terre Vendemmia 2019, a dry white wine produced and bottled in Italy, was served with saffron paella, a popular dish at the restaurant (available to go).
CTN had never tried the chef’s paella and that was a major mistake. This particular dish with a hint of citrus that is blended with kiwi and shellfish was so succulent that if residents haven’t tried it, it is highly recommended.
A Rocche del Santo Barbera D’ Alba was poured, and the dry, red wine, but full of flavor, was perfect with the seafood and also with the truffle pasta that followed.
A chalkboard lists special wines and flight pairings along with daily specials. House staples include pizzette, olive ascolane (deep-fried stuffed olives) and fritto misto, reminiscent of that served in Bonassola along the Italian Riviera where Chef Gianba grew up.
At the wine bar, patrons will be able to choose three options of cheese or meat for $25 or five for $35 and each board will come with Topanga honeycomb, Membrillo Quince paste and Marcona almonds. People will also be able to order meatballs, cheeseburger, truffle potatoes or the pizzette of the day at the bar.
Enoteca 5 will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., and a Happy Hour Menu is available from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
The wine bar hours will be 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4-8 p.m. on Sunday.
Call (310) 454-0709 or visit cinqueterrewest.com. The wine room would be perfect for a small private party.
Marlo Vinzoni said, “We’re so excited about this opening. When the pandemic hit, we had to put it on hold – and we didn’t know what the outcome would be.”
She was grateful for the community support and admits that during Covid “it was really nerve wracking.” They had to stop serving breakfast because they couldn’t guarantee work for employees. But they continued serving croissants, which are as delicious as any in Los Angeles. (Pre-ordering the day before is the only way to guarantee you’ll have the almond or chocolate to take home — because of high demand).
Marlo and Gianba, who have been Palisades residents for 17 years, continued undeterred through the pandemic, going with lunch, dinner and “take out” to stay afloat. “It was truly a mom- and-pop operation,” she said. Gianba was the chef, and she served as the runner, taking food from the kitchen to waiting automobiles.
Cinque Terre was packed last Thursday night, and one can see that once word is out about this new hidden treasure, Enoteca 5, the wine bar, which is small, will also be a highly desirable place to visit. Reservations are recommended.