Come in for dinner, load up on pasta and pick up a loaf of Tartine bread in one fell swoop
Words by KAREN PALMER
To say the Downtown L.A. arrival of the all-day restaurant Tartine Bianco, helmed by San Francisco power couple Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine and Phoenix’s Chris Bianco, was a big deal is an understatement. In fact, rumor has it, the first day they opened their reservation lines, they had more than 1,700 bookings.
Inside The Manufactory, an ambitious 40,000-square-foot space at The Row, there’s already a market, a bakery, and a coffee roastery and ice cream shop. Now its latest offering, Alameda Supper Club, is a dinner-only, 50-seat cozy contemporary Italian-ish trattoria.
The Nitty Gritty: Alameda Supper Club is considered the most “formal” of the dining experiences from the James Beard Award-winning Bianco-Tartine team. They’re quick to point out that it’s not an Italian restaurant, even though a first glance at the menu reveals a number of handmade pastas. Look closer, and you’ll see that if the menu were to have a 23andMe test done, it would likely come back as 70 percent California, 20 percent Italy and 10 percent other Mediterranean countries.
Look closer, and you’ll see that if the menu were to have a 23andMe test done, it would likely come back as 70 percent California, 20 percent Italy and 10 percent other Mediterranean countries
The Vibe: The minimalist interiors from S.F. design firm Studio BBA are anchored by luxe details, such as brass silverware, weighty slate-gray porcelain Orion plateware and custom-made, light-as-air wine glasses from design duo Jancis Robinson MW and Richard Brendon. Everything from the bar to the wine list are splashed in a shade of pink that could only be described as “millennial,” adding a touch of whimsy to the industrial space that’s divided into two seating areas by a central wall. Once the weather warms up, snag seats on the outdoor patio.
The Bar Tab: Cheekily named signature cocktails like Celine Dijon and Biscotti Pippen are as gorgeous as they are inventive. The Rhu Tang (clarified rhubarb, vodka, lime, zucca rose) is garnished with its namesake, a hot pink sprig. After a cocktail, move on to a glass of wine from well-known regions like the Loire, Russian River Valley and Tuscany.
The Game Plan: The menu is divided into five sections (snacks, small plates, pasta and grains, meat and fish, and vegetables). But let’s face it, you’re really here for chef de cuisine Lee Foden-Clarke’s pastas, like a decidedly grown-up mac and cheese of squiggly strozzapreti napped in sheep’s milk cheese and preserved Meyer lemon, or bottle cap-shaped ravioli filled with oozy ricotta and resting on a bed of both fresh and mashed peas. Some of the dishes sound deceptively simple but are in fact driven by technique and precision: A “snack” of cheddar and smoked ham toast, for instance, is actually a small rectangle of Tartine’s Texas Country bread that’s toasted in clarified butter, then topped with a Neal’s Yard Dairy cheddar mornay and showered with microplaned Speck. Soft Santa Barbara black cod is gently baked skin-on in the oven, then the skin is removed and it is simply sauced with colatura, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and thyme.
Let’s face it, you’re really here for chef de cuisine Lee Foden-Clarke’s pastas, like a decidedly grown-up mac and cheese…
This being a California restaurant and all, the produce shouldn’t be overlooked — opt for the coraline endive salad piled high with mini rye croutons, nubs of Colton Bassett blue cheese and a punchy shallot vinaigrette.
Don’t Skip: Don’t leave before trying pastry chef Leah Chin-Katz’s cannoli, with crispity-crunchity buckwheat shells and a ricotta filling studded with pistachios and chewy sour cherries. There are only three to an order, so you’ll want to double up.
Getting In: Because the restaurant is on the smaller side, reservations are recommended. And even though Alameda Supper Club has its own entrance on the “The Narrows” side of The Row, if you’re after your own Goodfellas moment, enter through Tartine Bianco and ask one of the hosts to whisk you through the kitchen. 757 S. Alameda St., Suite 160, L.A.; 213-375-3315.