Valenza Restaurant CL Recommends Menu Image

Hours: Mon.-Thurs. and Sun., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.

Price: $$$ ($20-$30)

Valenza is a casual but elegant Italian restaurant. Chef Matt Swickerath focuses on using local ingredients to serve authentic Italian cuisine such as meals from spaghettini with veal and pork meatballs, bufala mozzarella, red wine, and san marzano tomato sauce to a traditional capellini with fresh tomato, basil and parmesan. If you'll do what's good for you, you'll get the bread pudding.

Restaurant Details

Valenza, named for a city in northern Italy, is exactly what Brookhaven needs: a grown-up restaurant that feels safe to traditionalists and mildly exciting to the adventurous. The menu ranges from predictable bruschetta, ravioli and halibut to coniglio, rabbit served over polenta with tomatoes and olives, and a quail appetizer that shows off the wonderful Italian relationship with gamey meats. Chef Matt Swickerath's technique is spot-on and he succeeds at adding details that transform a dish into something spectacular, like the short ribs agnolotti brought to life with tarragon. Desserts are certainly worthy, but the all-Italian wine list is even better.

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Price: $$$ ($20-$30)

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