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Vitello's Debuts New Facelift [PHOTOs and VIDEO]

Claudia Wells, Wendy Greuel, Dennis Zine and hundreds of others attend.

celebrated the good-old-days once again. On Saturday, they went back to 1964 prices, with 50-cent pizza slices and 75-cent Italian sausage, 25-cent Italian ices, dollar beer and more.

After seven months of renovation and $300,000, the nearly half-century old classic establishment had a ribbon cutting that literally opens up the club in a new way. 

“We are shining the light of day into Vitello’s for the first time,” said Vitello’s general manager Brad Roen, who lives in the area and went to school at Grant High School. “I like the openness, and so we opened up the place.”

Actress, owner of men’s clothing store, was there and meeting the firefighters from the nearby.

"It's a lovely party, I love the food here, and the people are great," said Wells, who brought her son.

City Councilman Dennis Zine was there as was City Controller.

“I live in Studio City and I come here with my family a lot, and it’s wonderful food,” said Greuel, who is also running for mayor of Los Angeles.

"This is a great day, and a great business," Zine said.

Studio City Neighborhood Council president John Walker attended, as did vice president Lisa Sarkin and other council members Richard Neiderberg and actress.

“We are leaving some of our history behind,” Rouen said. The mural that was on the wall that faced the street has been preserved and is another location. So is the booth that people ask about wherelast sat at before his wife was shot and killed a few blocks away in an unsolved crime.

“We are going more Italian, with fresh and different incredients,” said Rouen, mentioning creations like Pizza Vongole (pizza with clams, pancetta, garlic, rosemary and mozzarella) and Stuffed Eggplant (eggplant filled with goat cheese and sun-dried tomato).

“We have more fish on the menu, because the new chef likes fish,” Rouen said. Tonino Cardia, the Vitello’s Executive Chef, makes a call on Mondays to Italy and has fish flash frozen and they arrive on Thursday for serving.

Other of his signature dishes include:  

Fagottini Al Tartufo – Pouch ravioli’s stuffed with black truffle and finished with a mascarpone and gorgonzola cream sauce

Filetto Di Branzino – Filet of Branzino encrusted with almonds in a Sicilian pesto

Pizza Vongole – Pizza topped with clams, pancetta, garlic, rosemary and mozzarella cheese

Stuffed Eggplant – Rolled eggplant stuffed with goat cheese and sundried tomato.

From Sardinia, Italy, Cardia also hired pizza chef Luigi Contini. His wife and his daughter Elizabeth came out for the grand opening.

Construction began in April, entirely removing the front wall of Vitello’s, which has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open creating our new al fresco dining room.  A live olive tree centered in the middle of the dining room exudes a peaceful rejuvenating energy as Vitello’s fills with fresh air. 

Grammy nominated singer and songwriter, Frank Stallone, the brother of Sylvester Stallone, sang into the evening at the re-vamped upstairs. By the end of the day, hundreds of people came through the new-and-improved Vitello’s.

“People seem to like what we’ve done,” Rouen said.

Lori Meltzer July 02, 2012 at 06:38 AM
The remodel is beautiful! And of course Matt and Brad's exuberant hospitality made everyone feel welcome and wanting to return. The new menu and mixologist behind the bar give us all many reasons to keep coming back for more!!!

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