My love of Napa and Sonoma has never been subtle. The way meals are lifestyle, cuisine is culture, and how it is all regarded in such a slow, reverential pace, it just speaks to me. Flying north every weekend or hopping in the car for a quick 9 hour zip up the coast, not always ideal. A little secret deep in the San Fernando Valley? Enough to raise the brow.
Ingenuity, innovation and inventiveness blooms here in the City of Angels, and still, this is new. Spearheaded by self-taught winemaker Giovanni D’Andrea who joined forces with Roman chef Emidio Tidu, together they created a new frontier in SoCal cuisine. Housing a winery and a fine dining establishment crafting its own wine, Urban Press Winery and Restaurant, is the first of its kind, breaking ground and breaking boundaries here in our so very south of Sonoma city.
The studio hub of Burbank is hardly a hotbed of gastronomic influence, which makes the Urban Press location such a welcome surprise. Behind a set of doors that one would imagine lead to nothing, a barrel room and wine library line the way to the main serving room, where chandeliers dangle from sky high ceilings backdropped by rough-hewn brick – contrast appreciated. The custom iron, crystal lined staircase leads to the mezzanine dining area, overlooking the main floor and the tasting room. A little further and you’ll land at what no proper winery is ever without. A sumptuous pergola covered patio. The answer is yes. They do host events.
And if it seems like the type of place you should be blissfully sipping while taking in some live music, oh yes, that happens here too.
Tidu’s culinary creations combine Italian tradition with a hum of something French. He goes big. Rainbow beet salad with micro-greens and goat cheese. Magnificent charcuterie spreads. Pizzas including a wild mushroom truffle or a garlic shrimp. A lobster ravioli, a spinach gnocchi, and two risottos I couldn’t choose between. A seafood one (mussels, clams, calamari, and shrimp) and a Risotto Piemontese – an Urban Press Cabernet risotto with herbs. The menu continues with carne and pesci options. Chateubriand for two, Italian Cioppino.
Like the vineyards and eateries of our friends to the north, you can make a celebration of it, or you can come for a glass and some antipasto. And still make a celebration of it.
With every intention, the experience echoes the tasting rooms of Italy. Where conversation and connection happen over food that took all day to prepare, making recipes older than time. Luxury does not take shortcuts. D’Andrea’s technical knowledge and respect for tradition both run deep. Urban Press Winery and Restaurant is a vine to glass affair, one to savor by the sip.
Urban Press Winery and Restaurant, 316 N San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502, United States.
Tel: +1(818) 561-4858
Follow the path of least resistance towards Burbank. Traffic can be grizzly. There is free parking in the structure on Palm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Open Wednesday and Thursday for dinner from 3:00pm to 9:00pm (Happy Hour: 3:00pm to 6:00pm); Friday from 3:00pm to 10:00pm for dinner (Happy Hour: 3:00pm to 6:00pm). Weekend Brunch from 11:30pm to 3:00pm and dinner from 3:00pm to 10:00pm on Saturday and 3:00pm to 9:00pm on Sunday.
Type of Restaurant: Winery and Restaurant
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Madison was excellent and well informed. Worth requesting.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Urban Press Winery