Best Thing We Ate
Connie & Ted's Rhubarb Pie: A Slice of Summer
We never thought dining in West Hollywood would remind us so much of summers on Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod. But, as many know by now, the lobster rolls, fried clams and chowder at Connie & Ted's have transportive powers over anyone who's spent time at New England seafood shacks. Of course, this being Michael Cimarusti's restaurant, everything is elevated here. The lobster rolls aren't slapped together. Rather, the chunks of cool, freshly picked lobster meat rest beautifully in a split-top bun dotted by a few pretty green celery leaves. Fisherman stew, a hearty, warming bowl of seafood goodness, features mussels, clams and fish perfectly cooked and carefully arranged in a bowl.
So it's no surprise that even the desserts, which - like the savory side of the menu - come from Cimarusti's own family food memories, sound simple and homey but are taken on a whole other level. Take the strawberry rhubarb pie. Enlisting the help of Providence's pastry chef David Rodriguez, the fruit in this pie is neither too sweet nor tart under a crumb crust. The slice is topped by a perfect scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and the whole thing absolutely screams summer. One bite and we're right back on the Island having a snack after the beach. Santa Monica Boulevard traffic seems a million miles away.