Chianina, known for their nose to tail whole animal butchery and utilization gives the same care to the delectable creatures of the sea. Undeniably a steakhouse, the ocean offerings are minimal here but for good reason; each day a seafood selection is made based on what is the best, the freshest, is wild and line caught only and is a species that is not overfished (they check Ocean Watch daily). Bubbles & Shells Thursday nights is a great way to experience Chianina’s personally sourced seafood and beautifully paired sparkling wines all for happy hour prices.
Bubbles + Shells + Steak
We were warmly greeted by a gracious hostess, romantic lighting, and soft subtle notes playing from invisible speakers. Pinot Noir Cava and an effervescent sparkling white wine was presented while we were passionately informed of the selection of oysters and clams hand picked for this particular day. Not a huge fan of shellfish, I became undeniably excited to try them after discussing the different varieties and flavors we would be experiencing with GM Alejandro.
Three varieties of oysters arrived with only a classic mignonette to accent the oyster without masking their individual nuances. The Ichiban from Washington had a subtle texture, not too salty or filmy as some oysters can be and were in fact very delicate, more so then I had experienced before. The Chefs Creek oysters also from Washington were more mild, less salty then the Ichiban and yet more savory. Crisp, clean, and melt in your mouth tender, the Laguna Bay oysters were the most ‘oystery’ of them all. Each had their own textures and flavors representative to where they came from. Sipping perfectly paired wines, dripping mignonette over unbelievable fresh, wild oysters is a uniquely relaxing dinning experience that was not only delicious but a perfect way to spend the evening.
In the midst of oyster paradise, our baked Cherry clams arrived tasting of the ocean, the accompanying flavors of fresh herbs and crispy bread crumbs only enhancing their natural flavor, not masking it. Savory and warm, the clams were a welcomed textural contrast to the wonderfully raw oysters we began with.
Bubbles & Shells are available all night on Thursday but we couldn’t pass up the happy hour menu and get a taste of their world class, personally raised Chianina steak. Yes, they raise the cattle themselves as it is nearly impossible to find outside of Italy. The Steak & Frites is a steal on their happy hour menu. A thick but not overpowering salt crust perfectly encases the sensational meat. Truly melt in your mouth, beyond tender, and with such a clean flavor your idea of steak will forever be changed. House made ketchup from Alejandro’s personal recipe repertoire is a great accompaniment to the black pepper and parsley frites.
Unbelievable quality in shellfish, steak, and wines for happy hour prices is hard to find let alone at such an upscale establishment. However this is what we love about this restaurant group, every member of the team is so filled with passion and drive to bring you the best every single day regardless of the price point on the menu. Everyone at Chianina loves what they do making each visit a unique and throughly enjoyable dinning experience every time.
Going Above & Beyond
With the increasing amount of education available regarding sustainable and humane practices and an interested audience absorbing and accepting these ideas while pushing them to the next level, Chianina is on the cusp of what we hope to soon be the norm. If a restaurant group with three successful establishments, each with a different concept, can put so much care into each vegetable it grows and each animal they source while respectfully using the whole animal and supporting their community, then there is no reason other like restaurants should not have as much pride and compassion as the team at Chianina do. We hope to see their model for whole animal utilization and their unique attention to detail spread through the industry like wildfire. Until then, visit them to broaden your ideas of what it means to be a conscious carnivore and enthrall your tastebuds all with a light heart knowing you are supporting an establishment laying the ground work for our generations new standard of dinning.
Join Chianina in Long Beach for Bubbles & Shells every Thursday night and learn more about them here!