Chef’s Career Path Merges
Anthony Alaimo began carving his culinary career in high school, working for a restaurant/special events group that exposed him to high-end catered events at the Metropolitan Opera House and restaurants throughout New York’s five boroughs.
“At that age, you’re prepping and hoping to get a glimpse of what the chefs are doing,” he says. “You’re just hoping to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can.”
This led him to Rhode Island’s prestigious culinary school Johnson & Wales University, and then a taste of the Left Coast as part of the opening team of the Mondrian in West Hollywood. He was enamored with California’s sand, surf and lifestyle, and has made a point to visit twice a year ever since.
Landing in Las Vegas, he got a job as a line cook at Olives in the Bellagio Hotel. A few hops up the career ladder later, he became the chef de cuisine at Ristorante il Teatro, a fine-dining Italian restaurant at the Wynn Macau resort. While there, the restaurant received a Michelin star and five stars from Forbes Travel Guide.
Now Alaimo and a business partner are launching 101 North Eatery & Bar in Westlake Village.
“I love the area,” he says. “I like the proximity to the farms, to Malibu and the ocean … I want to be part of the community.”
With a targeted opening of mid-March, the restaurant’s menu is “New American,” he says, a blend of flavors that pay homage to his Italian-American roots and incorporate his fondness for traditional Mediterranean cuisine from Italy, France, Spain and North Africa.
“I wanted to have freedom with the menu—have fun, and use seasonal local ingredients, and not to be defined as a particular cuisine. Definitely keep it interesting for everybody.”
The menu features pizza, pastas, fish, meats, and vegan and vegetarian options. A sampling includes Morro Bay black cod with artichoke risotto; grass-fed organic hanger steak; yellowtail tartare; lobster sausage made with fresh lobster meat, sautéed fennel, shallots, garlic and herbs; and balsamic short rib sliders topped with celery and green apple salad on house-made ciabatta. Small bites are light and fresh, and include Iberico ham with baked olives, and there are desserts like bomboloni filled with housemade praline ice cream.
The bar offers locally sourced beer, wine and signature cocktails.
Asked if he considers himself a perfectionist, he answers with a lighthearted laugh. “I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist, but there’s a right way to do things and that’s the only way to do it.”
101 North Eatery & Bar
30760 Russell Ranch Rd., Suite D