The instinctive reaction of a first time patron at the venerable Dresden Restaurant is “Fabulous! How long has this been going on?” The answer is that it’s been over a half century since Carl and Sara Ferraro attached a formal dining room to expand their intimate Dresden Room at 1760 N. Vermont Ave. This was to be their dream restaurant with a creative décor more fitting for the posh eastside of the Big Apple than in its Los Feliz setting. The Ferraros achieved elegant ambiance without pretense that remains impressive after all the decades of meticulous maintenance. Carl loved the day-to-day challenge of running a four star restaurant and was the ultimate dapper host.
The legendary pair have passed on, but their sons continue the family tradition of perfection without extravagance. Open for dinner from 4:30 p.m. daily, the Dresden still features its celebrated prime rib of beef au jus with a choice of soup or salad, potatoes, wild rice or pasta and garlic toast all for $25.
Appetizers include a half dozen escargot in the shell bourguignonne for $10 and calamari fritti for $9. A rich French onion soup will warm your innards for $6.
Seafood entrees include shrimp scampi for $19, scalloni (abalone and scallops) steak for $21 or broiled salmon for $18. A top sirloin culotte steak is a beefy treat at $23. Tender white veal is prepared Marsala, piccata or parmigiana style for $20. Juicy roast rack of lamb goes for $26. Various pasta entrees are priced at just $12.
The diligent service staff is professional and attentive and there is a complete bar with an ample wine selection by the bottle or glass. My refreshing glass osf Pinot Grigio arrived appropriately chilled and was as crisp as the white linen.
For good measure there’s live music in the popular lounge where the enduring Marty and Elayne duo entertain. There’s no cover charge and valet parking behind the Dresden is a modest $3.50.
The Dresden provides a memorable dining experience for painless prices.