When a hotel restaurant is done right, it can be very seducing: Come eat and drink, and spend the night if you’d like. That’s exactly how you feel as you step through the doors of Avalon Beverly Hills’ new restaurant, Oliverio.

Tucked away off busy Olympic Boulevard is this charming space that transports you to late-1950s Italy; you could easily imagine this would be a destination for Frank Sinatra to visit. A slight nod to early 1960s chic with oceanic blues, wooden folding screens of abstract patterns are noted, but once you enter Oliverio, there are floor to ceiling windows displaying the poolside tables where you’re about to dine.

The cold weather need not be a deterrent for your dining experience: There are heaters strategically placed alongside the tables. Should you choose, there are private cabanas, great for an even more romantic setting or to host a party.

One of the best things about Oliverio is that as you’re surrounded in a decadent setting, the Italian menu is equally as luxurious and reasonably priced. Upon first glance, we were leaning toward ordering Polpette (beef meatballs). But our gracious server Bryan suggested we try the Cauliflower Soufflé. Described as being light and elegant, how could we say no?

I have two words for this antipasto: sinfully delicious. My companion and I barely spoke to each other, too busy devouring our “vegetables.”

I ordered a fruit forward Pinot Noir that went well with the antipasto. In addition to the impressive wine list, Oliverio offers refreshing cocktails, including the cocktail of the week. One of the drinks, the VTC featured acai-infused VeeV, Thai Basil and cucumbers.

I glanced to my left to see what other guests were enjoying – a couple sharing a generous portion of Risotto Asparagi with white specks of gorgonzola, a trio of friends with braised lamb tortelli paired with an insalata of burrata and beets.

I thought about ordering one of the four pizzettas Oliverio offers. Two that caught my eye were the calabrese, spicy sopressa with black olives. Sopressa is an Italian pork salami aged with salt and pepper and garlic. It’s light years away from the greasy pepperoni that we are so used to!

Between that and the goat cheese, black truffle option, I couldn’t decide, but I will try both of those when I return. Of special note, all of the vegetables and herbs are organic, grown on the rooftop of the hotel.

Instead we ordered from the carne e pesce column. My friend wisely decided on the Beef Short Ribs that were slow cooked and tender. Sometimes with short ribs, they tend to be a little chewy if overdone, but not so with these. We liked that the heaviness of the ribs were cut with two green vegetables, Napa cabbage and asparagus.

My choice was a very ambitious Black Cod with prosciutto. I could see where Chef Mirko Paderno was going with this idea, and I enjoyed it. My only critique is that I wished the prosciutto was actually wrapped around the cod so the buttery flavor of the cod and the crisp, salty prosciutto would meld better. I felt like the prosciutto was a topping rather than an accomplice to the fish.

My vegetable was also asparagus, but underneath the stalks was a nice hunk of herbed buttery aioli. Calories schmalories, it was so good!

Dessert is not something I usually order, but my friend was intent on ordering the ricotta mousse. It arrived in a tulip shaped wine glass in which you could see the layers of what I believe was a butterscotch pudding at the bottom, the mousse in the middle and shaved chocolate on top.

Other guests were sharing the zabaglione, a chocolate torte with caramel sauce. What a perfect ending to our Oliverio’s experience.

Oliverio has a half priced happy hour weeknights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the bar menu at half price. They are also open for lunch and brunch. Street and valet parking are available.

For more information, call (310) 277-5221.