Small Plates, Large Flavor

AT PELICAN HILL®, both guests staying at the Resort and local residents are welcome to dine at any, or all, of its three main restaurants. But when it comes to enjoying a unique dining experience featuring small plates, only guests staying at the Resort have the privilege of enjoying this fourth, more intimate restaurant.

“If you want a quick bite or appetizers before heading to one of the restaurants, Piccolo is the place to go. It’s also perfect for dinner, where you can enjoy small plates of everything from lamb chops to pasta to spring rolls,” said Piccolo Chef Monir William.

Opened a year ago, all Piccolo dishes feature either Italian or Asian cuisine served on small plates, and delivered to guests the minute they are ready. Many guests enjoy ordering a cross-selection of dishes and sharing them—often spurring lively conversations in the process. As a communal experience, many love recommending dishes and trying new ones. There’s also a full bar.

“This is a unique combination, but it works,” said William. “We are not mixing the ingredients and styles of Italy and Asia, because the dishes are completely separate. What I’ve noticed is that with a party of two, one person will order mostly Asian dishes, and the other Italian ones, and then they share them.”

Piccolo is the only restaurant at the Resort that features a full Asian-themed menu. “Some guests come here just for the sushi and Asian offerings,” William said. Piccolo also features the Resort’s homemade pasta in most of its Italian dishes. One of the favorites is Penne di Farro, which uses a barley-like grain in the wheat pasta. “It complements the Duck Ragú, which is heavy and rich,” he said. “Another popular Italian dish is the lamb chops grilled with lemon, parsley and roasted potato. It takes me back to when I was a kid.”

Another Piccolo Chef, Jack Lee, says he draws from his Chinese heritage for inspiration. His signature dish, the Crispy Imperial Roll, includes fresh shrimp, vegetables and Chinese seasonings.

“What I want to bring to Piccolo from the Asian side are traditional dishes,” Lee said. Dishes like Tom Kha Gai Chicken Soup, Japanese Sushi Nigiri and Rolls, Chinese Fried Rice, Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Korean BBQ Ribs.

Due to the growing popularity of Piccolo’s unique offerings, the restaurant has extended its takeaway menu to guests in their individual guest rooms. These guests can even hold private gatherings there, including a Sunset Reception package that includes a mix of appetizers and wine.


Piccolo has a relaxed atmosphere that’s open to all Resort guests. For reservations, please call 949.467.5946. Resort guests also can enjoy Piccolo menu items delivered to their Villa or Bungalow by calling ext. 8330 from their Resort phone.