"Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli"Jun 8th, 2008 | By Lindsay | Category: Celebrity Sightings
My title might be a bit in poor taste, but it seems Robert Blake followed just that advice on a fateful day back in May 2001 after dining at Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City. Although a jury found him not guilty, it is pretty widely assumed that Blake murdered his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley after eating at Vitello’s, while the two were parked just around the corner from the restaurant. So this weekend, while in Studio City, I dragged my boyfriend and my parents to do a little Vitello’s stalking.
Vitello’s had long been a favorite of Blake’s – he dined there at least 3 times a week – and the restaurant even named a dish after him – Fusilli a la Robert Blake (I’m not kidding!). On May 4, 2001, after finishing dinner and leaving the restaurant, Blake returned to Vitello’s claiming he left his gun in the booth where he had just eaten. While he was searching for his gun, Blake claimed his wife was shot while sitting in their parked car on Woodbridge Road, just around the corner from Vitello’s. Although Blake was charged with Bakley’s murder, he was aquitted of all charges on March 16, 2005.
At first I was a little hesitant to eat at the restaurant, thinking it might be a morbid stalking trip, but as soon as I walked in the door and was greeted by the Maitre D and the hundreds of autographed celebrity headshots on the entryway wall, all my fears were put aside. Vitello’s is a very charming place with AMAZING food at completely reasonable prices and absolutely FABULOUS service! It’s not too hard to see why the restaurant is a favorite of celebrities – it is definitely a place I will dine at again.
Robert’s house, where he lived with Bakley during their marriage, is located just a few blocks away from Vitello’s. Apparently, while Blake lived in the main house, Bakley stayed in a guest house located on the property. After the murder, Blake sold this house to Alex Kingston of ER fame. Alex had the home completely remodeled and subsequently sold it to another buyer. She never lived there.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Vitello’s Restaurant is located at 4349 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City. Try the cannoli’s – they are amazing!! You can visit their website here. After dinner, be sure to hit up Pomm, a super cute boutique and art gallery located right across the street at 4330 Tujunga Avenue – the Jenn + Jane jewelry they sell is adorable!! Robert Blake’s former home is located at 11604 Dilling Street in Studio City.