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Great-tasting Italian fare made with local ingredients and dedication on Main Street in Santa Monica.


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Via Veneto, Santa Monica, CA

Via Veneto Restaurant Review

: Via Veneto in Santa Monica has been a darling of the neighborhood for a number of years, thanks to the passionate team of owners Fabrizio Bianconi and Marco Cialini and chef Ruben Vasquez. The restaurant inhabits a quaint, narrow space with 40-plus seats. White tablecloths, candles and chandeliers add a touch of romance. Above the small kitchen is a semi-private loft where up to 12 diners can enjoy a three-course, family-style meal. The à la carte menu presents Italian fare made with local and organic ingredients and grass-fed beef. We enjoyed the simple but good flavors of the warm seafood salad, a special that highlighted shrimp, scallops and calamari. Continue with vitello tonnato or Prime beef filet tartare adorned with melted cheese and truffles. Don't miss homemade pastas such as the pappardelle or ravioli, which come in various flavors. (Order the fresh pasta trio if you can't decide.) Another point of pride is the fettuccine patanegra with Ibérico de Bellota ham in a white ragoût. An interesting special of soft-shell crab offered spaghetti with the crabmeat mixed in alongside a bite on its own for contrast. Carnivores will be very satisfied with the bone-in New York steak perfumed with rosemary. Panna cotta makes for a traditional ending. A thorough, seductive wine list focuses on Italian labels with by-the-glass and half-bottle options.

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