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Sep 5, 2006 09:19 PM

Trattoria Tre Venezie - why haven't I gone before this?

I have put off going, despite the generally good reviews of it on this board, because everyone kept remarking how expensive it was. Well, Peter won some $$$ on a friendly wager on Italy during the World cup so we decided to celebrate with a true Italian meal, even if it was overpriced.

To our surprise, the prices were not that high. There are a couple of entrees and no pastas over $20. Granted, the salad menu is ridiculous (I am not paying $15 for a green salad!) but everything else was very reasonable, I thought. So, have they changed the pricing or something?

We started off sharing the entree-sized pappardelle with rabbit something ($18). mmmmm. I would go back just to have this dish. The pappardelle was hand-made and perfect. The sauce was wonderful and was just enough to coat each delicious ribbon of pasta. Then, I had the trippe stew ($18). It had honeycomb tripe that was incredibly tender and again, the sauce was incredible. Peter had the smoked pork chop ($20+). It came with gargonzola infused pear compote and sauerkraut (reflected N. Italy's neighbors). He loved it. Dessert was eh compared to dinner but I'm not much of a dessert person anyway.

With a half carafe of wine ($33), bottled water and grappa, the bill was $120 or somethign like that. Well worth it, in my estimation. I liked it so much more than Celestino (I may be mixing up the other Drago restaurants--it's the one on Lake), which was more expensive. Anyway, the moral of the story is you don't ahve to win a bet to eat at Trattoria Tre Venezie.

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  1. Funny to see this here today because my husband and I and another couple ate there on Sunday night. I searched for recent reviews before we went, but didn't find anything very recent. We had a nice dinner, I think three of us had pasta and one had a meat dish. We all had salads and desserts and wine. It was pricey, but it was a very nice dinner with plenty of time before each course so that we could enjoy our wine and talk.

    1. Was there for the first time about a month ago and looooved it. I didn't pay and don't recall specific pricing, but didn't note anything so unusual about the prices. Not sure why so many people think it's too expensive, maybe it has to do with location. I think it's much less expensive and the food is much more interesting and wonderful than a lot of l.a. restaurants that get so many raves.

      1. This is a gem of a restaurant. If anything, the food is underpriced for how good it is. (But that's not a suggestion to raise prices!)

        This place is a lot like Bistro K in South Pasadena, in that they serve you great food at decent prices, and they aren't afraid to experiment.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ozzygee

          One big difference is Bistro K has NO CORKAGE and T T V has a whopping 22- per bottle corkage! Considering it's going to cost 44- just to open a couple of bottles of wine I can see a 200-plus dinner, might as well go to Valentino's?

          1. re: russkar

            The wine list is very extensive, but also very expensive. We ended up with one and half carafes of chianti. I think 1 carafe was like $45 which was overpriced for what it was, but whatever.

          2. re: ozzygee

            Speaking of it being a lot like Bistro K, we were there last weekend and noticed that Tre Venezie had poached their waitress! I dont' recall her name but she has been the only waitress at Bistro K the last several times I have been there. She has a very mellifluous tone, which is kinda annoying after you've waited 45 minutes to order, but all is forgiven when the excellent food comes.

          3. I'm not here to defend the Dragos, but IOHO the quality to price ratio (value) and total experience at Il Pastaio and even lowly Il Buco are equal or better than Tre V. But to each their own of course.

            1. We went there last weekend, based on all these positive reviews.

              It's funny but our experience was so different ...

              Service was not a problem, and the restuarant was really quaint and romantic.

              Now the food... Well, it's not what I expected, and we have been to Italy (from North to South), and Venice in particular twice. It's seems more Novelle Italian than Northern Italian.

              The whipped salted cod appetizer is on top of black squid ink polenta. Wasn't bad, but the side of veggie strands 'salad' has a very odd taste. We had whipped salt cod in Venice before and it's never this avant garde.

              Now the pasta. Yes it's homemade, but come on - whole wheat and kamut? It seems strange but I've never seen anything but the traditional durum wheat pasta in our 5 weeks there...

              The pasta with rabbit sauce has too pronounced an herbal favor, so my husband didn't really like it. I have to agree with him. The beet ravioli I ordered was OK - the pasta was traditional durum wheat and al dente, but extremely pricey at $17.5 for 10 or so pieces.

              We didn't order any meat entrees. It was the first time at a restaurant that I can't find any meat entree that I like. The choices for that night was: venison, tripe, boiled meats, smoked pork chop and beef braised in beer. I am generally an adventurous eater, but nothing sounded good.

              We ordered the dessert, which is actually much better than the meal. The chocolate-chestnut dessert was very good. The apple strudel was good, but maybe suffered a bit from being too refined - the apple favor can be more pronounced, and the pastry can be a bit more flakey. I asked if they have vanilla gelato, and they said yes. However, I am fairly certain that I was served Haagan Daaz vanilla ice cream - the texture was way too dense for gelato, and the honey-sweet taste is reminient of HD.

              Anyway, to sum it up - very disappointed as the quality of the food does not measure up to the price. The tab was $120 including tip for 1 glass of wine, 2 pasta starter, 1 pasta entree, 1 appetizier, 2 desserts and 1 ice cream.