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italian for a native new yorker - santa monica only

any suggestions on where to take our friend for a celebratory meal? she's a native new yorker and we'd love to find a spot that will impress (or at least suffice!). we need to stay in santa monica, so please offer only suggestions that are located in town.

thanks.

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  1. I am a NNY as well and if my friend from LA was taking me out I would love to be taken to any of the following SM places (in alphabetical order): Giorgio Baldi, La Botte, Valentino, Vincente.

    1. Ciao Bob pretty much nailed it. La Botte and Valentino just received one star from Michelin, and the chef from Vincenti used to cook at Rex Il Restaurante, which was considered the best Italian restaurant in Los Angeles during its time. I've not been to Giorgio Baldi, but it gets good reviews on this board.

      http://www.vincentiristorante.com/

      http://www.valentinorestaurant.com/

      http://www.giorgiobaldi.com/

      La Botte Ristorante
      Address: 620 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
      Phone: (310) 576-3072

      1. Valentino is good! Keep in mind, though, it's one of the priciest options in town!

        1. Haven't been myself, but a friend whose taste I trust swears by Locanda Portofino on Montana.

          1 Reply
          1. re: a_and_w

            I second Locanda Portofino. I have never had anything but amazing meals there. It is also more "off the beaten track" than the other suggestions. -- all of which are good, but in my experience their reputations exceed reality. But if you want to take her to a place she may have heard about, there's no doubt that Valentino has the most cache. I would also add Capo to the good but more expensive than it's worth list.