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italian for a native new yorker - santa monica only

wowimadog Nov 26, 2007 08:37 AM

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.


  1. y
    yogachik Nov 29, 2007 07:05 AM

    Just to echo - I find these are as good as anything in New York:

    Via Veneto
    Locanda Portofino
    Giorgio Baldi

    1. j
      jlrobe Nov 27, 2007 01:27 PM

      Capo, La Botte, Giorgio Baldi, Via Veneto, Valentino, Il Grano.

      If you are a true Manhattan foodie, nothing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jlrobe
        Ciao Bob Nov 28, 2007 08:55 PM

        The last statement rings true, there's nothing here like Esca...nothing.

      2. f
        fdb Nov 26, 2007 11:49 PM

        Excellent suggestion by other posters. My two cents: for celebratory factor, I'd take her to La Botte or Valentino. For comfort food, I'd do Giorgio Baldi or Locanda Portofino. Vincente is good but it's in Brentwood not SM. I've never been to Via Veneto so can't speak for it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fdb
          soccerandlost Nov 27, 2007 08:27 AM

          I think that pretty hits the nail on the head. Only thing I might add is Capo to the list of "celebratory factor" and Via Veneto (on Main Street in SM) to the "comfort food" category." I also agree with omakase that you really can't go wrong with any of these options.

          1. re: soccerandlost
            fdb Nov 27, 2007 12:47 PM

            Haven't gone back to Capo in a long time but I remember it being one of the special occasion restaurants. Had a few good chef tasting meals there. Glad to know it's still good.

        2. o
          omakase Nov 26, 2007 11:18 PM

          These are all really great suggestions. Any one of them will provide you with a wonderful Italian culinary experience. My dining partner loves Via Veneto - 3009 Main Street. I love Capo - 1810 Ocean Ave. But seriously, you won't be disappointed with any of the suggestions mentioned thus far.

          1. hrhboo Nov 26, 2007 04:06 PM

            Via Veneto.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hrhboo
              Emme Nov 26, 2007 10:28 PM

              here here!!

            2. russkar Nov 26, 2007 04:01 PM


              1 Reply
              1. re: russkar
                ipsedixit Nov 27, 2007 01:30 PM

              2. a_and_w Nov 26, 2007 03:35 PM

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: a_and_w
                  soccerandlost Nov 26, 2007 09:44 PM

                  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.

                2. d
                  Diana Nov 26, 2007 12:04 PM

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

                  1. DanaB Nov 26, 2007 12:02 PM

                    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.




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

                    1. Ciao Bob Nov 26, 2007 09:07 AM

                      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.

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