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Dec 8, 2011 06:03 PM

Italian in Old Town Pasadena

Hello Friends,

I'm looking for a great Italian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena that is within walking distance of the
IPic theaters (former Gold Class Cinemas). I know of Il Fornaio, and if that's all I can get, I'll go, but I was hoping for something a bit more interesting. We're willing to walk a few blocks, so it doesn't have to be right in the vicinity, but not too far. Something a little bit upscale, if possible, with a good wine list or bar. It's for a birthday celebration. Not a mom and pop pizza/pasta type. I've heard of Gale's, too, but I don't think that's within walking distance.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Tre Venezie is very close (2 or 3 blocks), very unique, and very good. Not to everyone's taste, it's sort of North Eastern Italian, Alpine influences, I love the place. Great wine list, but not cheap. Good crudo, I get a Giacosa barbera, and a pasta.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Thornton

      Tre Venezie closed in October, but by many reports it had been going downhill for a while.

    2. Il Fornaio, like you've mentioned, is your best bet.

      Unless you feel like walking all the way down to Lake to go to Celestino, stick with Il Fornaio.

      Nothing else viable in the Old Town area. Mi Piace and Louies's are like Olive Garden with a different name. Bucca di Beppo doesn't fit your criteria and Tre Venezie even when it was open was basically a waste of real estate space.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        There's the ever popular (though not on Chowhound) Mi Piace which is really more style than substance. It's walking distance in the center of Old Town. Don't ask them to cut a cake for you btw unless you want to be hit with the cake cutting fee!

      2. One option might be Settebello Pizzeria. I don't think they have pasta, but if everyone's okay with pizza, it seems to fit your requirements.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Peripatetic

          I should add that Settebello isn't a mom-and-pop place, it's a upscale one that strives to make true Neapolitan pizza. The other two locations are members of the Assocazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, and I suspect this one is one too, or will be one soon.

        2. It's not much, but for an Il Fornaio that's one of the better ones.

          1. I would say screw it and go to Celestino on Lake.