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Los Angeles Area

Via Veneto - I love this place!

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Via Veneto - I love this place!

whatsfordinner | May 27, 2007 10:50 AM

Husband and I had a lovely evening at Via Veneto (Main St, Santa Monica) last night. We arrived a few minutes late for our reservation and were warmly greeted with shouts of buonasera! I had requested a table either by the window or next to the wall and was told that a table next to the wall would be available shortly. There is no bar or waiting area and we were ushered to the rear. We were immediately offered glasses of prosecco. An apology for the wait? for the lack of space? We didn't care. It was a lovely gesture and delicious. We scanned the room. It is small, crowded and seemingly lit only by candles. Everyone looked lovely and happy. After 5 minutes our table was ready. With our menus came a small dish of delicious olives and soon the waiter to recite the 21 specials. Husband started with the grilled portabello mushroom, sliced and served over fried arugula with shaved parmesan. I had burrata surrounded by thin slices of proscuitto. The servings were generous. Halfway through we switched plates. I can't decide which was better; both were delicious. The mushroom and arugula were perfectly dressed. The creamy burrata paired beautifully with the salty proscuitto. Husband then had the spaghetti with bottarga, which that night was being served with razor clams. On my last visit it was served with scampi and I requested it that way. Again, the servings were generous and both were amazingly delicious. The pasta was perfectly al dente, and the clams and scampi were tender. His was lighter. Mine was spicier and in my opinion better, although he disagreed. We wiped our plates clean with the crusty bread and despite the insistence by the women at the next table that we order the panna cotta, we were too full for dessert or coffee. I don't know too much about wines, just that I love it and is necessary to round out any good meal. Nevertheless the wine list seemed interesting, although the wines by the bottle seemed expensive. I don't know whether this was due to the type of wine or a high markup. We opted for wine by the glass (a barbera, I think). Dinner with four glasses of wine was about $140 before tip. We tipped generously; the service was unhurried, friendly, helpful and efficient.

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