This past October was filled with birthdays, vacation and family and friends visiting me. It was definitely a memorable October! One of the highlights of this October was when my good friend and also fellow Chicago Blogger came to visit me. You guys might know her; she is seriously the sweetest and kindest person you’ll ever meet, Joanna of Grace in Style.
We got to explore and try a variety of LA's food scene around town. One of the nights Joanna was here, we had the honor of trying one of Santa Monica’s favorite Italian dinner spots, Via Veneto.
Via Veneto is located on Main Street in Santa Monica, a cute and lively street filled with many boutiques and restaurants. They offer valet parking but if you’re lucky, you can also find meter parking as well. As we entered the restaurant, the first thing that caught our eye was the gorgeous chandeliers; the restaurant itself had very dim lighting and set the tone for a more romantic setting, perfect place to go on a date.
We were instantly greeted upon arrival, and were seated right by the window. The Via Veneto menu had a wide selection to choose from, instead of deciding ourselves our server suggested many recommendations to try and Joanna and I decided to go with whatever he suggested.
The server presented us with three appetizers to start off with (left to right): Cooked Octopus Salad served over Olive Oil and Lemon Dressing, Ahi Tuna Tartare with a cute heart-shaped garlic bread, Portobello Mushrooms served with Fried Arugula and thin slices of Parmesan Cheese.
The dishes were plated beautifully, and my taste buds were going out of control, in a good way of course. Each appetizer was filled with a burst of flavors, we easily finished all plates in minutes. My most favorite dish out of the three has to be the portobello mushroom dish, the mushrooms were grilled to perfection, with the perfect amount of crunchiness to the arugula and topped with a thin layer of parmesan cheese, which created a tasteful and mouth-watering combination that instantly drawn you to want more. (Ah, I wish I had some right now!)
After this dish, our tummies were just getting started and totally ready for more!
The 3 Raviolis: Pumpkin, Lobster and Zuccini. Mm, Mm-Good. Is basically how I feel about this dish. Joanna mentioned that this pumpkin ravioli was one of the best she'd tried, and as this was my first pumpkin flavored ravioli, I would say that it was delicious!
Third course was the Langostini Special on a bed of Spaghetti and the Sea Urchin Spaghetti. I wasn't too fond of the Sea Urchin pasta because of the slimy textures, but they both had wonderful flavors.
Next was the Branzino, aka Seabass, very buttery and flavorful, but a tad bit dry. If you get this- watch out for the bones!
And last but not least, was dessert, no matter how full we are, somehow we can always save room for dessert! We got to try the Panacotta and Profiteroles dessert, which definitely satisfied my sweet cravings!
Overall Joanna and I had a delightful experience. I have never been to Italy before, but according to Joanna, Via Veneto's atmosphere and dishes are very similar to the restaurants in Italy.
The hospitality, flavors and overall presentation of Via Veneto are truly satisfying. I rate this restaurant 5 stars, and would definitely come back for more!
Via Veneto is located on 3009 Main St., Santa Monica , CA 90405
What are your favorite Italian dinner spots in LA?