Overview | Via Veneto explains their concept as “an authentic, European style Italian restaurant nestled in the heart of Santa Monica, Via Veneto fuses organic, locally grown & sourced ingredients with the delicious, traditional flavors of Italy.” And thankfully there is not a single ounce of false advertising in that brief statement. What was perhaps left out is that Via Veneto is also notably an adorable, cozy, chic little nook and happens to be home to an incredible selection of Italian wines and handmade Italian pastas Los Angeles has to offer. Open only for dinner and with limited seating, by 7pm the place becomes full of life and warm candle light – a most perfect setting for a romantic evening out on the Westside.
Between a rustic, I shall call it “Restoration-Hardware-esque” decor, a welcoming, warm, and friendly (mostly Italian) staff, feel-good food, and bottles on bottles on bottles of wine, it was impossible not to completely fall under Via Veneto’s spell – a spell most American girls are familiar with when it comes to being around Italian men. And food for that matter. It was truthfully one of those meals you lose track of time over; inhibitions/restrictions ease up, and before you know it three hours go by and you feel as though you could stay and enjoy the moment for another hour longer if you could. It’s not often we have meals like that in Los Angeles, where time doesnt seem to dictate everything, so when you’re ready to sit back, relax, and surrender to being completely taken care of, Via Veneto in all of their wonderful Italian glory will be waiting.
Favorite Drink | Order a 1/2 bottle (or more) of the Amarone Della Valpolicella. This is hands down my favorite Italian wine varietal and Via Veneto happens to offer a few different bottles. – It’s not a wine you’ll often find on an American wine menu so just do it!
Must Order | The ravioli tasting is a fun and unique way to try a few of their handmade pastas – the ravioli will be dependent on what they’re making fresh that day of course. Being that Via Veneto places such a huge emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients they offer quite a number of daily specials – you usually can’t go wrong with whatever chef is excited about that day. Oh, and of course anything and everything with truffle in/on/or around it.
Perfect Spot For | Date night, a special occasion, parents, an authentic Italian meal with a California twist.
Pro Tip | Let your server order a few things for you. He’s probably Italian, he’s most definitely eager to help, and somehow he just knows what you want. Let him do his thing. (Shout out to Franco!)
Fun Fact | Matt Damon totally came in for dinner the night I was there. JUST SAYIN’!
Via Veneto | 3009 Main St Santa Monica, CA 90405 | (310) 399-1843 | Hours: 6 pm – 11 pm daily