Via Veneto is one of those exceptional dining experiences that come along few and far between in our daily lives. From entrance to exit, it creates and leaves a lasting impression from food to service.
The stunning interiors are lush and elegant with glass teardrop chandeliers like those hanging in the palace of Versailles and with very few tables, elegantly clothed in white linens, personalized service is customary here. The restaurant’s interiors were reminiscent of a movie set, from an old Hollywood picture, just waiting for Sophia Loren or Marilyn Monroe to enter and take a seat.
Our night started off with a glass of bubbles (our very favorite) and a creatively crafted cheese plate featuring both hard and soft cheeses, both light and stinky, and a fragrant honey and olive oil. How much we enjoyed that cheese plate would frankly have been enough, however, that was just the beginning of this beautiful friendship between food and palate.
We were presented with a pair of ahi stacks alongside a heart-shaped crostini. The flavors were so thoughtful, it was if a poem could be written on our tongues with the ingredients. A truffled carpaccio that was gone before our next sip of champagne and a trio of raviolis that included pumpkin, lobster, and asparagus were just the appetizers before the main event.
The dining room was beginning to fill with the Santa Monica locals, no signs of tourists or snooty diners. These were residents who made reservations because it’s Saturday night and we all deserve to eat and drink a little better than we do during the week. The lights began to dim and the clink of wine glasses drowned out the small talk at each of the tables.
Another entree, this the main course, was a trio of fish that was so tender you could cut it with your finger. Seasoned to a divine perfection, each bite was better than the last, and with a side of potatoes crispy on the outside, this made for a “bravo” for the chef.
If you think the end is near, it is, but not until a plate of desserts come out with a foursquare of Italian delights that include our favorite – tiramisu. We were indecisive on what to pick, but the server helped us by leaving the entire plate at our table for us to drool and dribble over. Each one was amazing in it’s own sweet skin and we won’t divulge to our readers if we finished the whole plate because… manners.
A lovely port ended the meal and it was bittersweet as we didn’t want to leave this beautiful fantasyland of Italian modern cuisine, exceptional service, and elegant settings. But ‘ciao’ and until we eat again, we’ll be thinking about this once in a full moon dining experience that shall dance in our foodie dreams for many nights to come.
Via Veneto is located 3009 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405. Reservations (310) 399-1843.