Vito Restaurant - The "Restaurant Guy" Perspective
2807 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Eat AND Drink: Classic Italian that delivers an all around excellent dining experience
The eat+drink crew decided it was time for another group dinner. Heather and I have separately been visiting many hip, up-and-coming places around town, so this time we decided to take an old school approach. I was initially apprehensive because the words "classic Italian" bring back many childhood memories of bland saucy dinners. I am thrilled to say that nothing could be further from the truth. Roman will fill you in on the cocktails, while Christian will handle the wine. That leaves me to represent the food and the overall experience.
After settling into our roomy leather booth, we ordered up a group Caesar Salad, which was made to order right at the table. We all knew we were off to a good start.
For the appetizer course, we sampled the shrimp scampi (fresh and lovely), the caprese salad (light on flavor but high quality), and my favorite, the grilled calamari which was more of a soup with a wonderfully flavored tomato broth.
The menu was incredibly extensive, offering pasta, fish, and heavier meat dishes. Amongst the five of us, we went for beef, oso bucco, veal (with a lovely vodka cream sauce), and seafood pasta. All of the dishes were of the highest quality and very tasty. Not a single dish disappointed.
In between the cocktails, salad, appetizers, wine, and main courses, we were all well fed and fully enjoying each others company. So of course when the dessert cart makes the round, we had to share not one, nor two, maybe not even 3 desserts. All the desserts were very tasty - with nothing too heavy. The tiramisu and carrot cake were especially good.
It's easy to discount the classic restaurants. Vito has been operating on the same quiet stretch of Ocean Park for over 30 years, and with good reason. If you want a classy, tasty meal where you can enjoy a conversation and excellent service, add Vito to your rotation!