Archive for the 'Villetta – Santa Monica' Category


It is a pleasure to dine at Villetta – everyone works hard to make sure you have a wonderful experience and you do.

BYO Champagne

Pizza Capriccio – tomato, mozzarella, artichokes, proscuitto cotto and mushrooms – this is a new pizza on the menu and it is delicious

BYO wine

Ahi tuna tartare with avocado, red onions, balsamic, toasted bread – my photographer dug in before snapping the picture – top grade tuna handled expertly

Paparadelle with wild mixed mushrooms, pancetta and sage – another winner – toothsome pasta and the mushrooms and pancetta a perfect addition

BYO wine

Grilled Lamb Chops with farro and eggplant caponata – this is a half portion!!!! Perfectly done lamb – rare, juicy and well-seasoned

Bottom line – a lovely meal served with panache


I was somewhat critical of our last meal at Villetta, but I have to “eat my words.” Executive chef Dylan Hallas has found his culinary voice and I have to say this was an excellent meal.

Wine from their list

Pizza with burrata, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives and basil pesto – Villetta makes one of the best pizzas in LA and this was terrific.

BREAKING NEWS – Villetta is soon to open Via Villetta at 15th and Montana in Santa Monica – you will be able to take out their wonderful pizza or just enjoy it there. Stay tuned for details!

Via Villetta almost ready to open!

Back to our meal.

Seared tuna from Fiji, Venetian salad with blood oranges, olives and shallots, avocado mousse – a wonderful combination of flavors with perfectly seared tuna.

Polenta with a poached egg, Fontina cheese, black truffles shaved tableside by Chef Hallas – extravagant yes but delicious

Pan roasted wild black cod “alla Livornese” with crushed tomato, clams, taggiasche olives from Liguria, capers and white wine – the fish was executed perfectly, the clams fresh and the entire dish was light and bursting with flavor.

All in all – a lovely meal with superb service.

Villetta – Santa Monica

Now Closed


We are treated like family at Villetta. Antonio De Cicco co-owner and GM couldn’t be more charming and accommodating. The servers are equally gracious and quick to please. Unfortunately without Pippa as the executive chef the food just isn’t as top notch; it is good, but not extraordinary. The pizza chef is still there and you can’t go wrong if you order pizza as a starter to share.

White wine from their list

Pizza- burrata, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives and basil – as good as always

Grilled wild langoustines with warm cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans and arugula- this was good, but just not  the equal of Pippa’s Santa Barbara spot prawns. I know it is unfair to compare langoustines to Santa Barbara spot prawns, but Pippa prided herself on pristine ingredients and it showed. The beans in this version didn’t have the lusciousness of Pippa’s white bean preparation.

Pippa’s Santa Barbara spot prawns a la plancha with garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, caviar served on a bed of white beans

Notice the “juice” from Pippa’s prawns – I used bread to mop up every bit of the “juice” – these were without a doubt unbelievably “just plucked from the ocean” tasting prawns cooked to perfection.

BYO Red Wine

Butternut Squash Ravioli with lemon sage butter and crushed hazelnuts – very good

Villetta still has Brigette Contreras as their pastry chef and she insisted that we have dessert.

Vanilla bean panna cotta topped with lemon gelato and assorted grapefruit on the side – absolutely delicious


Villetta is good for a neighborhood spot, but not what I would qualify as a destination restaurant or a not-to-be missed meal.


Villetta is a perfect spot for a quick or if you like a leisurely lunch.

Wine from their list

Aijia – our terrific server

Pizza- burrata, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives and basil pesto – the pizza is always spot on and a great way to start.

PLT Sandwich – pancetta, heirloom tomatoes and arugula with herbed mayonnaise and sweet potato chips – we split the sandwich and again this was a definite winner.

Mezze maniche with hot and sweet sausage, peas and cream. This just isn’t as good as when Pippa, the original chef was making this. There just wasn’t any richness or intensity to the sauce.

Pippa’s version which we loved. I think the difference is obvious from the photo.

Bottom line: Villetta is still a fun place to go.

Villetta – Santa Monica

We are so pleased to be treated as a member of the Villetta family! It’s always a fun evening with good food and wonderful service.

The staff dressed up for Halloween even though it was 2 days before Halloween.

Jennifer, our wonderful server

BYO Champagne

Pizza with roasted cremini and oyster mushrooms, taleggio and sage

Close-up of the pizza (We eat half the pizza and take the rest home for the next day. It reheats perfectly).

Seared Santa Barbara prawns with gigante beans and salsa verde – always a favorite

BYO Red Wine

Warm Duck Confit with Kosui pear, spicy greens and toasted pitachio ‘aillade’ – this was the dish of the evening- absolutely perfect.

Mezze maniche with hot and sweet sausage, peas, tomato and cream – another favorite

What a treat to have a neighborhood restaurant of this caliber.


Villetta is just too convenient for us and as a result there is definitely an overload of Villetta posts. One advantage of Pippa’s cuisine is that I can usually spot what is freshest and best on the menu as it is generally a new preparation. Therefore, although we go often, we can usually order new and different items each time.

BYO Champagne

Luna Oysters on the half shell with champagne mignotte and redogo seaweed – we just slurped perfect oysters and skipped the mignotte.

Wild King Salmon crudo with avocado, cucumber, baby lettuces and salted flat bread  – I want to marry Pippa’s fish purveyor – incredible fish done perfectly without all the “extras” that ruin a great ingredient.

BYO White Wine

Frisee with seared Jidori chicken livers, pancetta and a four minute egg – nobody does this dish better than Villetta – plump chicken livers bursting with flavor, crispy diced pieces of pancetta, a runny egg yolk – what more could one ask for?

Madeira macerated foie gras canapes with crab apple butter and brioche – the only miss in this dish were the truffles – just not the ultimate in quality.

Cacciuo with black cod, prawns, clams, mussels and calamari with shell beans, roasted peppers and tomato broth – a complete winner of a dish – the freshest fish executed with brilliance.

Red Wine from their list

Roasted Kabocha squash ravioli with sage and amaretti butter – excellent

As always, a lovely evening.


Villetta is just getting better and better and as a result busier and busier. I strongly suggest that you make reservations. I continue to be impressed not only by the superb quality of the ingredients, but also by Chef Pippa’s restraint, focus and dedication to letting the ingredients shine. Even with a full restaurant, the service is spot-on.

BYO Krug to start

Pizza with burrata, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil pesto – Starting with a pizza is a perfect way to begin a Villetta meal. We normally eat about half and bring the rest home for snacks the next day.

White wine from their list

Blue fin tuna crudo with almonds, jalapenos, cilantro and radishes served with won ton chips – the quality of the tuna was sushi grade – A+. The tuna was cubed and resembled a chunky tuna tartar – an absolute winner.

Santa Barbara spot prawns a la plancha with garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, caviar served on a bed of white beans – Chef Pippa had just gotten these prawns in and they were the freshest and most succulent prawns I have ever eaten.

Notice the “juice” from the prawns – I used bread to mop up every bit of the “juice” – these were without a doubt unbelievably “just plucked from the ocean” tasting prawns cooked to perfection.

Mezze Maniche pasta (similar to penne but shorter and broader) with hot and sweet sausage, peas, tomato and cream – unlike Il Pastaio this didn’t need extra sauce on the side as the ratio of sauce to pasta was perfect. The sauce itself was a lovely balance of sausage meat to tomato – excellent.

BYO Red Wine

Bone-in Kansas City Porterhouse Steak with lobster and chanterelle mushrooms and shaved summer truffles with spicy broccoli rabe – terrific. Next time, though, I will ask for extra mushrooms – they were that good.

What a wonderful restaurant – certainly the best Italian restaurant among the overabundance of other Italian restaurants in Brentwood.