TRASTEVERE RISTORANTE ITALIANO is one of many restaurants on the busy 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Carlo and I were meeting a friend of his for lunch at the Promenade but we had not yet settled on a place to eat. We met his friend at the Barnes & Nobles Bookstore and strolled down the street looking for a possible place for lunch. His friend had one request–that it not be Chinese (he lives in Shanghai and was in the States for a visit)! We were pretty hungry at that point (he was a bit delayed) so when we happened upon Trastevere, it looked inviting and not crowded so we decided to try it.
We were seated at a table by the window which offered a street view of the Promenade, great for people watching. We ordered our drinks and an appetizer and got down to the business of catching up.
For our entrees, I ordered the Risotto Gamberi e Asparagi, an aborio rice risotto with shrimp and asparagus, cooked in lobster broth. It was a bit bland for my taste and I added more parmesan to give it a some flavor. I wished it was just a bit more creamy and had a little more seasoning.
Carlo ordered the Ravioloni Ricotta e Spinaci, large ricotta cheese and spinach ravioli with tomato sauce, fresh basil and parmesan. His friend Jackson ordered the Pollo, Brocoli e Pomodori Secchi, sauteed chicken breast, broccoli and sundried tomatoies with a touch of cream. Both enjoyed their entrees and after seeing their dishes, wished I had ordered pasta instead. If risotto is on the menu, I will usually order it over pasta and I’ve never ordered a risotto I didn’t like. This was the first time that I can say that if I do come back to this restaurant, that I will not order this dish. It’s too bad though, the dish had potential. Maybe the chef’s taste buds were out of whack that day???
I was in the mood for dessert and looking forward to my one scoop of cappuccino gelato with a cup of coffee after my disappointing meal. They couldn’t screw up dessert, right? Wow, was I wrong. I could taste the “freezer burn” on the gelato and could not finish it. It was so beautifully presented and looked so good that I couldn’t believe it when I took that initial bite.
My overall experience with Trastevere was not a good one unfortunately. The restaurant wasn’t too busy and our waiter wasn’t attentive enough. He had forgotten to bring me an iced tea and I had to wait 20 minutes before my husband stopped the bus boy (the waiter was no where to be found) and asked if he could get me an iced tea (which he responded to very quickly)–thank goodness for the bus boy!
It you want to check it out yourself, by all means. I consoled myself afterwards by buying myself an outfit at nearby Zara!
TRAVESTERE RISTORANTE ITALIANO
1360 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, California 90401