Open just over a year, Santa Monica’s North Italia restaurant offers handcrafted pastas and pizzas in a huge beautiful modern dining room and outdoor patio. Located a short walk from the 3rd Street Promenade, the restaurant has an airy concept design showcasing a large bar on one side and an open kitchen on the other.
Standout small plates include the Chef’s Board with prosciutto, artisan cheese, eggplant, roasted peppers, olives and almonds. We also loved the Italian meatballs with grilled bread. Other small dishes include grilled artichoke with truffle, white truffle garlic bread, burrata, mussels and arancini with mushroom risotto and cheese.
For lighter appetites, there is a nice selection of salads including a Tuscan kale, Italian farm, Caesar and seasonal vegetable options.
Hungry diners searching for hearty fare can opt for one of North Italia’s great house made pastas which include spaghetti and meatballs, chicken pesto, the house specialty Bolognese, squid ink and shrimp, roasted mushroom tortellini and a short rib radiator with arugula and horseradish.
Their pizzas are equally hearty and delicious including prosciutto with fig and goat cheese; bacon, egg and asparagus; classic margherita with mozzarella; mushroom and The Pig with spicy pepperoni, soppressata and Italian sausage.
If going gluten-free, there are plenty of main dishes to choose from. Seafood choices include grilled branzino, diver scallops and salmon. The menu also features a filet, braised short rib, chicken parmesan and rosemary chicken.
We were happy to see an affogato and salted caramel budino. Also on the dessert menu are Italian donuts with lemon curd, a hazelnut torta, tiramisu, an almond and mascarpone tart and gelato and sorbets.
There is also an extensive cocktail menu including an apricot limonata with vodka, apricot liqueur and lemon; a Quiet Gentlemen with rye, vermouth, Campari and amaretto and The Julietta 12 with ginger infused vodka, vanilla, elderflower, lime and prosecco.
With a wide selection of dishes, a beautiful patio and main dining room and great pizza and pastas, North Italia is a good dining choice if you find yourself on the Westside.
North Italia is located at 1442 2nd Street in Santa Monica.