Al Mare Brings Upscale Italian Food to SaMo PierBy Lesley Balla | November 26, 2013 By Lesley Balla | November 26, 2013
One of the most anticipated restaurants for Santa Monica has finally debuted: Ristorante Al Mare, a new upscale Italian spot that's been in the works for more than two years, quietly opened its doors on the Santa Monica Pier last week. Owned and operated by Franco Sorgi and Paolo Simeone, who also have Trastevere on the Third Street Promenade and La Piazza at The Grove, the landmark building got a top-to-bottom makeover resulting in a three-story restaurant, sleek lines and rooftop and patio dining.
The menu is quite the departure for the usual fare you find on the pier: grilled ciabatta bread with housemade butter; salmon or beef carpaccio; arugula and spinach salads with grapes, hazelnuts and creamy balsamic vinaigrette; hand-tossed pizzas topped with Italian cheeses, sausage and porcini mushrooms; housemade pastas of every ilk; and whole branzino, cioppino and bistecca for entrees. There's also a bar menu (meatball sliders and fries; crab croquettes; crostinis) along with beers and a wine list that's as much Californian as it is European. There's room for live music, too, if the sunset and people watching aren't entertainment enough. Ristorante Al Mare opens at 11:30 AM daily and closes at 10 PM during the week and 11 PM on Friday and Saturday nights.
250 Santa Monica Pier; 310-458-4448