Pasadena >Food & Dining > Trattoria Tre Venezie
119 W Green St, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110534.144768 -118.153012
Neighborhoods: South Arroyo, East LA
The worst dining experience of our lives . . . – Although we are well traveled and of some means, it would be immediately apparent to the server-thing that we were completely unfamiliar with the crap they were serving. And we were. But rather than an attitude of kindness and hospitality, of an offer to initiate us to the intricacies of the Italian specialties and regional cuisine they were claiming to serve, the server-thing maintained a condescending and vacuously pretentious posture. And so our misadventure at Tre Venezie began.
We got it pretty quickly: this place is a pretentious dump. Nonetheless, we were not in the mood to change restaurants, it was getting late anyway, so we tried as best we could to salvage the evening and continue on. We decided to order an entrée each and some wine and make the best of it.
I ordered off the menu a sort of beef ragout served with a large, flat pasta, and my girlfriend ordered a special, but never quite knowing what was to come.
In the meantime I looked at the wine list. My girlfriend drinks white wine and I red, so we decided to order separate carafes. The server-thing suggested two wines and brought them for us to taste. The red was not what I had in mind and when I said so, the creature actually became rudely argumentative, inferring that I really didn’t know my mind?! The wine list contains at least thirty wines by the carafe, and as I began to peruse the list and make inquiries, it had no interest in my interests, but instead condescended that it would have to see what’s “available.” This negated entirely any point in having a list of wines that can be ordered by the carafe.
Server-thing brought the “available” wine. It was apparently a Reserve Cabernet. My girlfriend and I both took a taste and I said it was fine. And this is the interesting thing: both my girlfriend and I are certain that I did not receive the wine I tasted. What I got was rot-gut in a carafe, some base wine that didn’t compare to the vilest wine you can imagine. And my girlfriend told the obnoxious creature just that: this is rot-gut. Did it apologize or offer another wine in the spirit of professional hospitability? No, again it argued, not only condescending that we didn’t know what we were talking about, but contemptuously inferring that what we really got was what we deserved. The wine was left on the tariff without any further comment and I left the wine unfinished. It was truly sickening to even smell, let alone imbibe.
In the meantime our entrees had arrived. The back server-thing, hunched and morose, dropped our plates without even looking at us, let alone a greeting. My entrée was fine, but common and unspectacular. Delivered to my girlfriend was a bowl with five small doughy balls in a pool of butter, bland in taste and about the size of gnocchi, that would better serve as a mortar for bonding bricks than as a substance fit for human consumption.
By the end of the meal, and the next day as I write this, we both felt literally, physically poisoned by the food and wine we were served, and psychically poisoned by the experience of Tre Venezie. My girlfriend, who paid for the meal, was heartbroken at the way my birthday dinner turned out.
Obviously we will never return to Tre Venezie and my advice to anyone considering going there is don’t. This low life establishment crossed a line far beyond rude, leaving both my girlfriend and I with feelings of anger and resentment. In the end, we felt robbed of our time, our dignity and our money.
Unique for Pasadena, CA – My wife and I dined here last night for the first time and enjoyed Trattoria Tre Venezie very much. This is not a family restaurant, a chain restaurant or a "I am on a budget place". This is a place that sits by itself. You go here if you are a foodie and enjoy gourmet Italian. Example: Ravioli with chocolate and butter, pork, Ravioli with beets, a few beef and vegetables dishes, a lot of unique uber-gourmet twists on Italian contemporary dishes. No pizza, no meatballs. The waiter read to us about 10 specials that night (almost as many specials than there was regular food items): it took about 10 minutes to describe everything once. We travel and we were thoroughly entertained by the entire visit - it took us back to memories of being out of the country. The wine list is fantastic and beware: there are a lot of choices. The waiter will help you out but this is not a place to "guess" at. Know what you are ordering. I read the other reviews on this site before going and was concerned. Some of the reviews mention Buca, "good deals", snobby waiter staff and food / alcohol complaints. Listen, buck up and try it for yourself. We are looking forward to our next visit. If you want pasta go to cheesecake factory or somewhere else.
Excellent Italian Trattoria-DreamerLA is dead wrong! – I have been in the luxury hotel business as a General Manager and other Executive positions my entire working career. I am also a sommelier. Exceptional food and impeccable service have been my agenda for almost 20 years. During that time I have seen a lot of guests that fit the profile of DreamerLA. The simple fact that he/she compares Green Street Tavern to Trattoria Tre Venezie is indicative of someone "grabbing for straws" and doesn't have a good argument. The tavern is a casual spot with comfort food (albeit good) and the trattoria is more formal, elegant dining experience. The pork chop and the veal chop are amazing! The desert menu is casually elegant. They take many of our old family recipes and add elegant touches. I have been going to Tre Venezie for at least 5 years and the food is consistently great and the service has never failed us. Some experiences have been better than others (by a very small margin) but none have been nearly as bad as DreamerLA claims. Perhaps DreamLA should learn more about Grappa before ordering it. Ordering "something smooth" is so vague that one should be prepared to get just about anything. The server should have asked more questions to make a better pairing and I hope that he/she learns from that experience. They have a vast selection of Grappa labels; something to please every kind of palette. "Overpriced" as DreamerLA described the menu is subjective. If you are looking for a special night out instead of going to a Tavern and watching the Monday night game on the 60? LCD, this is a special kind of place. They use high quality ingredients that are not cheap and I think most reasonable people would expect to pay for it. My wife and I enjoy this restaurant very much. We go to it on special occasions and we both believe that the food and the service are outstanding.
Really great food - if you know what you're eating – Delicious Wagyu carpaccio! To a previous poster - if you don't like Wagyu (or don't know what it is), don't order it! Everything that we ordered last night was absolutely delicious, from the beef cheek to the almost plebian lamb ravioli. Service was impeccable.
Absolutely the worst!! – NEVER AGAIN! We had high hopes because of the reviews and our neighbors? recommendation. Upon entering, the decor is nice, quaint and cozy. But the food was marginal at best and in some instances, inedible. Two of the the deserts we had were so bad we sent them back and they only gave us credit for one of them. And the prices, WAY overpriced. Go just east on Green Street to a place called Green Street Tavern where the food is much better, they have great service and the pricing is very reasonable. We eat out a lot in Pasadena and trust me, there are a host of places, at a wider range of price points, with much better food and service.
The service at Tre Venezie is terrible and the staff is rude. After dinner, I asked for a suggestion for a grappa that would be a nice smooth sipping grappa. After a long wait, was brought something so sweet I could barely drink it. I called the waiter back and was told that was what he gave everyone who said smooth because most people mean sweet when they say smooth. I told him that was not what I meant, told him what I was looking for and asked for another recommendation. He shoved the wine list back under my face and said ?you pick one?. I told him that in that case I would pass on the grappa and he could take it off the bill. Then I found one of the owners in the back and told him nicely what had happened and that we would not be coming back as a result of it. He expressed his surprise and insisted on buying our table a round of grappa. I told him I was not doing this for a drink, just thought he should know. He insisted and then we waited nearly 15 minutes before the same surely waiter begrudgingly brought another glass. Unbelieveable!! We will never go back.
Later that week, I shared our story with my neighbor who then told me her horror story of a night there that made mine look like a Boy Scout picnic. So she and her husband will never go back as well. Please, do not waste a nickel on Tre Venezie.
Not worth the money or annoyance – The food is good but the service is appalling -- and predictably so. The rudeness outweighs the benefits. They almost take pride in their indifference to their guests.
Could of been better. – Well, I would say some of my experience was good, some ....not sure. To start, I need to say that I lived in Venice, Italy for 12 years so I consider myself "Venetian? and I was very excited to dine at a restaurant that relates itself to my home town region. (Although, Tre Venezie refers to an area that covers a third of northern Italy, and not only Venice). We ordered the appetizers. My Carpaccio was very fatty. I did not like it. Raw beef should not be fat. That is not how Harry's Bar served it to Ernest Hemingway when the dish was first invented! My girlfriend had the claims and mussels. It was truly delicious and fresh.
Main courses were both good. I had the rabbit pappardelle. They were truly exceptional; my girlfriend had the pork chop. Also superb. (don't go beyond medium cooked or it will be dry and tough.). I asked for a glass of Amarone, which is hard to find by the glass, but they told me they were all out. Ok, I went with the Valpolicella ripasso. It was good and went well with the rabbit. I then saw the chefs/owners sitting a couple of tables down from us. I told the waiter I would like to say hello, but he discouraged me from doing so. He said they are "reserved people" and that I should not disturb them. I found that quite the turn off. The customer is the reason why they are there and they should not be such snobs. (And it definitely doesn?t reflect the friendly, approachable personality of the people of Venice or Northern Italy). At any rate, I thought the whole experience could have been a bit better, but overall, not bad. Dinner was $130 for 2 without tip. And by the way, Old Pasadena is becoming a real pain in the neck to go to.
I like it! – This restaurant serves dishes from the nothern region of Italy. It was very unique unlike the Italian food I am use to having which is more heavy. The dishes were really light and doesn't make you feel guilty about eating pasta. The portion may be small compared to other restaurant, but really....how much food can you eat? We started off with a plate of cured meats. There is actually a charge for oilve oil if you want to dip your bread in, but I think it is all worth it. There were about 5 to choose from and the waiter will introduce all 5 of them. For primi we had ravioli stuffed beets, spaghetti with speck (my fav), and risotto of the day which consisted of greens and strawberries (strawberries were used lightly so it was not wierd). For secondi, we had boiled mixed meats (chicken, beef, beef tongue, sausage) with 4 condiments (himilayan sea salt, salsa verde, horseradish, and chutney type thing), stew beef tripe with pancetta and raisins, and cured pork chop with carmelized shallots. All the flavors of the dishes were very intresting. It was light but there is substance. The pasta has good texture and bite. Overall excellent.
Either an unlucky bad night, or this place is extremely overrated – Based on a recommendation from some friends who live close by this place, and backed up by the various reviews here, we had dinner on Friday night and were really disappointed - I'm not sure if our expectations were set too high?
Tough pork chop entree, very bland beef, a salad lacking any seasoning. The spaghetti/seafood special pasta was OK, really rescued only by the spaghetti itself (made from farro flour for a really good texture and flavor)
One thing that was really odd - we asked that the waiter choose a glass of wine to match with each of our selections - he brought a glass of "white wine" to pair with the red cabbage, beet and fennel salad. When we tasted it we thought he was playing a joke on us - it was water. Not watery, but real actual water. We asked him to change it and he thought we were joking. Very bizarre.
Great espresso, but sadly that was the only thing that was good; the food was underseasoned, dull and badly executed.
A quiet, romantic evening – If you've been searching for a place in Pasadena that is quiet and romantic, even on a Friday or Saturday night, this restaurant is it--if you're willing to foot the bill.
Service: Excellent. I'll admit our first waiter was pretty snooty, but the second was very good. You won't be sitting around waiting for your water to be refilled or anything like that.
Drinks: Extremely extensive wine list. It's a book with something like 30 pages, and includes descriptions of some of them. Also various hard liquors (brandy, scotch, etc).
Food: Amazing. I don't have the fancy vocabulary to describe it, but you can see the other reviews for that.
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