Three Italian April Birthdays, less than a week apart, could not have been spent in a better place! Every year, we pick a night in-between to enjoy dinner out with our best friends. When you reach your mid 60's and lived your whole life in the Salinas Valley, it's not always easy to find a good Italian restaurant you haven't already been to that can meet your expectations. Six of us all agreed..... il Vecchio exceeded our pleasure! From the moment we walked in to our early 5:00 pm reservations, we were treated like the most important patrons in the place. Our waiter Jeffery was just superb in making recommendations, explaining in detail how all dishes were made (with the freshest of homemade ingredients), paying special attention to my own shellfish allergy concerns and even offering a few samplings of wine before making our choices. The fresh bread brought immediately to us with the vinegar, olive oil and pepper dishes were so delicious it became hard to think of what we should order as an entrée! Jeffery recommended a 4-plate pasta sampler as our first course....to be served family style and shared between the six of us. Fabulous idea! Gnocchi al Gorgonzola, spaghetti al pomodoro, spaghetti al pesto and rigatoni con ragu Toscano....each just fantastic! A darling good friend of ours had recommended we dine there and since having previously read TA reviews, Jeffery again confirmed a popular dish was the Rock Cod. Three of our group ordered one version with the pesto sauce, while one other had the cod, calamari and mussels. My son ordered the Gnocchi in red sauce...and I stayed away from fish with the excellent filet mignon, which came with a wonderful spinach salad and Yukon potatoes. As if we weren't already stuffed, our friend that originally recommended this place to us had called the restaurant and surprised us with three desserts of cannoli, tiramisu and chocolate cake...all brought with candles lit! After sharing those, we ordered a few other desserts to satisfy curiosity and yearning for the mele e pane bread pudding and a hearty bowl of "the Prince" ; vanilla gelato...Yummy! After sharing a wonderful bottle of Pinot Noir throughout our dinners, we all enjoyed either a cup of espresso, cappuccino or their rich house coffee to help us to be able to stand up! All of the staff was extremely friendly, very helpful and very kind! The atmosphere is so unique. Each table (hand crafted from old doors) lend a rich ambience to this darling place. I highly recommend you read the story available on their website, to be able to appreciate the hard work and effort going into making il Vecchio as rich and inviting as we found it to be. It seems to be VERY popular with all of the locals in it's sea-side location...that should be your first clue. This was definitely one of our happiest shared dining experiences we have enjoyed in years! Thumbs up 100% ... from real Italians that know how to appreciate great Italian food! Awesome!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.