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“Excellent Italian in a friendly atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of il vecchio

il vecchio
110 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
18313244282
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Imagine that you're winding your way through narrow streets near the Pantheon in Rome. You stumble upon a crowded trattoria where servers hurry by carrying plates of pasta carbonara, rigatoni al pomodoro, bowls of gnocchi swimming in melted gorgonzola-as well as platters of grilled meats and sausage. The aromas are divine, the atmosphere lively and joyful. You have found Maccheroni, a tremendously popular trattoria owned by Luciano Flamini. A similar atmosphere has been created at il vecchio on the Monterey Peninsula. Il vecchio means "the old," and everything about this trattoria romana makes you think you've discovered a traditional dining spot favored by Roman cognoscenti.
San Francisco Bay Area
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent Italian in a friendly atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We had reservations last Thursday night, and were seated promptly. After reading YELP reviews, we wanted to try the tagliolini carbonara as a first course, and were delighted with the smoky pancetta flavor infused throughout the creamy carbonara. We both had the filet mignon, which was tender and flavorful, and the spinach and potatoes were seasoned perfectly.

The only thing I would change is how we ordered our steaks cooked. I asked the server for "pink" and was advised to order "medium". We ordered our steaks medium rare and medium, and I would say they were more like medium and well done, as mine was definitely more brown with a hint of pink in the middle.

No matter, the meat was delicious, so I didn't bother to ask to have it re-done. I will remember to ask for "medium-rare" next time, although I supposed it depends on the chef.

The home-made cannoli was a delightful ending to a wonderful meal. The server told us that one of the employee's mother makes the cannoli shells each day.

Our server, a friendly young woman, was outstanding - efficient and friendly in a very natural way.

The coffee was excellent, and serving carbonated water by the carafe for $2 was a bargain compared to most restaurants.

The only reason I didn't give this five stars was that the chairs weren't very comfortable (think antique wooden desk chair), which probably helps them turn the tables over more quickly. I realize that the furniture is a part of the charm, however, the first chair I sat down in was so uncomfortable, I had to ask for a new one immediately. The bus person, who was great, was quick to bring a better chair over, and he shook his head in sympathy when he saw the condition of the first chair.

We learned from our server that many people order different dishes to share, including their entrees, so we may try that approach next time, so that we can sample more of their menu.

Overall, we had a good experience at Il Vecchio and look forward to returning.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank jgotteach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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403 reviews from our community

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Chico, CA
Level Contributor
165 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

If you like Italian food, do not pass up this place. If you have never been to Italy and you want to enjoy Italian food that would be excellent over there, do not pass up this place. If you like Italian wines and have difficulty finding a decent selection, do not pass up this place. Might be the best restaurant we've ever eaten in--and it's modestly priced. Food and service can't be beat. We might even make it a habit of staying nearby on longer trips just so we can dine here!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank tsainta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrazas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“One of the best meals I've ever eaten”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is not the most expensive meal I've ever had, but it is without a doubt one of the best. The owner explained the special salmon to me before I ordered. It had the crunchiest crust and was so tender - perfectly cooked. Everything else, the ambiance, the service, the wine were excellent. I wish I lived locally so I could try other dishes.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank cbrazas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Berwick, Maine
Level Contributor
91 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Authentic Scilian Cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Gathered with a large Scilian family and friends and enjoyed a variety of dishes that riviled in comparison to Italy. Everything we ordered made from scratch, fresh with beautiful herbs and spices. They accommodated our party of 12 graciously, service was perfecto!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Nancy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camp Connell, CA
Level Contributor
70 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“A Monday night treat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

On Mondays this place offers a five course dinner for a flat rate ($22) and the only choices you have is the main entre (pork loin or salmon) and the wine (extra, but not expensive). We enjoyed the dinner even though I would rate the food as good-not-great. Partly because of personal taste (eggplant is not something I care for, and that was the only pasta choice), and partly because the pork loin was a bit overcooked. The soup was excellent, the salad interesting and the appetizers were both interesting and good. The soup was probably the best course, really tasty, served hot. We both found the loin to be tough from overcooking.
But all in all, we enjoyed the total meal. Given the number of courses, it was a good value.
Thought it was interesting that we had to request bread and waited for water, and service was somewhat classic Italian: the wait staff spent some time visiting with each other while we waited. But they were courteous and charming, and we enjoyed the experience. Also they did steered us to a small table for two to save the not-much larger tables for four, and then later seated other customers (regulars?) where they asked.
Next time I would probably go on a night that the full menu is available and order things that I like instead of taking whatever they decided would be the special.
I would try it again. My wife is less inclined to do so.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank shlamont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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