Osteria Bigoli is a small welcomging neighborhood restaurant on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica where you can find owner/chef Claudio Marchesan (who was born and bred in a small town in Northern Italy) making authentic rustic old world Italian dishes. This intimate restaurant features some of his finest dishes he has created and perfected over the last 40 years. Be careful because on foot or if driving you might just miss this quaint space.
Chef Claudio Marchesan has serious history in the restaurant business having opened Prego San Francisco, Prego Beverly Hills, Il Fornaio and the original Pane e Vino on Beverly which closed after a solid 20 year run. On a quiet weekday eve, we delighted in this simple clean serene space near the window as we noticed guests came in throughout our dinner who were frequent diners as this establishment, many saying hello to the chef.
Our favorite courses included the appetizers, like Burrata with Pesto with warm blister grape tomatoes, and fresh prosciutto atop grilled crostini. The Zuppa di Cozze e Vongole with big luscious mussels and clams in a savory tomato broth was so flavorful I wanted to drink it and we made sure to not waste the divine goodness by soaking up the broth with the dish’s grilled ciabatta. A specialty menu is also offered, where new dishes not on the regular menu are unveiled, like Parmesan Cream Brûlée, a savory not sweet dish that sounded delightful.
Every classic Italian dish is offered, and the pasta at Osteria Bigoli is made fresh, of course. Savor chicken or veal parm with a robust glass of wine, or opt for one of the pastas we sampled: Rigatoni Carbonara with big chunks of pancetta, Tortellini alla Vodka, and Mushroom Risotto. The tortellini was my favorite with layers of flavor in every bite, but done simply.
The Branzino, Silk Hankerchiefs (pasta squares with pesto), and Agnolotti dal Plin (pasta filled with roasted meats) would be high on our ordering list next time.
End your Italian blissful coma with the freshly baked profiterole cream puffs doused in chocolate.
714 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403