Where to Take Visiting Parents for Dinner: C&O Trattoria

— by Caroline on Crack

M&D at C&O

My folks surprised us with a visit this weekend and since they are usually big fans of TGIFridays and Chili’s and my bro and I aren’t, we had to come up with an alternative that would make everyone happy.

Answer? C&O Trattoria. Yes, it’s not American cuisine but who doesn’t love Italian food?

From CitySearch:

Raucous “That’s Amore” sing-alongs and honor-policy Chianti ensure there’s always a boisterous throng of locals at this neighborhood trattoria. The warm, inviting patio is the place to be, while folks inside are packed sardine-style at tables covered with white paper tablecloths (replete with complimentary crayons).

Also, my dad loves the house Chianti which arrives at the table in a big bottle and is charged via honor system. Meaning you tell the waiter how many glasses your party drank and they take you at your word, well, and check that against how much is left in the bottle.

Garlic rolls and chianti

But the thing that gets my brother and me giddy about dinner at C&O is the garlic rolls–so buttery, so warm, so soft, so savory. You just have to be careful not to fill up on those though as the entree portions are ginormous, available in “Individual” and “Gargantuan” sizes. I’m guessing the latter is for a big party to share family style.

Now, normally, I go for the Linguini Pollo Marsala ($10.95) which is grilled chicken, mushrooms, roma tomato, sweet basil, Marsala wine cream sauce, but this night I wanted something lighter, plus I went against my own advice and devoured many succulent garlic rolls. So I settled on the Insalata Spinaci ($8.95)–spinach, goat cheese, flash fried prosciutto (smoked Italian style ham) and roasted pine nuts. For an individual size, it was a very satisfying portion. What made it for me was the combo of goat cheese and proscuitto.

My brother and mom both ordered Mama Leoni’s meatloaf served with garlic mashed potatoes and garden vegetables ($11.95) and couldn’t stop raving about it. A big deal since my mom usually ends up disappointed with what she orders and wishes she got what’s on my dad’s plate. But this time she plowed through her dish, never setting her fork down once.

Now there’s a C&O Cucina down the street on Washington off Lincoln but I’ve never gone there. It’s just not as appealing to me because of its location. Why go off Lincoln when you can be near the beach?

C&O Trattoria is located where Washington Boulevard ends at a beach parking lot. There are many bars in the area–Hinano Cafe, Bite (Sake Martini bar/restaurant), Baja Cantina and the Whaler. So after dinner, it’s always a nice option to either go for a walk on the pier or to the nearby drinking holes.

The only downside to dinner here is that your only option for parking is the valet since the area is buzzing with patrons going to all the bars, the Starbucks, Coldstone Creamery, etc. But valet is only $5.50 so it’s worth it to not have to hassle with spending an hour looking for close enough street parking, especially with the ‘rents in tow.

31 Washington Boulevard
Venice, California 90292
(310) 823-9491