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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Tre Monti opens in Los Altos

Uploaded: Nov 19, 2018
Downtown Los Altos has a new Italian restaurant: Tre Monti, the passion project of three natives of southern Italy.

Tre Monti is set to open this week at 270 Main St., according to co-owner Mattia Galiano. He opened the restaurant with Giovanni Messina, a longtime restaurant server and sommelier, and Mario Nucci, who owns a construction business. All three are from the Tyrrhenian Coast of Calabria.

The Tre Monti menu is split into appetizers, salads, pizzas, pastas and entrees that reflect different regions of Italy. For starters, there’s a plate with salumi and cheeses imported from Italy; burrata from Puglia served with figs, caramelized walnuts, prosciutto di parma and a Modena balsamic reduction; and red cabbage and lemon-brined octopus served with a cannellini bean puree, cherry tomatoes and red onions.

The signature Tre Monti pizza is made from black squid ink pizza dough topped with mussels, clams, lobster, Monterey calamari, shrimp and a heirloom cherry tomato sauce.

The pasta — campanelle, pappardelle, spaghetti, troflie and more — is made fresh daily on an Italian Monferrina machine, which uses bronze dies to cut the pasta, the Tre Monti website states. The owners also plan to host a pasta workshop devoted to exploring gluten-free vegetable flours made from quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, buckwheat and garbanzo beans.

Tre Monti also serves wine and beer, including house red and white wines made specially for the restaurant by Sonoma's Larson Family Winery, whose owners are old friends of Galiano's. 

Galiano, Tre Monti's head chef, attended culinary school in Italy and cooked in hotels and restaurants in southern Italy and Rome, according to a biography on the restaurant’s website. Messina, the general manager, learned to cook from his mother at a young age, worked in local restaurants and also grew passionate about wine. (He's also the restaurant's sommelier.) Nucci left Italy for the Bay Area in 1999 and eventually started his own construction company, helping other Italian transplants in the area with restaurant maintenance.

The name of the restaurant comes from the symbol of Nucci's native mountain village of Malito, where he apprenticed as an iron-worker: three mountains on a shield.

Tre Monti is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5-9:30 p.m. for dinner.

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