Santino's, the Argentine tapas and wine bar that was gutted by a fire in February 2009, has risen from the ashes, reopening in its original location on Lincoln in Santa Monica last week. The red-brick space has a romantic glow in the evenings and is also seeing the return of its tried-and-true neighborhood customers. While awaiting its rebirth, Santino's started a panini shop in Venice, and currently the restaurant is serving a menu of paninis stuffed with ingredients like milanesa and cured Italian meats during lunch. So what's for dinner?
Dinner finds daily blackboard specials, pasta plates like butternut squash ravioli and parmesan-bechemelle, salads, and entrees like short ribs with chimichurri and fries, seared salmon, fish and chips, and bassa with gorgonzola. There are also tapas from gambas al ajillo to cripsy sweet breads, Patagonia lamb ragu, crotin, and of course, empanadas and postre. Owners tell us a realized menu is still in construction. It's lovely to see this charming afternoon spot for mate, espresso, tortilla espanola, and a glass of vino return after more than a year and a half as a shell of itself on Lincoln. Welcome back che!
Santino's, 3021 Lincoln Blvd. Santa Monica. 310-452-7898.
Earlier: Santino's Returning to Lincoln in July [Grub Street]