Villetta, the restaurant replacing Santa Monica's shuttered Chez Mimi, tells Grub Street to expect a soft-opening at the end of the month or in the first week of February, with a grand-opening planned for February 15th. Pippa Calland, a vet from New York's Le Madri and Luna Park is working on the Southern Italian menu of inventive antipasti small plates, homemade pastas, wood burning oven dishes, and cast-iron cooked, dry-aged steak, while Theresa St. Clair, a former actress who played the first female Vulcan on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, will be on pastry duty. What else?
Currently, a construction crew continues to restore and update the impressive John Byers-designed buildings, where indoor and outdoor dining will be provided. Toscana's Antonio De Cicco is in as general manager at the place, which promises a different, and possibly unrecognizable, take on Italian cuisine. Oh well, if it's not popular with food snobs, it probably already has a built-in market for Trekkies.
Villetta, 246 26th St. Santa Monica. 310-524-6812.