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Aldo's Italian Restaurant
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2017-01

1031 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-6687


Reviews by the General Public

I can't be any more negative
Reviewer: Jonathan from Santa Barbara, CA
My first review appears to not have been published for being too negative. So, all I will say is imagine how un-good my experience must have been for the review to be killed. I believe that there may be better options for Italian food in the neighborhood.


Bland, boring food
Reviewer: Jonathan from Santa Barbara, CA
For years I heard mixed (I'm being kind) things about Aldo's. I finally ate there since the restaurant I was trying to get into was full. Nobody liked their food. Nothing had any flavor. Given that they have a nice patio and great location, the owner should close down and let someone else take over the place. Someone who won't run such a lazy kitchen. I will say that the waitress was very nice and competent.


Nice place! Horrible horrible food!!
Reviewer: Xavier from Aliso Viejo ca
The waitress was and the place are the only good thing this restaurant offer. Spaghetti Factory would be a much superior place. Don't waste your money here!


Couldn't Be Happier
Reviewer: Mike from North Hollywood,CA
We were so impressed with the service from the very kind hostess to the attentive waiter, to everyone that works at Aldo's. One of tastiest pasta dishes I've ever had. My girlfriend loved her Chicken Picatta. The best she ever had. A great choice for Christmas night.


We Love Aldo's
Reviewer: Timothy from Santa Barbara, CA
We were so surprised to see the woman's chef review and had to add our 2 cents!! The food is pretty good and we can't imagine that if they thought it was so terrible and being a chef that she didn't try to order something more to her liking!! We get that you didn't like it and that chefs tend to be more critical but we feel it's not fair to post such a poor review of a place without researching more or taking with someone there instead of ranting publically. We are two guys that have been going to Aldo's for many years and have seen it through many changes... just dissapointing to ses such a careless review. And knowing these people, I highly doubt they charged you for any of the food. Anyway, we love Aldos'. Thank you.


Nice looking restaurant and terrible food
Reviewer: Michelle from Reseda, CA
I remembered this place as a child. I went there Saturday night and was excited to share this time with my family. From the moment we sat down the experience started to head down hill. It took forever to get a waitress, but when she arrived she was awesome, and that was about the only thing positive that came out of this restaurant. The bruscetta was god awful. It tasted like something was rancid in it. Over powered by the garlic and pine nuts I sent it back. Then my sister ordered the Pasta Primivara, it was like a frozen vegetable medley with noodles and watery marinara. Then I ordered the Chicken Marsala which had no color to it and left a film of flour in my mouth as if it was dredged in the flour and then put in a cold saute pan, and was served with the same vegetable medley that my sister had. Not a traditional Chicken Marsala that I get from Italian Restaurants. So disappointed we wanted to leave and just paid for the one pasta dish that my daughter ordered, which was the plain marinara and angel hair pasta, our drinks and half of the so called bruscetta. I will never go back there again, and that makes me sad because it has so much potential to be an amazing restaurant. Maybe with a better Chef/leader, it will be able to turn around. And if it ever does I would like to give it another swing. I am a Chef and I was extremely disappointed. I had high hopes for this place for the food and the atmosphere. Please look into the how the kitchen is being run and the food that is being put out, it was very low standard and I am sure that is not what you want your restaurant to be known for. Thanks.


Good stuff...if you know what to order
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
Went to Aldo's last night and it was a nice dining experience all around. Our waiter was knowledgable and attentive as were the bus boys. My kids and I had the Wild Salmon Picatta, and the Wild Salmon w/Cilantro pesto with Fetticini Alfredo with nice crunchy, fresh, sautéed veggies...we cleaned out plates! Nice bread and garlic infused olive oil offered on the table. My husband and I shared the wild greens with pear, Gorgonzola, walnuts with a sweet and sour Balsamic vinaigrette, which was fabulous. My husband had the Pumpkin Ravioli w/ Sage Brown Butter....it was sublime, really. However in the past we've ordered the lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese and Osso Bucco.... Not recommended. Does not taste Italian at all unfortunately. Better off making these dishes yourself at home. to sum it up....we had a very nice dinner.


Food & Service: Average. Ambiance: Very Nice
Reviewer: Guthrie from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate here thinking because of their slightly pricey menu & primo location right on State St. In downtown Santa Barbara but it didn't deliver. The best thing about this place is the quaint ambiance with it's street cafe but I ordered the most basic of Italian dishes: spaghetti w/ meat sauce & it wasn't very good. I called ahead to ask their exact cross street (location) but the woman couldn't tell me where they were located & had to ask someone else! Plus, when I asked if they were open past 10PM (it was 9:30 & I was concerned if the restaurant would still be serving by the time I arrived) she said, "I think we are open right now.". What?!


Getting better all the time
Reviewer: Kaye from Santa Barbara, CA
Since the change in ownership, I've had several meals at Aldo's - all wonderful. The menu has interesting options and the food is well prepared. The wait staff are welcoming and attentive, and seem to like working together. The food and atmosphere are such an improvement over the previous ownership, and the restaurant seems to be getting continually better.


Very yummy
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
I have never been to Aldo's despite living here for nearly 15 years. I think I always sort of passed it up thinking I'd rather have Palazzio or Pascucci, but I went here a few months ago for the first time for dinner and had the Pork Chop with whipped mashed potatoes, veggies, and a cherry glaze sauce. My boyfriend had the pumpkin ravioli. We were both really surprised at how tasty it was. We've been back twice since, both having different menu items every time and were never let down. The owner seems like a very nice guy too, and two of the times we have been there he has been in the dining room greeting customers. Now we have decided to make Aldo's our go to italian place instead of the other ones in town! (also, they have the BEST olive oil I have ever had!)


Big Disappointment!!
Reviewer: Jim Young from Santa Barbara, CA
Some of the menu Items are bland, I ordered the osso buco, very bland, no salt, the veggies taste like they were from several days. I got very confuse I didn’t know who my server was, one of them make us seat, other order the drinks, other comes for the orders, and another comes to get the check. No organization….Big Disappointment!!


Hugely Disappointed
Reviewer: Tracy from Santa Barbara, CA
I have lived in SB for 20 years and never tried Aldo's. I decided to try it because there was a 2 for 1 entree with the SB Access Card. 4 of us went there on a Friday night. We had a reservation, but it was not busy. We ordered water and iced tea for the table, yet the server continually asked us if we wanted wine throughout the whole meal. That was annoying. We had crab cakes and a caprese salad to start. Caprese salad was lackluster; small balls of mozzarella cheese and too few tomatoes, with arugula. The crab cake was OK, needed more flavor. 2 of us tried the pizza. The dough was more like pita bread and the sauce tasted like it was canned. However it was a good size. The lasagna was bland and heavy, and the seafood pasta dish (scallops and shrimp w/linguini) was just OK too. Because we used the access card, they automatically add gratuity which I did not appreciate. Overall, with no alcohol and a free entree we ended up paying $90, which is far too expensive for the quality of food we received. I will not be returning.


Great experience!
Reviewer: JS from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I ate here on Saturday night and were very pleased. We sat on the patio and Laura our server was attentive, engaging and knowledgeable. We loved the purple kale salad and the entrees were very good... It seems like the new ownership is doing something right. We will be back!


Average food, random service
Reviewer: Frank from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I visited this restaurant for lunch with my three kids (11, 9, 7 y/o). The server was attending tables randomly, and we could place our order only 30 min after the seating. A table came after us finished their meal and got their bill before we even got our food. But that can happen, and we were not in a hurry, so we just waited. We had Fettuchini Carbonara, Chicken Parmigiani, Spaghetti Marinara, and Fries. We did order a pork dish, which never came. Fries were good. The rest were OK but not nearly as good as the ones that I had in other restaurants of comprable price in Santa Barbara. The bill was interesting. The restaurant charged 18% service fee on the ground that we were a party of five. But the menu says that 18% service charge applies to the party of 6 or more. I asked about this. The server says that they just changed their policy. Now this is interesting point. By law, restaurants cannot charge mandatory service charge, unless they presented it e.g. in e menu before ordering. Clearly, they didn't. It seems that they are quick on charging more from their customers but are not so quick on improving their services or in learning what is required by law to protect the customers' right.


Good Food and Service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
The food was really good here, the service was pretty good also. Its a nice romantic spot on the outside patio even though the floor is a bit slanted for the tables. Nice they have heaters for you. Everything I tried was good.


We just LOVE eating at Aldo's!!
Reviewer: Paul Cook from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm telling you, the food has improved 1000% since the new owner took over. Our office is very close by and we eat lunch out often, we chose to eat at Aldo's most of the time. We have many choices in this neighborhood but more often than not we chose Aldo's. Even after all these years I once again look forward to my next meal at Aldo's. We also LOVE to eat on the outdoor patio because we enjoy the ambiance and the street scene. What a wonderful place!


Not What it use to be
Reviewer: Helen from Santa Barbara, CA
Aldo's has always been the spot that I have brought my relatives from New York to Dinner when ever they visit. New ownership has taken over and I must say that I was very disappointed. I had the Chicken Piccata and it was tough,my Aunt kept asking me is your chicken tough and my brother said the Veal Parmigiana was tough too. I could always count on the food at Aldo's being melt in your mouth but I have to say it's not what it use to be. The service was good but the product has definitely changed. I will not go back until I have heard they have made improvements. I must say that I am very SAD!!!


One of my favorite Santa Barbara restaurants!
Reviewer: Judy from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband & I are very impressed with Aldo's under its new owner! The food is always superb and the service is great. The last 2 times we went were on a Sunday night so we enjoyed the harpist while we sat watching the beautiful twinkling lights along State Street. The owner is very personable and there is a nice cooperative feeling among the servers. I used to eat here as a child when it was the Copper Coffee Pot so it brings back good memories, too.


If I could give more than 5 stars...
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara, CA
Ate here on a chilly monday nite- they cranked the heaters up so we could sit outside; we never felt neglected even though it was busy inside. The food was as wonderful as the service. We used to come here often, but haven't been in the last few years. I thank the new owner for brining one of my favorite places back!


Great Service Specially for the circumstances!
Reviewer: Victoria from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to this restaurant because a friend advised me that they had the best italian food in Santa Barbara. I went with my husband and sat in the dinning room because it was raining outside and the restaurant had an cozy feel to it. Upon arriving I was great by a friendly hostess, and from what I can tell, the owner. We had a about a fifteen minute wait to be seated, which was fine. When we got seated we were greeted by a our server right away. She apologized for the wait and took our drink orders IMMEDIATELY. While waiting for our drinks we were amazed at how the whole staff was all helping each other. After a few moments we received our drinks and we asked for her to recommend some dishes that she liked on the menu. After taking her advice we ordered the ravioli with chicken and pesto, and the porkchop. AMAZING. We loved the food , our waitress and our service. For how busy it was on a friday night, and for how quick our service was.... WE WILL DEFINITELY BE RETURNING. !!


Rumpled service/ Lazy Chef!
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
We have been going to Aldo's for years and it's always been good, if you know what and what not to order AND hope you get a good server. You'd think that ALL the servers were equally good, nope! Our server looked like she just rolled out of bed, fine! As long as she does her job well. She served me warm Chardonney TWICE! Charged us $5.00 to split a piece of lasagne for my kids! A 20.00 piece of lasagne for 2 kids! Really? And it was terrible ( of course the waitress said it was the BEST she had ever had.... It was up there with Stouffer's!). I make a really great lasagne, so we know the difference! This $20.00 piece of nonsense was packaged pasta, ricotta, cheese, and a can of tomato sauce dumped on top and tossed in the microwave! My husband and I both had the ravioli with the Cilanto pesto and the Rossa, which were good BUT why do they use frozen ravioli???!!! Make your own! It is so easy and makes a HUGE difference! The Chef needs to get off his buscuit and cook mindfully......Nothing worse than a LAZY CHEF!!!!!


Big Dissappoinment!!
Reviewer: Dr.Guzman from Camarillo,Ca
Celebrating our Wedding Anniversary on 09/04/11. First to start off: the service was super slow, the waiter only showed up to take our order, the busboy who was the only one working all the tables did provide us w great service kept bringing us the bread not only to us but also the other tables around us. Waiter showed up again to give us the bill. Second, the food: my wife ordered the Chicken Piccata, a single thinly sliced piece of chicken breast, for the price the portion of meat was way too small. I ordered the Linguini Seafood, & it was cold!! The plate came w/ four small pieces of calamari, 2 single scallops, 3 small shrimps, OH and 3 baby octopuss w their heads still on. Now i ain't a chef, but the seafood looked like it came from those cheap prepackaged seafood pouches you buy at Albertson's. Not gonna eat there ever again. Dr.Guzman


Local Santa Barbarian
Reviewer: Jenny from Santa Barbara, CA
Since the new owner took over the food has DRAMATICALLY improved and the new waitstaff is excellent. The food is fairly priced for the portion sizes and how good the food is. I am definitely going again and I love that it has become more of a locals place. Always see friends of mine there!


Dissapointed
Reviewer: Savannah from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been to Aldos many times in the past and had good experiences, always having sat inside. Went for lunch recently and sat on the patio. Chair cushions were stained and patio clearly had not been hosed down for some time. Food was good, had the special pasta and started with a salad (which no longer comes with a lunch entree as in the past). Croutons (all three of them) were the size of a thumbtack and the cheescake was nothing to write home about. Service.....below average. Waited 5 minutes to be approached at the table, had to ask for water and salt/pepper. Finished salad plate sat on the table long into eating my main dish, empty wine glass as well. Staff not very presentable, hostess was chewing gum. For a new owner who claims to be on top of things, open your eyes.


Good Value
Reviewer: bart from Santa Barbara, CA
Not amazing, but solid. Service timely and polite, atmosphere pleasant. Salmon Piccata cooked quite well, as was the Mahi. Pasta sides were excellent. appropriately priced, would go again


Tourist place
Reviewer: Bill from Santa Barbara, CA
If you don't know what Italian food is, this might be a good place for you. If you are a tourist, and the weather is nice, this might be a good place for you. But if you are a discerning eater, you will recognize Aldo's only as a tourist place. The new owner is trying hard, and is a very nice guy, but in the end, it's got to be the food. As soon as we tasted the olive oil, we knew.


Always Enjoyable
Reviewer: David from Santa Barbara, CA
Aldo"s patio has always been one of my favorite people watching places. The dishes are always good and consistent two of my favorites are the Chicken Picata and Greek Chicken Salad my girlfriend had sea scallops the other day and loved them! I am very excited to see what the new owner (Brad former manager of Sojourner and Drummer of Santa Barbara's favorite dance band Area 51) will bring to the table he has a very warm and gracious attitude and is very creative


Going Down Hill
Reviewer: Tom S from Manteca, CA
We started going to Aldo's in 2004 and stopped in 2009. Things just ran down hill. I see a comment about a new owner maybe things have changed but I would make sure 1st.


Sub-par food & service
Reviewer: CG from Santa Barbara, CA
Longtime Santa Barbara resident that had never been to Aldo's. After a mid-week visit, I can safely say I was not missing out on much, nor will I return. - Service: Server got order wrong (which is no big deal), but the runner that delivered the food was rude when we calmly explained the issue. To avoid any further confusion/confrontation, we accepted the wrong item and moved on... That same runner had a colorful conversation with the table sitting next to us over the anchovies on their Caesar salad. Fortunately, those patrons were able to laugh about his attitude towards them. - Food: Entrees were bland & therefor over-priced in my mind. Their Angel Hair Pomodora pasta was flavorless and dry. I tasted no basil or olive oil in my dish. While not all Italian restaurants in America are geared to be authentic, patrons should be aware that this is a very Americanized version of Italian food (think Olive Garden). - Ambiance: The tables remind me of something I would see in a hospital cafeteria. That is fine in a QSR or casual restaurant, but not when many of your entrees are $20+. While the exterior facade is very inviting, the interior seating and other details felt dated and uncomfortable. Overall, this appears to be a restaurant that targets tourists and one-time patrons. Given the many other Italian restaurants in town (Via Maestro, Via Vai, CaDario, etc.), I am surprised this place has survived for so long.


Don't miss this fine dinig experience!
Reviewer: Pete DiCecco from Los Angeles/CA
We have been dining at Aldo's Since 1991 and have always been pleased with the excellent service and wonderful food provided by Mark(the owner) and his staff. There is now a NEW owner, Brad. The bar was set very high by the former owner. So we went to our favorite place and hoped for the best. The transition of ownership was seamless. The food was absolutely deliciuos. The waitress we had(I believe she is the owner's daughter)was great. The family was personable and professional. Another wonderful dining experince provided by another well run Santa Barbara family business. Don't miss a chance to experience a great meal, wonderful atmosphere and lovely people at this fantastic State Street jewel.


Love Aldo's...the new owner is wonderful
Reviewer: Krista English from Santa Barbara, CA
First time back in awhile and was surprised to find the owner as delightful as the previous...very hands-on and engaging. He really cares for his customers and is hoping more local SBians return to State Street fine dining. The menu has not changed with the new ownership. The Caesar salad is wonderful, the potato soup was tasty with the healthy twist of added cauliflower and using stock & pureeing instead of using milk. Everyone enjoyed their meal. I would update the bolognese sauce though with a red wine or balsamic vinegar red sauce because the sauce is too bland. This one adjustment could bring the dining experience to 5 stars. Love the personable owner as well as the waiter who was attentive, but not pushy, and gave a great wine recommendation. Reservations are recommended!


Great dining experience.
Reviewer: Thomas Tarleton from Santa Barbara, CA
Aldo's has a new owner and the opening night was fantastic. One might expect glitches with the change over but it was packed, the food was good and we all had a great time.


Pleasant experience
Reviewer: Julie from Santa Barbara, CA
Hadn't been to Aldo's in ages, so read reviews, which were spotty. Decided to try it anyway, as good location for evening concert. Pleasantly surprised. Everyone was attentive, but not bothersome. Service with a smile, returned often enough to check on us. Both dinners were very tasty: one eggplant, the other salmon piccata. One suggestion: the bread wasn't cut through enough, so required a 2-handed tear-apart. Personally, I don't like to handle food that someone else has to eat or vice versa, so I hope they will correct that. All else was good. I'd go back.


Worst restaurant in Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Luiz from Santa Barbara, CA
I never felt so bad in my life like last sunday when me and my family decided to try aldos for the first time , lived in SB my whole life , aldos was one of the few restaurant we never being to it . Iam never going back there , and I recommend everyone else to do the same , the waiters were rude and very unprofessional , the cook was standing on the dining floor. believe me or not , even the busser refused to bring us a high chair to our 1 year old , because we wanna to seat by the window but that table was dirty and he was very angry when we told him we wanna a diferent table therefore he just never came back to our table and we had to seat on the dirty table for over 10 minutes , that `s when we just walked out , now seriously , how can you treat a 1 year old like that ! shame on all of you , including a so called manager that was there that day on the phone the entire time . We were not the only ones unhappy that day , there were a senior table completely shocked by the way we got treated . If the owner ever reads this , pls be aware of what goes on in your restaurant , specially last sunday october 3rd 2010 at around 2pm


Left annoyed at blatant attempt to rip off tourists
Reviewer: Martin Doyle from Colorado Springs, CO
liked the food - swordfish soup was yummy, 10 Oz New York Strip was nice but not much pepper and looked more like 6-7 Oz. The part that ruined the evening was when the waiter automatically put 18% service charge on the card for a party of 4.... The menu clearly states it applies to 7 or more.... When called on it, he tried to say that this was how things are dome here in the US (we've lived here for > 13 years) and then he said they applied it to people fr outside Santa Barbara (we asked how he would know that), his next line was that he thought he did a fine job and deserved 18%... No apology, no backing down, just rude arrogance... Really disappointing outcome - he could ao easily have fixed the situation


Favorite Italian Restaurant In SB
Reviewer: David from Goleta, CA
After sampling many Italian restaurants in the Santa Barbara area over the past few years my wife and I have settled on Aldo's as are favorite and dine there as often as we can. The service is always excellent and attentive and the food is authentic and my wife and I have never come across a dish we have not enjoyed.The nightly specials in particular the fish specials are my favorite and are always fresh and well prepared and paired well with vegatables and a side.The wine list while not extensive is always very good and is updated as new wines are discoverd by the owner some of which I have added to my own collection.


Decent Dinner
Reviewer: Nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
Palazzios, crowded as always was going to be too long of a wait for our group so we decided to cross the street to Aldo's. We split up our group into 2 tables so we could be seated right away. The service was great at first, but slowly we felt more and more neglected. We tried the calamari appetizer, delicious, and ordered the garlic cheese bread to go with our pasta, also good. For dinner I ordered the ravioli rosa. The dish had a bountiful amount of toppings, olives, artichoke hearts and mushrooms but the sauce was bland. The half of our group at the other table got fresh parmesan cheese grated over their plates, my table was not so lucky. Our waiter was not terrible, he just did not take the time to take care of our table, or make sure that everything was ok.


Delicious!
Reviewer: Richard from San Jose, CA
My wife and I are in Santa Barbara for vacation and found this restaurant through SantaBarbara.com. My bride had the Veal Saltimboca and I the Chicken Risotto. Outstanding food! Keep up the good work. We will be back!


what!
Reviewer: charlotte from goleta
I'm responding to the previous critic.....Where have you and your family been eating Italian??? Oh, I know, Olive Garden! This IS ITALIAN FOOD! THIS IS WHAT IT IS SUPPOSE TO TASTE LIKE!


Not what I expected
Reviewer: Mark from Redlands, CA
My family and I decided on Aldo's for dinner. We ordered te artichoke hearts and mushrooms which was great. Upon recieving our main courses we were not as excited. I ordered a veal dish that had too much lemon and too many capers and my wife's Smoked cheese raviolis tasted as though they were purchased from Costco. Even my daughter, who is 10 stated the food was'nt very good. We all expected more from this resturant.


Great place for a private party
Reviewer: Mary Ann from San Francisco, CA
We hosted the rehearsal dinner for our son and daughter in law on June 25th. It was a great success. The communication with the owners was very cordial and accomodating. We hosted 50 guests which was a perfect number for the venue. We started with wine and beer in the patio with a lovely variety of appetizers. It was great to be outdoors and able to mingle. Then we went inside to dine on a delicious salad, the Elvis salad, a favorite of the bride's. Each guest had preselected from 4 choices: steak, mahi mahi, chicken piccata or ravioli rosa (vegetarian). After the entree the guests moved back out to the patio for some fun and singing. Guests returned to a new seat and place setting. Each table received a variety of desserts to sample and share. Everyone enjoyed their dinner and the staff was delightful. We live in San Francisco so all planning had to be done via email. Every request was honored, even addressing guests' food alergies. Thanks to Aldo's for creating a wonderful event for us. Five stars!


always great!
Reviewer: charlotte from goleta
Whenever we crave great Italian food, we always go to Aldo's or Arnoldi's. The cilantro pesto is genius! so is the pork chop agra-dolce. The service is top notch as well and you can't beat sitting on the patio! especially when there's live music. The only thing I avoid is the Swordfish soup ( low tide ) and the Osso Bucco is underwhelming ( I like mine better!) It used to bother me that the bathroom is off the kitchen until I spent a few months in Italy, where space is a huge issue! and it's not unusual for the bathroom to be in very odd places indeed! Not a problem! It's an old building and a beautiful one at that!


I could eat here every day.
Reviewer: Jen from Santa Barbara, CA
I love everything about Aldo's--but their mahi mahi in sun-dried tomato cream sauce is TO DIE FOR. I actually dream about this dish, and have tried many times (unsuccessfully) to recreate it at home. The portions are extremely generous, and everything is always absolutely fresh and expertly prepared. Beyond the food, the patio offers some of the best people-watching in Santa Barbara, and the wait staff is always courteous and efficient. Aldo's has ruined just about every other restaurant in town for me. LOVE it.


Fettucini like grandma used to make
Reviewer: Charlie from Santa Barbara, CA
The food is really really good and the Ambiance is even better. Reminds me of a movie set or a street eatery in Rome. Fairly resonable prices, but the $6.95 portabella sandwich wins for vegetarian me. Also try the oven baked garlic-cheese bread. Yum.


Excellent Food - Very Reasonable Prices
Reviewer: Peter from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been dining at Aldo's since it first opened (it used to be the Copper Coffee Pot). I keep coming back because the food is always tasty and well presented and the prices are quite manageable. The swordfish chowder is not to be missed, and I can always find something appealing on the menu. The 1/2 serving items on the luncheon menu are a fantastic bargain. There's a lot to like here and the staff is always helpful.


Great food and service. We love dining at Aldo's!
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
The food and service are excellent, we enjoy dining in the relaxed outdoor patio. They are quite capable of getting our usual group of 6-8 for lunch served without a rush. One of our local best. Good job Mark !!


Lots to Love
Reviewer: Krista from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been here a few times and have enjoyed it each time. Service has always been great for our family of 4. They seem to enjoy kids, the owner or manager having kids himself and delighting that ours enjoyed his "real" macaroni and cheese. It's just like we foodies make at home, not the Kraft Mac n Cheese on most kids' menus! My kids beg for Aldos! I think they make a good steak, and love their lasagna! Their sauce is the best, authentic, made with love. Not every dish is as perfect as the lasagna, but most are good. We'll be back!


Location 5 star, everything else......not so good
Reviewer: Jon from Tulare, CA
We loved the location, it's why we ate there. We had our dog with us, so the outdoor dining was perfect. The owner/manager (?) made is obvious he did not want the dog there, after we already sat and began our meal. Our server was nice, although didn't know much about the food or the wine. My Wife's seafood was salty and overcooked. I had pork with a cranberry sauce. It sounded good, but seemed like they weren't meant for each other. My Brother-in-law's salmon special wasn't fresh, must have been why it was the special. The atmosphere would have been great, but somewhere between the rude manager/owner and the not-so-good food Aldo's was lost. Safe to say there won't be a return visit.


Wont eat here again
Reviewer: Keith Genneken from Santa Barbara, CA
Should have listened to previous reviews. First the food. I had the stuffed Chicken Breast, not sure what it was stuffed with, think it was cheese, not ample enough amount to identify. Friend ordered the Veal Saltimbocca ended up with the Osso Buco special. Waitress appeared to mix up the Bocca and Buco. Veal was actually good so we figured, veal Buco veal Saltimbocca it was veal. Second the service. Waitress took another tables ordered (they had ordered exact order we had) and we received ours before theirs. I guess she thought we had finished our meal as she snatched our plates away, I mean snatched, without asking if we were finished. My friend grabbed her water afraid she would take that without asking. When we had mentioned about the mix up in the Veal she responded that that is what we had ordered and insisted we revisit the menu to see. Though chicken was chicken, veal was good, but this is not Italian food. We will not be visiting this restaurant again.


Slow kitchen
Reviewer: Diana from Santa Barbara, CA
It was Friday and nice out... so decided to have lunch downtown and enjoy the outdoors. This was my second lunch visit to Aldo's. Had a satifactory experience the first time so decided to visit again today. It took so long to get our lunch and then when the food finally arrived, the 4 pcs of blackened scallops were too salty and found a pc of hair in my seafood pasta. The waitress, who recommended the blackend scallops never bothered asking us how the food was, hmmm. Plan to take a long lunch if you want to eat there.


Excellent Service, great ambiance
Reviewer: Zana from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I went here because we had a discount card, and decided to try it out. Reading the reviews below, I wouldn't have known that we even ate at the same restaurant. Our waiter was so attentive, but not over bearing. Very polite and my glass was never empty. We got a bottle of wine, chicken picatta, and veal saltimbocca. We enjoyed all of it. I would have to say that they could step it up in the bread department though. It was pricier than we had expected, but the service and ambiance made up for it (plus we had the discount card, so well worth it). Thanks for an enjoyable evening!


Good but service was poor
Reviewer: Jean Perry from Longview, WA
The food was above average, and the prices very competitive, but the service left something to be desired. Even though the day we visited (August 30th), it wasn't very busy, the wait staff just couldn't get our beverage order right, so we settled for drinks that we did not order, just for simplicity sake. The main waiter did not communicate well with his helpers. It also took the kitchen a very long time to complete our order. We did, however, enjoy time after lunch to visit without being rushed to leave. We would return for another visit, because the food was good.


Mediocre
Reviewer: Bill from Santa Barbara, CA
We dined at Aldo's because they have a 2 for 1 entre using our discount card. We've been to Italy 14 times so we know Italian food. This was not Italian food. Italian chefs put the emphasis on simple and fresh, only subtley enhancing the flavor of the underlying dish. Aldo's takes an American dish and crams it so full of sauces that you really don't know what your having. The food is not bad, but it's not real Italian. Tourist food.


An Authentic Italian Delight
Reviewer: Nick Dove from England
Have eaten at Aldo's three times within five days and can only say that if Locals in Santa Barbara have not experienced Italian food and ambience in its home country then look no further than Aldo's.The whole experience of Italian cuisine must include the ambience and the way that staff make you feel comfortable and relaxed.This place has bundles of it !! and they dont need to pretend because they are genuine characters and the food is superb too as near to what you could eat in Italy.This place is a gem cant wait to visit again !


visit from LA
Reviewer: Antony from Los Angeles
The best thing about this place is locale and the outside seating comfort with the heat lamps. Second is the food; we ordered the specialties: lamb with fettucini and stuffed chicken breast. They were good but not exceptional for the price. The sauce on the lamb was good and it was perfectly cooked. The fettucine and vegetables were plain. The stuffed chicken breast had a lot of flavor, but the sage and sauce were overpowering. The mashed potatoes and vegetables were also plain. The service was good; we had three people help us and people stepped in when they saw we were not attended. We are first timers may be back 8J


Poor Service!
Reviewer: Melissa from Santa Barbara, CA
This was our 5th visit to this restaurant. Our waiter was rude. Upon ordering the stuffed chicken breast, I stressed that I did not want any bacon. When our orders arrived, I discovered that my plate had bacon. I brought this up to my waiter's attention and he took the plate to the kitchen only to bring the same plate back thirty seconds later. He just scrapped off the bacon..gross!


Romantic Dining Experience
Reviewer: Myra Nagy from Denver, CO
I have been there serveral times for a romantic night with my husband. They have this wonderful wine that I can not remeber but it was a blend of Santa Barbara winery. I would love to order food to to be sent to my home or at least a list of the wine.


Poor Service and Simply Bad Food
Reviewer: Dave Besana from Camarillo, CA
I cannot believe this place is still in business. First, the bread had a soggy crust and seemed like it was day old that no one took the time to heat. Secondly the salad had slimy brown lettuce that was not inspected by the ‘cook’ prior to serving. We new we were in trouble and should have left right then. It was our 34th wedding anniversary; frankly In and Out Burger would have been better choice. As we waited for service, we noticed that another table got there after us got their meal before we did; the waiter took their plates back to the kitchen. I noticed how their meals were plated as he walked by us back to the kitchen. A few minutes later they brought the same two dishes back out and to our table; it was indeed the same two plates of food served to the other table. Oh, did I mention there is no bar only a poor wine selection? Our meal is not really worth mentioning, and most likely microwave prepared. Simply said, DO NOT go to this place unless you have lots of time and want to waste money on poor Italian food.


I love this place!
Reviewer: Thomas from Santa Barbara, CA
I go here at least once a month with my girlfriend. We love this place. We were always so surprised on how empty it was since the food's so good and the service was always great. I guess its because we would always go on a tuesday or wednesday. But we went 2 weeks ago on a Friday and it was packed, and the service was still good. The fettuccine alfredo is really good, I also like the stuffed chicken breast.


Best Italian Place in Town
Reviewer: Courtney from Santa Barbara, CA
I come here very often, the food takes a little while but is definitely worth the wait. They have live music sometimes, the restaurant is gorgeous, and everyone is very friendly.


Potentially good...
Reviewer: Lisa from Santa Barbara,ca
I was having dinner with my boyfriend because we never been. We actually eat there by default palazzio's seems to alway close early... the place was nice, they even had live music (nice touch for during the week). The server was nice and attenative but forgetfull, forgot a first course and a glass of wine...over all the food was ok not great, small portions, but no wow factor. I usually dont dine out and get pasta because I can make it at home thats just as good.


Even 1/10 of their Garlic would be too much
Reviewer: Steve from sb
The management of this beautiful place is hard to even comprehend. We love the decor and feel of the place...our waitresses have always been neato and cordial. Drinks are nicely strong and delicious...but they smelled like Garlic...my wifes wine when I tried to wiff its bouquet smelled like GARLIC. The food underneath the GARLIC seems like it could be quality...but who could tell?? Even 2 blocks away from the place smells of of an old Shilling Garlic Salt factory we used to pass up around Gilroy. Some-one has astonishing poor judgement.....ruinous for a place that could be Top CLass Romantic and delicious if someone with authority could just STOP the garlic use...ever thought of just offering it on the menu as an option to most dishes if people desired it?- But people we know have complained for years, and the restaurant refuses to yield to reasonable patrons...so sad...it has such top potential for so little change. -We would be dying to come back if they would just post a reasonable change of policy. Read some of the other reviews...its not just us. If you have felt the same way about it...please post here....perhaps someone at this pretty place...might see the light.


Not good
Reviewer: Brandon from Goleta
Went to lunch with a friend and the food was pretty bad. Unforunately, both of our lunches ranged from mediocre to inedible. I've wanted to eat here for a while, and the restaurant looks nice, but bad food. The pasta was bland generic noodles with cream, and my shrimp dish had so much garlic, it was close to inedible, and I love garlic! The bread was good, if too oily, and the service was passable, though I don't appreciate being 'sold' when I go out to eat, if you know what I mean.


Be Warned
Reviewer: Mark from Santa Barbara, CA
I came here for lunch a few months ago with my mom and girlfriend. The food was OK, nothing special at all. The service was very unprofessional; the staff were chugging wine in the back and they were obviously drunk. Our intoxicated waiter made several comments toward my party, which he probably thought were cute and clever, but were, in fact, highly inappropriate. There is a difference between good service and a server who interacts with their customers to an uncomfortable level. There was obviously a lack of capable management when I dined at this establishment and I certainly will not be back under any circumstance. I would advise this place to clean up their act.


A very enjoyable evening
Reviewer: Tim from Santa Barbara
We chose Aldo's because of a discount my company gets from there, but we will be back for the service and food. Our waitress was attentive but not overbearing and was perfectly polite with her entire job. The food was outstanding (I had the Ravioli Rosa). The atmosphere was quiet but not stuffy. This would have been a perfect meal if had it not been for a very inappropriate group sitting next to us. But that was certainly no fault of Aldo's. I recommend Aldo's to everyone!


Mixed review
Reviewer: Greg from Santa Barbara
Once our waitress found us in the restaurant after no service for about 5- 10 minutes, she took very good care of us. My wife always orders the better meal, she had the Sliced chicken with raviolis with the delicious cilantro sauce. I ordered Veal with prosciutto with a marsala sauce($20). The flavors melded perfectly together(must like a salty dish & wash it down with Kruger Cabernet Sauvignon($36) The only problem was that the veal was very tough. Veal is suppose to melt in your mouth, like the veal we made in Culinary school. I would have complained if the meal wasn't free( discount card, buy one entree get one free). We loved the homemade ranch & italian dressing. Would only go back with the discount card special deal. Prices are to high for what you get. If you want to stay warm in the restaurant, stay away from the front gate/window. Several people sat there and then asked to be moved.


prepare to be disappointed
Reviewer: Marc from Goleta, CA
My wife and I were meaning to try this place as it has a nice patio seating area. But the food was quite a disappointment. Actually, it was probably the worst Italian food I've had. We had the tomato-basil-artichoke pizza and the eggplant genovese. Both were entirely bland tasting. It seems like they use cheap sauce and mozzarella cheese. Service was ok, not great. but it was the food that was so unforgetably bad. That was one hour of my life I'd like to have back.


Very annoyed by service and food
Reviewer: Rani A. Kokatnur from Lompoc, CA
I've eaten at Aldo's several times in past years, and on my recommendation, our group of 12 had dinner there. I will not recommend it again. They were very accommodating when I made our reservation, but our waitress was loud, distracted, hurried and dismissed my concerns when I tried to express them. Two of us ordered the same entree and it was essentially inedible. Another ordered lasagne and found it had so little sauce she had to request some. Others felt their entrees were good, and one or two were delighted, but not worth the price. When I tried to discuss the entree and service problems with the manager, he barely listened, cutting me off to say, "Nobody else has complained!" He apparently told the waitress, who simply doesn't have the social skills for the job, to come see me, but she immediately began making excuses for the food and service and didn't have any interest in hearing our opinions. I gave up.


very dissapointed
Reviewer: Peter from Santa Barbara, Ca
This is the first review I have ever writen of a restaurant. I felt compelled to write this one because of the fact that I had such high hopes for Aldo's and it turned out to be a complete let down on almost every level. We have been telling ourselves for years, "we should try Aldo's". First, the caprese was way below average. I've had some of the best caprese and some of the worst...this was one of the worst.....boring and quite flavorless. The bread they put on the table is like wonderbread, only worse...and the oil tastes suspiciously like...something else....not olive oil. (Although the olive oil was probably the best part of the meal). I ordered one of the restaurant specials...mushroom risotto with sirloin steak sliced on top and my wife ordered the linguini bolognese. I usually can eat anythng even if it's bad, however, for $20 a dish I was not about to eat this one. The steak tasted gamey... or just bad quality control. The risotto was undercooked and so unbelievably bland. I had to send it back. My wife's bolognese was way over salted and the overall quality of the sauce was bad. The meat was dry and just gross. I re-ordered something simple (shrimp scampi) figuring how could they mess that up...but they did. The scampi looked like a 5th grader plated it plus it wasn't very tasty. The shrimp was chewy and had no flavor. I felt like complaining again but I figured I'd had enough of Aldo's. The service was good. They handled the complaints very well. The atmosphere was decent except for the "street musicians" (or whoever they were) singing bad cliche songs on the sidewalk. My wife and I were totally disappointed and could never go there again in fear of having the same experience. Not much else to say except....ALDOS..GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER PLEASE!! Thanks for reading.


Good food, great service
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I had dinner, and Lynne was our server. I ordered the gnocchi with sausage and it was DELICIOUS! Our server was great, and she checked on us frequently. Highly recommended!


Don't do it.
Reviewer: Kristen from Carpinteria
Everyone I know loves this place. I don't get it. I've been there twice, and both time I have been extremely disappointed. Like a previous review, we ordered the garlic cheese bread, and found no evidence of garlic anywhere on it. The bread really IS horrible. Those people that said it was like stale Wonder bread? They're right. I dont' understand how you can serve that kind of bread at an Italian restaurant. How can you mess up bread? The pasta was very bland and overcooked. The service and the spumoni are really good, but with the Chase and Palazzio nearby, there is no reason to ever go to Aldo's.


Decent
Reviewer: Kathy from Calabasas, CA
Decent food and perfectly fine service. This is clearly not a frou-frou place. I think as long as you stick with the basics and avoid more exotic offerings, you will be fine here. We enjoyed our salads and entrees.


great food, great service,
Reviewer: allen from granada hills/ca
we found this restaurant on the web site(santa barbara .com) so we decided to try it, food was just great, service was great ,very caring staff. wood trim in resaurant needs to be cleaned(dirty trim does not look good in a restaurant). we loved the food & the service,we'll go back again. reminder:please don't add 18% tip to your bills not professional.


Pretty good
Reviewer: Laura from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I had a good experience at Aldo's recently. Our waitress was very nice and my food - the gnocci with gorgonzola cream sauce and sausage - was absolutely delicious. My boyfriend's only complaint was that his pasta was scallops didn't have very many scallops and that they weren't the best quality. I would recommend this restaurant, though I don't think it's the absolute best Italian in town.


the manager was cruel
Reviewer: Liz from SB, CA
first of all me and several of my friends went to aldos for dinner for homecoming and we thought it was a great idea. we had never been there and we had reservations. we were still getting ready to leave and we getting close to our reservation time and we called and said we were on our way they were perfectly fine with this. we get there, we're seated and we were waiting for a friend and so we were sitting at our table waiting for her to show up. the (i'm guessing manager) comes up in a big hurry just a little angry and said to us,"we need these tables by 8 because we have a bigger party that had reservations coming then so you have to be gone by 8." we were shocked! we had reservations as well, we actually got there less than 5 min after our reservation said so we weren't as late as he made it seem. so he kept going by us glaring at us waiting for us to order and had this horrible attitude that no manager should have. ever...so we were finally asked by a very nice and funny waiter if so we wouldn't feel rushed if we would like to move to another place, which happened to be much nicer than the place we originally were. let me back up a little) we told them when we made our reservations that we had a party of 4 coming and we reminded them when we called them that night. they gave us a table for 8 and were blaming us for not telling them (the manager specifically) so we were a bit angry and were going to tell him how it really was and that he shouldn't tell us to leave by 8pm because he has another "bigger" group coming. plus it sounded worse because, we are high schoolers (and might not be 'old enough', or something like that to be able to be here) he made it sound like the group coming was better than us. which is not okay. the food was bleh. they barely came to fill our drinks, and they didn't get one of my friends dinners right at all. plus we left around 8:30pm and the people who were going to come to the tables we were previously at still hadn't showed up. the manager should have been a lot bit nicer than he was, no matter who it is, what age they are or anything. hmmm go figure.


Overpriced inadequacy
Reviewer: Pat from Santa Barbara, CA
I should have known. I had a coupon for the place, and I DID READ THESE REVIEWS and I probably should NOT have gone. The service was abysmally slow, with few other patrons, and beginning with the wine, which tasted watered down, the whole meal went downhill. The bread tastes like stale Wonderbread, the olive oil in the dish on the table tasted like Canola, and the garlic cheese bread HAD NO GARLIC. My $25 New York Steak was so filled with gristle it SQUEEKED as I tried to chew it. The creme brulee tasted like a marshmellow burnt over a campfire, they skimped so much on the vanilla it was a bland saucer of tasteless custard with a burnt crust. No one EVER asked how the meal was or they would have gotten an earful. With Pallazio right across the street there is NO reason to EVER go to this restaurant.


This is Italian Food?
Reviewer: Miriam from San Francisco, CA
I don't remember a worse meal in a long time. We sat outside, which by the way has not been cleaned in a long time. The bread resembled Safeway white baguette and oil poured was Canola not Olive Oil. Server was not only inexperienced but she would not even look at us while taking our order. We ordered pizza (small and soaky) and fish on the day, whatever it was - instead of grilling the fish, it was pan fried, served with relish of red grapes, red onion, bell peppers and basil. I was hungry but not hungry enough to eat something like that. To top all of this the wine was not served in appropriate glass. I did not expect a great meal but I did expect some edible food to cure my hunger. This restaurant is not Italian nor is it worth your time or money. Did I mention the fake porcelain-plastic china?


in Switzerland we dream of this
Reviewer: Raul from Rapperschwul
I live in Switzerland. Here we can only dream of such a great restaurant - of such a service and that great food. Arnoldis is one of the best restaurants we've ever been to! And it's even much more scenic than the Milan's famous "la bruschetta" in the dom area.


Bland food and inattentive service
Reviewer: Cindy from San Diego, CA
The place was crowded, so we expected decent fair, but the food was bland, at best. We ordered shrimp scampi and angel hair pasta with tomatoes and basil. Had to ask for salt and pepper to add a little flavor for both dishes. The waitress disappeared after taking our order, so we had to flag down other wait staff for salt, water, etc. Salad was just so-so--nothing special. Would not try them again--Buccatini's was MUCH better for Italian food.


Well that was disappointing
Reviewer: Brett Cross from San Luis Obispo, CA
went there Monday night, 7/3/06. I keep thinking to myself that after 9:00 pm the wait staff just gives up. Terrible service why a left a tip is beyond me, my girlfriend who use to wait tables in college told me to leave even less- she was probably right. The bread, the bread sucked- no taste white loaf. Oil yes, where is the balsamic vinaigrette, I guess you have to steal it from the table next to you like other's did. No salt, no pepper- huh. The food was so so, did like the fish soup. We ordered as salad that was drowned in dressing, the four cheese pizza was good and my main dish- seafood pasta was ok. All in all nothing to write home about. I'd try somewhere else.


Good Italian Food
Reviewer: Casey from Amherst, MA
I went here while visiting Santa Barbara and I felt that the food was very good and the atmosphere was good as well. It is also a very reasonably priced restaurant. I highly recommend the chicken ravioli. The sauce used for this dish was excellent. Highly recommended restaurant.


Decent Italian horrid decor!
Reviewer: Tink and Austin from santa Barbara
The food was ok, actually the smoked cheese raviolli was excellent,but the other ravioli on the menu made my boyfriend have a stomach ache the rest of the night! The service was ok, except whenthey refilled our drinks with root beer instead of Pepsi. This restaurant is located in an excellent spot on State and the restaurant has so much potential, but the decor is hideous! The tables and chairs definately do not match the talent of the chef and the prices on the menu!


Not worth it
Reviewer: Donya from Santa Barbara
I went here once and would not want to go there again. The food is mediocre, overpriced for something so un-unique and poorly prepared. The bread was good and the soup is okay, however anything past that is just a waste of time. The group I was with and myself all felt that the food was lackluster.


GREAT FOOD
Reviewer: Tyler from Santa Maria
I only ate there once but was it good. Oh yes just if you order a salad with the house dressing you might want to say no anchovies. Unless you like them. All I have to say is food is good.


average food appalling service
Reviewer: annette from manchester uk
We were sat in a corner table and largely ignored, we had to beckon the waiting staff for any service, within 2 mins of receiving our starter the main course arrived, we sent it back and asked for fresh, when asked on payment how was the service we made comment on the above to be told this was perfectly normal as both courses were ordered at the same time!!!!


Best Italian in SB
Reviewer: Jake from Santa Barbara
Time and time again, this restaurant never fails to impress me. My first time here wasn't so great, but Aldo's redeemed itself. Our waitress was quite rude, and after my friend and I complained loudly to each other, I think she overheard us and came back and gave us a "free dessert" coupon that had an apology scribbled on the back. That was a very nice thing to do. Waitresses are people too and they have their bad days, so it was impressive that she actually made up for her rudeness. So, after that encounter, I decided to come back, and have been to Aldo's about 10 times since. The food is amazing. They have perfect sized portions, and a very diverse menu. Their soups are the best in SB. They have this swordfish/tomato soup that is sort of their trademark that rocks. I don't usually like seafood soup, but theirs is amazing! They promptly give you an unlimited supply of fluffy bread w/ oil and vinegar, have excellent service, and a great atmosphere. You can sit inside in the nicely decorated dining room, or outside on the cool patio with the fountain. The restaurant is small, and that gives it more of an intimite, homely feel that I really like. Its also near the end of the touristy section of State Street, so it is usually not as packed as the other mainstream restaurants. All in all, after redeeming itself after my first visit, every subsequent visit to Aldo's has been amazing. I think they have the best menu for an Italian restaurant also; not as big as Pascucci, but still just as diverse. Being my favorite restaurant in SB, I recommend Aldo's completely for a quick lunch, or even a nice, quiet date. It just rocks.


amazing
Reviewer: Mario from Venice, Italy
this place is perfect


Not as Good as I thought

My favorite Italian dish is Fetticini Alfredo, and I have been rating Italian resturants around s.b. and I thought Aldo´s would be on my list to come back, but it´s not, the sauce was watery and dry the best thing was the bread sorry Aldo:(


Average

The food was average. The portions were quite small and were not filling.


hit n miss at times, but this time a hit
Reviewer: ln from goleta, ca
Aldo´s has always been a hit n miss for me, but this time it was a hit. The food was delicious and despite the busy lunch time hour, the servers were prompt with our order. The last time I was here (a few years back), the food was bland, and the service was lacking.


Pretty Good

This place has a charming ambiance, and I thought our waiter was pretty nice. The food is good, but not spectacular. I had angel hair pomodoro (which they did put swordfish on per my request which was nice) and that was decent. It´s a pretty good meal, but I´m sure there´s better Italian places on State


Bland...Bland...and more Bland

Service was unexciting, needed a personality boost... Food was bland, oil and bread? Nothing to jazz up the olive oil... I had to ask for S & P. Sorry guys you could do better...


Great atmosphere but the food needs help
Reviewer: Tad
The menu needs to be revamped and updated. The food is average and but pricey for what it is. Not a favorite of mine. Sorry guys but there are too many other italian restaurants that surpass ALdo´s by far. Go to PIattis, EMillios, Gissellas or my favorite Ca Dario´s.


perfectat
Reviewer: paul janssen from santa barbara
we had lunch today and i thought it was good ,good service just a nice place greetings paul and shereen holland


Terrible food

The restaurants decor was very nice as it looked authentic. But don´t be fooled by the looks and good service, what really counts is the food. The food was very disappointing and resembled cafeteria food. Anyone who wants good food dont come here.


Total Hottie!
Reviewer: Nate Tyler from SB
..my bros and I ate at Aldo´s last saturday for lunch. The food was so so, but our server was sooo HOT! ALDO´s you know which one I´m talking about: 5´9ish, Blonde with a black skirt. Sweet Jesus. Keep up the good work guys...and God bless hot waitresses.


"seated within three minutes of arriving"
Reviewer: Eric Montgomery from Montecito
...in response to the last comment, you were seated within three minutes of arriving because there is nobody else waiting to eat at Aldo´s. I tried Aldo´s once and was sat immediately as well and I now realize while people wait in lines to eat at other more popular Italian restaurants in town. This restaurant is in no way third place; they are not nearly on par with with restaurants like Ca Dario, Palzzio´s, or Pascucci´s. Don´t settle for Aldo´s like I did once and only once.


Romantic Outing
Reviewer: Angie Dioso from Santa Ana, Ca. USA
A trip to Santa Barbara would be incomplete without dining at Aldos. The atmosphere is quaint accompanied with outstanding service. My boyfriend and I love Aldos Payea. A craving for this dish calls for a road trip from orange county!


Excellent service, ambiance and food!
Reviewer: Clarke Hockwald from Ontario, CA
Was greeted by the owner and given choice of eating inside or outside in the patio area. We were seated within 3 minutes of arriving. Very relaxing atmosphere, prompt food service and excellent food. Very enjoyable evening.


Good Atmosphere, Gracious Service, Great Food
Reviewer: Erik Kluth from Simi Valley, CA USA
The restaurant is small but charming. The food is comparable to that of northern Italy. The cream sauces and fish plates are a delightful change from the other italian restaurants in the area that specialize in heavy red tomato sauces. The swordfish chowder, with its chucks of swordfish, has to be one of the best fish soups I have tasted. The ambiance combined with the service make this restaurant a fantastic dining experience.


To Die For!!!
Reviewer: Alfredo from Garden Grove, CA USA
My girlfriend and I are long attendess at Aldo´s and each time it gets better and better. It´s as if your part of the family. The food taste like they shipped it from Italy that very same day, the atmosphere inside and out is great. My honey and I prefer the inside sitting and you´ll know why when you check out the ceiling. It´s a place you can´t miss up on.


Delicioso!
Reviewer: Isaura from Los Angeles,California
I love Aldo´s. We go to Aldo´s whenever we are in town and have made the trip from L.A. just to dine there.We discovered aldos on a trip back from San Francisco and have been hooked every since. The food is muy delicioso and the prices are just right!


I was very pleased with Aldos

I liked Aldos, it was my first time in Santa Barbara and I wasnt sure what I would like to try there and Aldos was definitly the best meal I had in a long time.


Show me the money
Reviewer: Martin from Liverpool, England
On three previous visits to Santa B, my wife and I have always headed for Aldo´s because we thought the food, service and patio atmosphere were all excellent. Sadly on our most recent tripin October 03, our waiter was more concerned in charming the ladies on the next table for his tip than actually serving us. 15 minutes after being seated, he kindly decided to take our order. When we chose a $21 Chardonnay, after he´d recommended a considerably more expensive little number, his attention to our table seemd to cool even further. In fairness, the food was still very good, but the best bit was the guitarist/singer outside on the sidewalk. Accordingly, he got the waiter´s tip. We love Santa Barbara and want to return soon. Can´t say the same for Aldo´s.


bad decision/ bad service
Reviewer: steve from local
Last weekend my wife and I decided to go for some Italian. We went to our usual spot Palazzio´s but he hostess at the door told us the wait was a little over and hour so we decided we´d go across the street and give Aldo´s a shot. Now we know why there was no wait over at Aldo´s... there food is horrible and the atmosphere is rather depressing when sitting on their patio and watching all the people having a good time across the street at Palazzio´s.


Comme-ci, Comme ca
Reviewer: Elizabeth from Paris, FRANCE
I went to Aldo´s after touring UCSB. My best friend and our boyfriends were not impressed but not disgusted. I ordered fetticini alfredo with chicken and a cup of swordfish chowder. The bread was good, and my fettichini was bland. The chowder on the other hand...eeeew! It was chunks of fish in a fatty-tomato water. Gross! But the service was good and the man sitting on the side walk playing the flute was delightful.


Best Italian Food in SB
Reviewer: Christian Bravo from Santa Barbara, CA
To my opinion, Aldo´s is the best Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara. The food, atmosphere, and service are very good. Good location but small place.


Great, comfortable, reasonable, and unpretentious

Aldo´s is a great place to go for a nice meal when you want to be able to depend on the quality of the food and consistently good service. The owner, is often at the front door, and if he isn´t the manager is also very gracious. The outdoor seating is wonderful on balmy evenings, and even when it gets a bit chilly, the heaters work well. Before having kids, my wife and I used to eat there about once a week - it is that kind of place where you get to know the staff and they really take good care of everyone. Don´t expect "chi-chi" cuisine - Aldo´s is fairly predictable, but very consistently good, with reasonable prices. (It used to be REALLY reasonable before the miniumum wage went up and rents along State Stree jumped up a few years ago). If you want "chi-chi" head across town to Ca´dario or Sage & Onion - but expect to pay quite a bit more. The Caesar salad at Aldos is always great (plenty of diced anchovie) and the Chicken picatta is a family favorite (we still go now with the kids, but we just don´t get out as much as we used to!) In my opinion, the food at Aldos is better than across the street at Palazzio, where the focus is on ridiculously large portions of VERY gloppy, greasy pasta (although some of their dishes are quite good). The help-yourself wine is a novel idea and the garlic rolls are great when you are famished, but the advantages end there as compared to Aldos. Aldos is much more "cozy" and predictable, and the service is always great, even when they are "slammed" on summer weekend nights. Try it - you´ll like it. Just have the right expectations and you won´t be disappointed!


great staff, management, food
Reviewer: Kent Lorson from Phila., PA
I´ve been to Aldo´s twice....no three times, all for different occasions, ranging from small personal affairs to large group meetings. The staff has been unilaterally gracious and accepting, especially on Halloween and for a pre-wedding group thing. The food rocks and is complimented by a well-considered wine list featuring local products. Heated porch seating is great for people watching. A very hip and dialed-in place to have dinner.


Great service
Reviewer: Victoria from Woodland Hills, CA
Found first experience to be rewarding b/c of great service compared to Palazzios. Found it to be pleasant and prompt.


"OVER RATED"
Reviewer: LU-DENNIS BARBIERI from SAN PEDRO, CAL.
OVER PRICED, OVER RATED..MY WIFE ORDERED THE "HOUSE SPECIAL, N.Y. STEAK" IT TASTED LIKE BOILED BEEF WITH A VERY TASTELESS WATERY SAUCE. I HAD SEAFOOD PASTA WHICH WAS PRETTY GOOD, THE SERVICE WAS GOOD. WE WENT ACROSS THE STREET TO "PALAZZIO" AND HAD A MUCH BETTER DINNER.(AND MORE RESONABLE TOO!) LU AND DENNIS BARBIERI FROM SAN PEDRO


perfect date spot
Reviewer: Carley from SB, CA
Aldo´s has a charming atmosphere, friendly service, and delicious food. Everything that I´ve tried has been to die for, and it´s so comfortable, it works as a first date or friendly lunch. You´ll love it here.


Decent

Pretty good. The waitress was prompt, the food was excellent, and the atmosphere was super-spectacular. Plus there was a huge line at the Italian place across the street. I had some flies buzzing around (and wondered where they came from, you usually don´t get those--do they need to move a dumpster?) but I *was* eating outside, go figure.


delightful

The atmoshphere at Aldo´s is friendly,pleasant, and romantic. Great food, including the sensuous chicken picatta. Go here instead of across the street, at the overrated Palazzio.


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