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Italian natives to open Los Altos restaurant

Uploaded: Jul 12, 2018
Tre Monti, an Italian restaurant from three natives of southern Italy, is set to open this fall at 270 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

Mattia Galiano is opening Tre Monti with Giovanni Messina, a longtime restaurant server and sommelier, and Mario Nucci. All three hail from Calabria. They took over the space after Miyo Yogurt closed.

The future home of Tre Monti on Main Street in Los Altos. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

Galiano, who came to the United States five years ago, said he has been cooking since he was a young child. Opening his own restaurant is a longtime "dream," he said.

The Tre Monti menu will represent all regions of Italy, with pasta, pizza and seasonal dishes using ingredients sourced from local farms. Galiano plans to import certain cheeses, including a buffalo mozzarella made by members of his family in Naples, as well as wine from Italy.

Fresh pasta will be made on a $60,000 machine from Italy. Galiano plans to also make gluten-free and vegetable-flour pasta.

Galiano recently traveled to Naples to conduct pizza research, visiting the best pizzerias and talking to their owners. He developed his own mix of flours for Tre Monti's pizza dough.

"Our goal is to bring the real Italian food," Galiano said.

Tre Monti will serve 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. The wines will be bottled under the restaurant's own label.

Tre Monti will serve lunch and dinner daily. Galiano hopes to open by September.

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 +   2 people like this
Posted by Great addition, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 8:03 am

This would be a great contribution to our local food scene.

Most of the Italian restaurants in the area are just so-so, and many probably don't even have an Italian chef. Will be very successful if they manage to offer authentic Italian food at reasonable prices.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Stephen Drake, a resident of Atherton,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Can the guy make timpano? Nobody around here seems to (or know how to).

 +  Like this comment
Posted by JLN, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 1:15 pm

JLN is a registered user.

To: Stephen Drake. Thanks for introducing me to 'timpano'. I've been eating at Italian restaurants in California for over 25 years and this was a new one for me. I googled it and now you and I both know what it is.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Diner, a resident of another community,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm

That must be some pasta machine.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

JLN: Of course some or many California restaurants called "Italian" lean toward Italian-American dishes, which influenced the general understanding of what "Italian" food means in the US (even though some of its most popular specialties are unknown in Italy, or are called "American food" there). So depending on the restaurant there may or may not be much true Italian fare.

But the timpano became popularized nationwide here for a while, in the wake of the 1996 comedy movie "Big Night" ( Web Link ) whose climactic scene features an elaborate main-course timpano. (That film's production company even has Timpano in its name.) It was the US cooking fad for several months, with timpano websites springing up and restaurants featuring copies of the one in the movie (just as the climactic meal in "Babbette's Feast" had spawned restaurant imitations in the 1980s). So there's a group of us Americans who know about the timpano dish directly or indirectly from "Big Night" (whose story turns, even, on differences between Italian and Italian-American cooking).

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

AKA timballo (or timbale).

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sal From North Beach, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:27 pm

QUOTE: "...differences between Italian and Italian-American cooking)".

Do Italians (in Italy) prepare cioppino?

*thinking maybe some relative visiting from San Francisco turned them on to the dish*

That would certainly be better than bringing relatives from Italy over to the Olive Garden. No timpani at OG...just extra breadsticks.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 15, 2018 at 6:20 pm

We could sure use a good authentic Italian restaurant in Los Altos with housemade pastas! Here's hoping they offer the real thing. If the three owners are all from Calabria and they have family in Campania, I hope their menu (and wine list) focuses on the south even if they do have some menu items from other parts of Italy.

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