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Petrini's - Goleta
No longer in business
Opened: 2011-01 Closed: 2016-08

5711 Calle Real, Goleta
Phone: (805) 964-1200

Reviews by the General Public

Good food and great service.
Reviewer: Claire from Santa Barbara, CA
I go here for lunch about once a month. I highly recommend the meat cannelloni.

One of our favorites!
Reviewer: Becca O from Santa Barbara, CA
My dad and I went to Petrini's tonight to take advantage of the Axxess B1G1 free entree deal. He ordered a pastrami sandwich and I ordered the chicken rosemary ravioli in alfredo sauce. We both loved our dinners but also had enough to take home for another meal. My dinner came with garlic bread and a salad which were also both really good!

Wasted our money on Nov 6th
Reviewer: Travis from Goleta, CA
We rarely eat out, to save money, but decided not to cook last night. Picked up chicken parm & ravioli to-go, and it was virtually unedible. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I guess I would liken the chicken to tasting like it was microwaved, and the sauce simply wasn't good. Not sure what was wrong with the ravioli, but it just wasn't right Spent almost $40, and threw away 80% of it. If we were eating in the restaurant, we would have returned it and been better off with a frozen dinner from Vons. Disappointing, but this was our last attempt.

I'd go back!
Reviewer: Tina from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here three times and so far not much to complain about. The first time me and my husband had sub sandwiches and my only complaint was that there was not a lot of meat on the sandwiches, but they were still good. The second time I got an antipasto salad to go and it was great. And today I went for lunch (using my new Axxess card 2 for 1 deal) and got chicken piccatta with alfredo for my lunch and an order of chicken alfredo to go for my husband. My lunch was very tasty. It was hot, portion size was good for lunch, and the service was excellent. I will definitely go back when I get the urge for Italian.

Underwhelming Chicken Parm
Reviewer: Lil from Santa Barbara, CA
I stopped at Petrini's in Goleta for take-out this Tuesday evening. The man at the counter was polite, friendly and efficient. I ordered the Chicken Parmesan dinner with pesto pasta on the side. When I arrived home and tasted my entree I was very disappointed. The marinara sauce covering my chicken was so sour that I could not eat more than two bites. My pesto noodles were decent but I wished the sauce was more flavorful and had more garlic. In my opinion, $16.00 is far too high a price for an underwhelming chicken parmesan. The portions however were beyond generous and I do appreciate the new gelato bar. I believe this restaurant has the potential to prepare good food if they would only season their sauces with better care and perhaps make them from scratch rather than using canned tomatoes/ marinara etc.

Great Food, Great new Comedy Show!
Reviewer: Andrey from Santa Barbara, CA
I heard the food struggled its first year, whatever they are doing now - they fixed it! Pizza was great, and that is saying alot coming from a New Yorker. Their new comedy show is great too!

Great experience
Reviewer: Fred from Santa Barbara, CA
Had a great meal here at Goleta. food was very good and the service was attentive. The place is defantly a local, family run restaurant and I believe they have been around for 50plus years. I would very much recommend this place for a great meal. The chicken picatta is delicious and the thin crust pizzas are very unique.

Graduation Dinner Bust
Reviewer: S. from Santa Barbara, CA
Took our family there for the 1st time. And will never go back. Let's start with the fact that the table was covered in crumbs and I had to ask for a rag to clean it. Garlic bread is absolutely tasteless. Greasy and tasteless pasta that must come from a can. If that's Italian food then no thank you. Portions are huge but I would rather have tasty well done food. Waitress is very quirky and not very attentive once you order your food.

Not bad, but it could be so much better
Reviewer: Scott Schwartz from Santa Barbara, CA
Petrini's has recently returned to Goleta, now occupying the old Luigi's Pizza parlor. It seems to be much larger restaurant than their Santa Barbara store. I'm pretty sure the menus are the same, if not exact. To put it nicely, without (much) judgement; I consider myself and my family fans of Petrini's. The downtown store has a waitress who's a kick, the food, while average, isn't bad and the atmosphere is right out of 1958 somewhere in Baltimore. The Goleta store only hits 1 of the the 3 above charms, and that's the food. Which on it's own really isn't enough reason to go. Our visit last night was proof of that. Our pizza was so greasy the cheese slid off the crust. The crust, not burned, but was much too crispy for my taste. We also ordered a family antipasto salad. The salad was rusty, the toppings too few and far between. I should mention the gelato bar, that was a nice touch and we did enjoy our cones after our dinner. Overall I think I will stick to the downtown location.

A lot better!
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Went here for a group dinner and its a lot better! They have a neat room in the back now that shows photos of Italy on a giant screen, you feel like you are in Italy. The wait was still a little long for the food but it was very good! The pizza and pasta were great! The servers were really nice and professional. Worth a 2nd try at this place, I think they may have found their groove now.

Wanted some Italian food. Wasnt so good.
Reviewer: David from Goleta, CA
when we walked in the resturant it had a good amount of customers. Thats a good sign. Sat down ordered a beer went with Telegraph California Ale it was a good choice. I ordered the baked meat ravioli with chesse and my girl friend got the spagetti. the salads not so good,. the pasta is horrible I felt like they openend a can of chef boyardee and threw it in the oven. All in all was not pleased with the food. the service was good polite and friendly. Will not be going back for pasta.

Rather Luigis was still there
Reviewer: B from Santa Barbara, CA
Have given this place 2 tries and it has failed each time. First time we did chicken parm, garlic bread and baked ravioli. Garlic bread had a neon yellow butter (spray?) and was not crisp. Raviolis looked from frozen and there was hardly any sauce just large chunks of tomato and huge chunks of onion. Chicken parm was over cooked and again the bread was not toasted. Then we tried the pizza... No sauce yet again and the pizza and crust just tasted horrible. Add more actual sauce, toast the bread, use real butter and garlic and I can't even guess what to do to the taste of the cheese and the crust then maybe it'll be ok. Good thing though is the service was pretty good. Huge disappointment will not be going back without some major changes.

So disappointing...
Reviewer: Huyen from Santa Barbara, CA
My second time trying this new location. The first time was MUCH better - thin crust pizza is probably the best item on the menu. We had a variety of dishes and only one person was satisfied with their food (group of 6) - which was the chicken picatta. Everything else - minestrone soup, chicken wings, marinara sauce, pastas, eggplant seemed out of a can/box/pre frozen. Very lacking in flavor, hard noodles, sauce was sweet like it had cinnamon in it and stranger after taste. Didn't taste like restaurant grade Italian food. Our waitress was..hmm..interesting..quirky one with braces. It was an interesting and underwhelming food experience. I don't know where to go in Goleta for decent Italian food. Guess I'll stick to Santa Barbara for that. Such a bummer because Petrini's on Upper State is sooo good.

Rehearsal Dinner
Reviewer: Michelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Just had a wedding rehearsal dinner in the back room at the Goleta Petrini's. Everything was GREAT! The owner was easy to work with and got our menu planned ahead of time. The service was fabulous. We loved having the back room to ourselves. If we had been a little more prepared we could have made a slide show or something for the enormous screen and projector they had set-up. There was tons of food and it was delicious. This place is great for a large group, private party, and for children!

Great spot!
Reviewer: Tarrah from Santa Barbara, CA
While I agree with the previous poster that the service and atmosphere at this restaurant are accomodating, I must respectfully disagree with her critique of the pizza. I personally love their cracker-thin crust - I like all the taste of the yummy cheese and toppings without feeling like I'm chewing on a wad of dough. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. My husband swears by their chicken picatta, too. The portions are HUGE!

Will not be going back
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I decided to go try it without knowing anything about it and we were very dissapointed. The place is cute inside and the service was good, but the pizza was really bad, the crust tasted like cardboard. I think they were trying to do the thin crust style but it not taste good at all, would rather have frozen pizza! We just split a salad and pizza, the salad was ok, maybe we should have gotten the pasta??

Wonderful experience
Reviewer: Scott from Santa Barbara, CA
I really enjoyed my visit to Petrinis in Goleta. The food was great and the staff very friendly. I will be visiting again anytime I am in the area.

I won't even go to the upper State location after this.
Reviewer: Morgan C. from Goleta, CA
I ate there about a month ago. The people when I walked in pretty much told me just to sit down and wait. They didn't seem to care much. The waiter however-Mike, I think-, was very attentive and nice. He refilled my soda PRONTO, which is a really big thumbs-up for me. The food took a little while, and when I got it, it was cold, whereas my friend's was very hot. The owner seemed far too preoccupied with the large table next to us, and actually bumped into our table once. The waiter apologized for him, and I left somewhat satisfied with that, but cold food is NOT okay. Not in my book, anyway. I'm not recommending this to anyone anytime soon.

Reviewer: Jay from Santa Barbara, CA
A to-go order for a large "house special" pizza. Service was good: folks were polite and courteous. Pizza was hot and ready to be picked up at the appointed time. Unfortunately it was one of the worst pizzas I've had in awhile. The crust was very chewy and tasted like cardboard. The topping was unexceptional. We won't be going back anytime soon.

too bad!
Reviewer: charlotte from goleta, CA
I was so excited to go to the old Petrini's again but it turned out to be a disaster on many levels! We had to ask our waitress to bring everything from place settings to drinks to our FOOD! Then we got the wrong pizza! My eggplant parm. was the worst I've ever was all breading and horrid marinara sauce and oily cheese.yuk!! When the owner asked how dinner was I told him my opinion..he very rudely sniped "these recipes are fifty five years old and we aren't changing anything and if you don't like the food then don't come back! Yikes! So much for constructive criticism! And earlier I over heard him telling an older gentleman that he can just go to Rusty's then! This guy needs to take a crash course in Hospitality Management! Too bad!

Big disappointment
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
I remembered going to Petrini's as a kid and having good times so when I found out they opened in Goleta, I was pretty stoked and decided to take the the whole family there. Unfortunately, it was bad news from start to finish. I walked in with childhood anticipation and stood in front of the "wait to be seated" sign. No one acknowledged us, let alone even looked at us. Several minutes without a hint of acknowledgement from the staff, my wife finally asked a young man behind the counter, "is this where we should stand to be seated?" He replied "uh, yeh" We finally got seated, ordered promptly enough, then waited over 50 minutes later to feed our famished kids. No bread to stave off the hunger. No one refilled our water, asked if we needed another drink or anything else for that matter. We then witnessed a group of college students leaving, commenting that they had been waiting an hour and a half and finally decided to go somewhere else. The food was mediocre at best. But the service was the deal breaker. Such a bummer!

Not Good.
Reviewer: John from Goleta, CA
Everything started out fine. It was Friday night (3/11) and busy, which we were happy to see. It only took 5-10 minutes to get a seat. Our family decided on eggplant parm, a calzone, 2 kids' pizzas and a side of meatballs for our very hungry 21-month old. Drinks and meatballs came out first after a slightly longer-than-average wait. After another wait, the calzone and one of the kids' pizzas came, both tepid. We waited for 5 more minutes before it was decided those with food should start. After another 5 minutes, the second kids' pizza arrived. It was so covered in garlic it was inedible. About 10 minutes later (so 20 minutes after the first entree arrived and probably 30-35 minutes after ordering), the eggplant parm arrived. All the food was mediocre at best, and after comping us a pizza and the eggplant parm, our bill still came to $38 for a small calzone, kids' pizza, side of meatballs, and an apple juice. Our server was unapologetic and disinterested in being helpful. Oh and also, though a minor point, a server noticed a filthy hot wheels car on a ledge above our table and asked if it was ours as she set it down in front of our toddler. We said no and she walked away without responding or removing it. I grabbed it to keep him from putting it into his mouth and we had to soothe a hungry, now ticked off little boy. I hope it was just an off night but we will not return to find out.

great three times awful one time
Reviewer: Peter from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten the take out at the petrinis goleta at least three times with very good food. I went for lunch on saturday off of normal hours 3pm and the food was terrible. The garlic bread was flat and tasted like it was from the night before. We complained and the waitress ran and got us french bread that was cold and stale. The rest of the meal was the same old tasting and flat. I am hoping this was a fluke since I have had good meals there before and was very happy that we had a good Italian restuarant in goleta.

Things started bad but ended well
Reviewer: Jenny Hyde from Santa Barbara, CA
Went last night and things didn’t start well. We got sat when a large party was ending. The waitress didn’t see us and it took like 10 mins for them to notice. That was the bad. Once we got a new waiter things went great. The waiter, I didn’t get his name “dark hair goatee” helped us to relax and even got us laughing about things. He filled our drinks on time and just had a great attitude. The food he recommended was outstanding. We will be going back.

Food and service are great as they have been for years
Reviewer: Eryn from Santa Barbara, CA
I used to eat at the Goleta Petrini's as a kid 30 years ago. It was great as it still is. The food is delicious, great sauce; fabulous pizza, delicious cheese lasagne. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 stars is that I think the salad could be stepped up a notch from iceberg lettuce and crutons. We love Petrini's and that they're in Goleta, and will be back many times!

Referring to the comment below
Reviewer: Justin from Santa Barbara, CA
I was sitting at a booth near by when this happened and i have to highly disagree with what this costumer has said. They had a group of about 40 and wanted to pay with about 19 cards, that is a little excessive don't ya think?? 4 cards for 40 people is very reasonable and when saying you want split the bill it usually only means 2-4 cards, 19 is out of line. This place uses an old school system, no POS computer system and handing over 19 cards is ridiculous. The costumers we also VERY rude towards the owner, he explained the situation and they jumped down his throat, very uncalled for. I have ate at this restaurant many times and every time is FABULOUS!! Disregard this comment below! NOT true. It has been in business for 53 years, they must be doign osmething right

Reviewer: Jordan from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here twice with friends - the first time was alright, but the second time was the worst restaurant experience of my life. We were told we'd be allowed to pay with multiple credit cards instead of splitting the bill, only to be told later that we could not pay with more than 4 credit cards without paying a dollar swipe fee (we were a large group and they were well aware of us wanting to pay seperately). The owner was UNBELIEVEABLY rude to us and made up "paying policies" on the spot and then continued to blatantly tell us he was charging the dollar fee in order to make a profit off of customers and that he could care less if we never returned.

Glad you are here in Goleta
Reviewer: Local Family from Santa Barbara, CA
My family and I have been to Petrini's twice and on both occassions the food and service were excellent. I like that the owner comes by to say hello and see how things are going. We plan on continuing to support this new local favorite.

Very disappointed
Reviewer: Ramona from Santa Barbara, CA
We drove over an hour to eat at the Goleta location for my daughter's birthday and were very disappointed. We waited over an hour to get two cold pizza's and had to wait another 20 minutes after that to get the third pizza we had ordered. They had made a mistake in the kitchen and had to re-bake it. Not to mention that the pizza was dry and brittle. They also forgot to give us our baby's pasta that we ordered and we had to repeatedly ask them for it. Usually Petrini's is great so I am really hoping this is an isolated incident. The manager Joe was rude and didn't even bother coming over to our table after we complained but sent over an assistant. Our waitress was good and tried her best to make it right but it was a BIG let down none the less. I really love Petrini's and looked forward to eating, in my opinion one of the best pizza's in town, but it wasn't meant to be that night.

Valentines dinner
Reviewer: Bethany from Santa Barbara, CA
We took our little boy out to dinner on Valentines to Petrinis and were very pleased. As long time patrons of Petrinis in San Roque, we knew what to expect and were not dissappointed. Simply, the best red sauce I've ever had. We chatted with the owner, had a very nice waitress and a busboy who was very attentive. Thanks so much.

I've had much better
Reviewer: Brian from Goleta, CA
I had high hopes for this place, I really did. Where to start? The raviolis looked and tasted like they were reheated and from frozen. The garlic bread had zero crispiness and also looked pre-made and did not taste garlicy. The sauce had little sauce to it but rather large chunks of onion larger than my watch face. Why would I want that? The pepporini that comes with the meal seems like a desperate attempt to provide something unique but a little pepper on a napkin isn't going to bring the masses and doesn't fit with baked ravioli or chicken parm. Speaking of, the chicken parm was nothing more than ok being thin, slightly over cooked and not very tasteful. I hope they start making their garlic bread much better and their sauce needs more flavor less giant chunks. Perhaps provide a marinara option as well with flavor.

So many better italian places in town! Not worth it!
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
Ok so as the title states. Not a great place. Brought the girlfriend there for a nice dinner and did not find what we were looking for. we were sat at a crappy table and ignored for about 10 min when the waitress was walking by and we clearly looked like we were ready to place our order. Yes the waitress tried super hard at being nice but u could tell it was an act, but our biggest disappointment was the food. I had the chicken picata and it tasted like it had been simply reheated from a previous day, and the sauce was terrible. Anyways to wrap it up, I know way better places in town and I regret my decision.

Great service, good food!
Reviewer: Esther from Goleta, CA
My boyfriend and I wanted to get some Italian food so we decided to try this place out. He got the minestrone soup, which I didn't like very much as it was oily and luke-warm. I was a little hesitant about the food afterwards, but I had the Manny's Linguine with chicken was was great. It was tasty and perfect. My boyfriend had the cheese ravioli which was good as well. His portion wasn't as big as mine, and I had enough for another meal. We ordered the chocolate gelato and cheesecake which were awesome. The service was really good- nice, fast, and friendly.

Feels like they are still ramping up
Reviewer: Matt from Santa Barbara, CA
Got the call on Wed evening that my daughter had decided we were going out to Petrini's, apparently she was craving some pizza. So we arrived a little before 6 and were promptly seated, restaurant was maybe half full at this point. Daughter had a personal pizza, it was decent, nothing spectacular, I found the crust to be a bit thin and dry, the sauce and toppings were good though. My wife and I had entrees that came with dinner salads which were pretty good with fresh ingredients, we both enjoyed them. A bigger bowl would have been nice (hard to start eating without salad items spilling out) but that is being nit picky. I had the grilled chicken with fettuccini. Chicken was ok, a little over and dry but seasoned well, pasta was good. I don't think I would order this again though. Wife had the Manicotti which we both liked - yummy cheese. Garlic bread was average. Very comfortable restaurant, my family enjoyed the meal. Our server was new and working hard but still a bit slow, I think the service will get better with time. I am sure we will be back to try some of the other items on the menu.

Off to a great start!
Reviewer: Anita from Goleta, CA
I was happy to see Petrini's open up again on Calle Real where a remember going as a child in the 80s. It has not changed much - still classic, unpretentious Italian food. We have dined there twice already and have enjoyed both visits. The first visit was just a few days after they opened. My husband & I split a small veggie calzone which was plenty for two. The crust was a cross between pizza & pie crust & the marinara sauce was perfect! The dinner salads are basic, iceberg, croutons etc.. The ranch dressing is just how a good ranch should be, cool and creamy with NO vinegar! Their house italian is too oily for me - I would like a larger vinegar to oil ratio & more herbs in the mix. Our server (I wish I got her name...) was super friendly & attentive. Our second trip was Friday night around 6:00 pm. The place filled to capacity quickly and it seemed as though they could have used a couple more servers on the floor to accommodate everyone. Just a minor kink that I am sure this new restaurant will figure out. I ordered the pasta primavera - very generous amount with lots of veggies however, it had a burnt flavor which made it a little unappetizing. My husband got the bbq chicken pizza - pretty good but the crust was definitely lacking. My husband described it as a saltine cracker crust... Either the dough was not fresh enough or it was not allowed to rise properly. It was missing that chewy texture & the yeast flavor that a good dough produces. Overall, I think Petrini's is off to a good start will likely be a regular stop for us.

Good Food, go during off hours
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
For now this place is packed during peak times. So much so I did not get my takeout food for about 1/2 hour and had to ask who I believe is the owner where my food was. They really need a more efficient upfront system. It looked like those in the restaurant could have used another waittress or two also. So go during off hours/days, to me the food is worth it here, they have a distinctive sauce they use(sweeter Southern Italian I think). Parking is fun on the little strip mall parking shared with Nugget and Trader Joe's.

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