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Feb 4, 2008 10:43 AM

Italian food in san diego

I still haven't found a good italian spot in San Diego. I've had a few good meals at Caffe Bella Italia and Trattoria I Trulli but neither of them were that great. My favorite past sauces are vodka cream sauce, pesto, and arrabiata which is a spicy tomato sauce. If anybody knows where to get these done well or if you just know of any italian places I should try in general please let me know. I would love to be able to enjoy a great italian meal once a week.

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    1. re: Josh

      What dishes do you reccomend getting there and hows the bread they serve? Also do they have a website because I just tryed looking them up.

      1. re: lovesfood11

        I doubt they have a website, they're pretty old-school. I haven't been there in a while, but I remember having a shrimp pasta dish (I think it was one of the evening's specials) that was very nice. Huge shrimp, but cooked just to the point of doneness, so still quite juicy. Bread was good, too.

        You might also like Buon Appetito in Little Italy.

        1. re: lovesfood11

          Here's a link to their menu - http://www.sandiegorestaurants.com/me...

          I don't think they have an actual web site.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            I've been by there 100's of times but never been, looked at their menu through the link, it's an old school menu, quite pricey. I'll pass on Baci but, will try Antica Trattoria recommended by AQ.

            1. re: cstr

              Here's the link for Antica Trattoria, and it is very good


              1. re: DiningDiva

                Thanks, DD, menu looks good, now that's a fair price point per plate for 'Old School Italian'. I think I'll give it a try this Sat.

                1. re: cstr

                  Do give it a try, I think you'll like it. I haven't been for a while, but it's usually pretty consistent.

      2. For some very good (but not outstanding) Northern Italian food try Barolo.


        Piatti is doing also some good dishes. If they have a risotto special I highly recommend it.

        1. Since your tastes seem to favor more old school Italian (vodka cream sauce is actually an Italian American/NY dish), you might try Manhattan restaurant in La Jolla -- it's apptly named.

          I also recommend Trattoria Positano in Cardiff and Trattoria Aqua in La Jolla.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wanker

            I've heard of the Manhattan restaurant. Isn't it kind of new?and do you know if they have a website?

            1. re: lovesfood11

              Manhattan is very old. It's been there for at least 25 years.

          2. Have you tried Arrivederci or Antica Trattoria? Arrivederci has two locations, one in Hillcrest and one that recently opened in East County. I haven't been to the Hillcrest location in a long time, but our recent meal at the East County location was very good. Antica Trattoria - it's kind of old school, and I think they would have what you're looking for. Good espresso too!

            11 Replies
            1. re: Alice Q

              I haven't tryed either. But I was thinking about checking Arrivederci out this friday because there menu seems to have what I'm looking for. Hopefully the quality of their food is good.

              1. re: Alice Q

                Is the east county location also called arrivederci? I looked on their website and they only had the hillcrest location listed. I am always on the lookout for new places when we make treks out to the in-laws.

                1. re: littlestevie

                  I believe so - I called the Hillcrest location and they told me it was open and gave me the number - I called, and placed the order by phone. I saw it before they opened, but I haven't been down there since - it's in the Target shopping center in Rancho San Diego - between Target and the movie theater.

                2. re: Alice Q

                  It's been a while since I've been at the Hillcrest location (October), but it was a pretty disappointing experience. The noise level was deafening and we had to wait almost an hour despite reservations.

                  Food-wise, I had the spinach gnocchi in blue cheese cream sauce. It was ok and a bit on the bland side. The house bread was incredibly salty to the point where it was almost inedible.

                  Glad to hear the East County location is good! Is the restaurant larger than the Hillcrest location?

                  1. re: geekyfoodie

                    I made resevations at the Arrivederci in Hillcrest for Friday night do you think I should cancel? Because I wouldn't want to go there and have okay pasta and horrible bread. Also what places do you reccomend instead of Arrivederci?

                    1. re: lovesfood11

                      9 times out of 10 Arrivederci in Hillcrest is pretty reliable. I think Geekyfoodie had the misfortune to be there on a bad night. I think I'd be inclined to give it a try and decide if I liked it or not and form my own opinions about the place.

                      1. re: lovesfood11

                        Lovesfood11, I'd say Dining Diva's advice applies to all chow. Definitely take all recommendations with a grain of salt and try it anyway. One 'Hound's crap is another's regular haunt, which is part of the beauty of food... we'll all find something we love, no matter where we look.

                        Reservations are excellent, especially on the weekend. I would also say that it's best to go with smaller parties (4 or less). My best experience at that location was just me and BF and a pretty good squid ink risotto.

                        They have a pizzeria a few blocks away and I'd say my best Arrivederci experience came there. Great pizzas and not as noisy as the primary Hillcrest branch.

                        1. re: geekyfoodie

                          Thanks for the rec. I will form my own opinions about that place but I just got worried when you said the bread ws unedible because that is something I enjoy a lot before the meal when its good. Also you can judge a oot about a restaurant by the bread they serve. But I will keep my reservation for Friday night.

                      2. re: geekyfoodie

                        Actually we got the food to go, so I haven't eate in the restaurant yet, but my husband said it was packed and very small. The dishes I liked were the chicken lasagna, a special that had langostino in a "pink cream sauce" (this was over the phone) and their penne bolognese. I took some photos, but I haven't put them on flickr yet. If I can remember, I will post links.

                        1. re: Alice Q

                          Alright thanks thats good to hear that they have a good pink sauce.

                    2. My favorite Italian places are: Arreviderci (not spelled properly), Buon Appetitio, Harry's Bar, Piatti and occasionally for good Italian American de Medici downtown--don't laugh I have actually always had well priced tasty meals!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jturtle

                        What dishes do you like at Arreviderci?

                        1. re: lovesfood11

                          I actually almost always get this baked eggplant appetizer as my mains but have tried most of the entrees and they were always solid. I also like their tiramisu which isn't as sweet as most American renditions.

                          1. re: jturtle

                            Have you tryed there penne arribiata, pesto or vodka cream and if so which do you think is the best out of those three?