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Apertivo San Diego

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lovesfood11 Apr 8, 2008 07:57 PM

I want to try this restaurant so bad, but I am wondering how big the tapas can actually be and how good the quality is when the prices are so cheap. Also what dishes do you reccomend me getting there when I go?

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  1. El Chevere RE: lovesfood11 Apr 8, 2008 08:51 PM

    Their quality is good....I have had and enjoyed the ceasar salad, chicken piccata, and pasta with mizithra cheese (same recipe as Old Spaghetti Factory--yeah, I know, but I love mizithra cheese). Fair wine selection with wine flights nightly.

    1. geekyfoodie RE: lovesfood11 Apr 8, 2008 09:21 PM

      The dishes are small and, as El Chevere mentioned, the quality is good. One person could make a meal out of about 3 dishes or so. Try to go when it's not as busy, like early evening. When they're slammed, the food takes a really long time to come out and the noise level becomes deafening.

      I haven't really had a terrible dish there. Some are meh, but some of good ones include the calamari steak with chives and the shrimp fra diavolo.

      7 Replies
      1. re: geekyfoodie
        popandkate RE: geekyfoodie Apr 8, 2008 09:24 PM

        You can get a fabulous lamb shank there for $7 (I don't even think I could get it from the store for that!). I also highly recommend the Caesar and the caprese- somehow they give you a ball of fresh mozz for $5. The atmosphere isn't anything special, but you can't beat it for cheap, quality chow.

        1. re: popandkate
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          lovesfood11 RE: popandkate Apr 9, 2008 07:08 AM

          How would you compare it to some of the better quality italian restaurants in town?

          1. re: lovesfood11
            jmtreg RE: lovesfood11 Apr 9, 2008 01:45 PM

            Food wise, its pretty well mid-tier. The food won't blow you away, but its not the red and white table cloth kind of place either.

            I don't really think of Aperitivo as an Italian restaurant, but rather, a wine bar that serves Italian food. To that end, its a success.

            1. re: jmtreg
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              MrKrispy RE: jmtreg Apr 9, 2008 05:39 PM

              I agree. The prices are decent for most stuff, it isn't real fancy and not real trashy. Wine choices by the glass can be a bit sketchy though. I have been a few times where it seemed like every Red they offered (by the glass) had been sitting next to the furnace for storage - harsh.

              The lamb shank is definitely a great selection, I second it.

              1. re: MrKrispy
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                lovesfood11 RE: MrKrispy Apr 9, 2008 08:09 PM

                Does everyone think its a place worth going to? I mean if I can cook better italian food at home I don't think I would want to go.

                1. re: lovesfood11
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                  mimosa RE: lovesfood11 Apr 10, 2008 10:32 AM

                  It's a great little spot for very affordable, quite edible food. The plates are big enough to share so you just order up family style. Nice, well chosen wine list. Nightly specials are whatever Ken (owner/chef) feels like cooking. We had an awesome bean soup the other night, as well as crab cakes and ribs that were off-menu items. All quite tasty, When they first opened, the Osso Bucco was a special, it's now on the list. No fanfare, just a perfectly cooked leg o'lamb on a plate, meat falling off the bone. Steak is served the same way - but cooked to order (and they even get it rare!).

                  We're always stunned when the bill arrives. We're completely full and the check is always surprisingly small - guess since nothing on the menu is over $8 and we're not used to seeing such fair pricing.

                  So yes, it is definitely a place worth visiting. No reservations and they get crowded, especially when Ray@Nite or other events are happening in North Park. If you do R@N, I recommend hitting them early or plan to wait.

                  1. re: mimosa
                    jmtreg RE: mimosa Apr 10, 2008 12:10 PM

                    I agree absolutely. Aperitivo is definitely worth a try. The food is good quality, pretty cheap, and serves as a great counterpoint to the wine.

      2. El Chevere RE: lovesfood11 Apr 9, 2008 09:23 AM

        Apertivo is no Baci, but then again you won't be paying Baci prices....if you are in the mood for good, inexpensive Italian food then this place will satisfy your urge (just as I wouldn't compare Mona Lisa, which I also like, to Baci). Believe me, I would have no problem telling you to save your money if the food did not taste good--whether it was inexpensive or expensive. Just depends upon your mood, if you need to impress someone, etc.....agree with above poster about noise factor--best to go during midweek.

        1 Reply
        1. re: El Chevere
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          Ewilensky RE: El Chevere Apr 9, 2008 09:30 AM

          Apertivo is very good for the price and a fun night out. I too will echo the mid-week suggestion as when they are busy you can't hear yourself think.

          Sunday has some nice wine deals however...

        2. El Chevere RE: lovesfood11 Apr 9, 2008 09:29 AM

          I will add that I would choose Apertivo over most of the overpriced, mediocre quality Italian restaurants in the Gaslamp area--not that Gaslamp area is the standard against which I measure restaurants.

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            epicureous eggplant RE: lovesfood11 Apr 10, 2008 12:19 PM

            Unless they run out, they always serve hot, braided breadsticks, and I think they're wheat. I like the turkey tetrazzini and the gorgonzola capellini with pecans.

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              ptb RE: lovesfood11 Oct 12, 2009 05:42 PM

              I had been here a couple of times about a year back, and enjoyed myself, so we came back on 10/10/09 to have dinner with friends. We had four people, and we ordered a lot of dishes. The cooking quality was -- at best -- mediocre. Figs with prosciutto that had been cooked completely into submission -- the figs were mush oozing out of the prosciutto, and the prosciutto was cardboard from over-cooking. Tasteless, gooey eggplant parmegiana. Tough, dry lamb osso buco. Tasteless (frozen) fried calamari. All four of us were salting the food, to try to pry some taste out.

              It was Saturday night, and 2/3 of the tables were empty. We quickly discovered why. By the way -- our bill with tip was $190 for four, so dinner was not only medicore, it was also fairly expensive. Those tiny eight dollar plates, and eight dollar glasses of wine, add up. You have been warned.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ptb
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                MrKrispy RE: ptb Oct 12, 2009 06:32 PM

                I unfortunately agree with you haha. Went last summer (2008) and had a few entrees that were quite mediocre. Went toward the beginning of this year and it was an overwhelming disappoint. Quite bad actually. It has been a consistent downward slide for Apertivo IMO. Prices have creeped up and the quality of food has plummeted (wine was always hit&miss for us).

                Not planning on going back.

                1. re: MrKrispy
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                  Ewilensky RE: MrKrispy Oct 13, 2009 06:28 AM

                  What a difference a year can make - prices up, quality down. We no longer visit either. Holding out for Arrividerci opening up across the street.

                  Besides, youtube "crazy apertivo guy" -- really??!!!

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                itsmechuck RE: lovesfood11 Nov 15, 2009 10:27 PM

                APERTIVO is taking a time out, and doing catering ONLY in the short term, but plan to reopen nearby in a month or three. We can't wait.
                The Linkery has dibs on their site with opening planned for summer, 2010, with a California-Spanish-Baja small plate affordable concept. The apple has not fallen from the APERTIVO tree.
                Ditto; We can't wait.

                -----
                The Linkery
                3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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