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Italian restaurant recommendation-Orange County

mymeowzer Jun 21, 2009 08:37 AM


I'm looking for a great italian restaurant in Orange County for my Mother-in laws Birthday.

She lives in Fountain Valley, but we can go anywhere.

Thanks so much!

  1. s
    shagdaddi Jun 22, 2009 03:03 PM

    Gardunos in Costa Mesa has been one of our favorites for years... and Nicks in the Albertsons center on Harbor and Wilson in C.M. is also good...

    1 Reply
    1. re: shagdaddi
      j0nny3 Jun 22, 2009 06:38 PM

      you gota go MAma D's in newport. hands down best italian around.

    2. j
      jaykayen Jun 22, 2009 12:14 PM

      Villa Nova in Newport?

      1. w
        Wonginator Jun 22, 2009 12:09 PM

        Great recommendations by others. One to add to the list is Mangia Mangia in Huntington Beach.

        16079 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

        1 Reply
        1. re: Wonginator
          jaykayen Jun 22, 2009 12:14 PM

          Oh, yeah, my aunt and her kids like this place.

        2. lil mikey Jun 22, 2009 09:59 AM

          Depending on how many people you are planning to invite, you may want a small (10 people) private room at Antonello's in Costa Mesa. I've had good meals there, as well as at Prego in Irvine, which also has a small private room next to the kitchen.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lil mikey
            christoofat Jun 22, 2009 11:26 AM

            I was also thinking of Prego's. Haven't been in a while, but every time we've gone, the food was great & it was "an experience".

            1. re: christoofat
              lawdog262 Jun 22, 2009 11:42 AM

              Concur with recs. of Onotria for high end Tuscan and Antonello for a private room (we had our rehearsal dinner at Antonello 4 years ago and they did a great job for us).

              1. re: lawdog262
                BubblyOne Jun 22, 2009 01:44 PM

                Love Antonello's as well, never been dissapointed there.

          2. JAB Jun 21, 2009 04:36 PM

            I'd consider Alessa Cuccina in Newport. Search the board and if you decide to go reservations are a must.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JAB
              groover808 Jun 21, 2009 05:49 PM

              I second Cucina Alessa, nice trattoria style with reasonable prices. I actually also went to Sterling's Cucina in Huntington recently and had some excellent lamb chops there.

              1. re: groover808
                christoofat Jun 22, 2009 07:30 AM

                Thirded (Alessa).....get there early, they don't take rezzies for less than 6.

              2. re: JAB
                Das Ubergeek Jun 21, 2009 09:20 PM

                People I trust recommend this. I haven't been, but it's on my short list.

              3. j
                JBinOC Jun 21, 2009 10:07 AM

                What type of Italian (Southern, Northern, etc.)?

                Upscale or casual?

                For an experience with more atmosphere and distinction, Onotria on Bristol Street in Costa Mesa would do it. Cuisine is more aligned with Tuscany and the central region.

                For a casual, red sauce meal, I'd recommend Luigi's d'Italia on State College Boulevard in Anaheim. Haven't been there in awhile, but the food, service, and neighborhoody atmosphere has always been great, and it's also a place I'm comfortable taking dining companions who are less adventurous.

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