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Jun 21, 2009 08:37 AM

Italian restaurant recommendation-Orange County


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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

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

        2. re: JAB

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

        3. 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

            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

              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

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

          2. 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

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

            2. Villa Nova in Newport?