]Italian in Encinitas
- Stanley Stephan
Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway there seems to be a large number of Italian restuarnts in Encinitas. What's the deal? 'Is this the Italian section of San Diego, so to speak?
Any of them any good? If so, what's the thing to order?
Trattoria I Trulli seems to have the most business. It is nouvelle Italian and at this point I am desparate for nouvelle anything. Unless I hear otherwise, this may be the first place I try. Anything special here.
Other Italian I've spotted
PINOS ITALIAN RESTORANTE
AMICI MORE THAN A BAKERY
GIOVANNIS ITALIAN SANDWICH
VIGILUCCIS TRATTORIA (is this part of a local chain?)
WHEN IN ROME RESTAURANT (always empty. Has the tourist trap look to it)
That doesn't include the places on El Camino and Santa Fe Roads like:
FRATELLIS PIZZA GROTTO
PIZZICATO GOURMET PIZZA
PAPA TONIS PIZZA INC
NEW YORK PIZZA HOUSE
ROSANNA ITALIAN DELI
Russos Pasta Shop
Tony Macaroni Pizza & Pasta
I excluded the chains, but I'm not yet chain savy in this area so some of the above may be chains.
There is also a new Italian Restaurant opening in Cardiff, one door down from the other Italian restuarant.
Where to go? What to order?
I have been to Trulli, it is pretty good, watch out for the garlic dipping sauce they serve with their bread, heavy on the garlic.
Pino's is good, have not been there in about three years however.
Leucadia Pizzeria has pretty good pizza and salads.
When in Rome is one of the highest rated in the area by all the critic's/reviewer's. It is nice but pricey.
Viggiluci's is good depending on the cook, has changed cooks numerous times and I have had both good and mediocre meals here. And yes, he has about four restaurants in the area of North County.
Have not tried any of the others so please report any you try and your impressions. Thanks
Trulli's is good, but too noisy. Much too noisy, unless you eat outside, which is a problem with all the car exhausts on Coast Hwy. Trattoria Positano in Cardiff, on San Elijo, is excellent. Great lobster ravioli, and every other thing on the menu we've tried as well. Comfortable, good service, not too expensive. Firenze on Enc. Blvd. near Rancho Santa Fe Rd. is good. Pasta Bravo is good, but limited menu for dinner. It's more expensive than it should be.
Leucadia Pizza has great thin-crust pizza and the Santa Fe Chicken Pasta is wonderful. Jay's in Carlsbad, billed as a "gourmet seafood" place is very noisy, so we usually order to go, particularly in the summer when it's swarmed with tourists. The Chicken Marsala, Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Clams in Red Sauce (the appetizer) are great. So is the garlic bread. Salad with creamy Italian is the best. Don't go to the one in Cardiff or Encinitas. The original is the best.
Don't go to Vigilucci's. They have an undeserved reputation. Food is passable, crowds are a problem, but as Yogi says, "no one goes there any more, it's too crowded."