Temecula area eats
Recently moved to Temecula area, and I'm looking for places to go eat/drink. I found a bunch of chain/franchise restaurants, but does anyone have any recommendation for "local" joints? Anything and everything--casual to special occasion, bbq, Italian, Asian (Thai, Sushi), French, Cal/American, wine bars, etc...Also, any websites or local area guides? My hungry belly thanks you.
(1) Penfold's Cattle Company in old town Temecula. Their menu changes, and quality is great.
(2) The Summerly Grill (at The Links golf clubhouse) in Lake Elsinore (18 miles?
They serve mostly breakfast and lunch. Open until sunset. However, they now have a sunset dinner 6-8 pm Prime Rib dinner only on Thursdays that is great and only $12.95. And, full bar. Nice wines. I enjoy their basil chicken sandwich (on ciabata bread), and they do a good job on most of their menu items.
(3) Anthony's Ristorante in Temecula
It's a new place just opened and my friends are recommending.
(4) Vincenzo's Olive Tree in Lake Elsinore
I think this is the best old-world Italian restaurant in the area. Worth the drive from Temecula. Lunch and dinner.
(5) Ravioli's in old town Lake Elsinore
Upscale new wave Italian (wooden seating and small tables). Lunch and dinner. Sometimes closed at lunchtime, so call first.
(6) Original Pancake House (not IHOP) is Temecula
It's a chain, but not too big. It's a guilty pleasure.
(7) Richie's Diner in Temecula or Murrieta
50's style, great service, great food. Fired zuccini !
(8) Giovannis in Murrieta
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
(9) Great Oak Steakhouse in the Pechanga Resort
Dinner only, closed Mon. and Tues. Excellent
(10) Harry's Pacific Grill
Lunch and dinner. Not excellent compared to Newport Beach and LA, but good.
(11) El Comal Restaurant
32410 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore
(951) 674-4323 (dirt driveway
)Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Standard gringo fare.
(if you're in the area. Really good, nothing mindblowing. Better than most gringo Mexican places around here. Near The Storm baseball diamond)
(12) Specialty dining at some of the wineries
Good luck...not a whole lot of options in Temecula except chain establishments...I've scoped it all out, so here is the list:
Wine Bar: Stellar Cellars - On Front Street in Old Town
Really nice people own it, live entertainment on weekends....not open on Mondays.
Italian: Gourmet Italia - Plaza Tower shopping center next to Starbucks...really good italian...very small bar adjacent....entertainment on weekends....authentic Italian....not open on Mondays....casual and indoor/outdoor seating.
Italian (a bit more upscale): Osteria Toscana - Hwy 79S next to Starbucks...same owners as Gourmet Italia, but atomsphere and food totally different...a lot more upscale than the previously mentioned....nice...no bar but has outdoor seating.
Thornton Winery - very established, consistently very good food...outdoor dining open daily.
Allies at Callaway - very casual, good food and great view...no indoor dining - open Wed to Sunday.
Ponte Winery - not sure if they are open everyday....my least favorite of all winery dining, but others really love it...all outdoor dining and entertainment on weekend nights.
Carol's at Baily's...this is the Mom of the Front street grille owner....good salads...open for on Wed- sunday.
Best take out - Presto's...and they deliver too....chef used to work for Baily's years ago...they are in the Alberstons' center on Rancho California Road.
Nicest Bar nearby: Pala Mesa Resort...10 minutes south of town...but feels like a world away...only place to really get a decent cocktail with premium spirits.
In no particular order...
Francesca's on 79S/Temecula Parkway for Italian (my Italian neighbor reps Gaggia coffees and gives this the thumbs up - I love their food though I did have an overly salty meal there once; Spuntino's (in the shopping center with Baron's on Rancho California x Meadows Pkwy - I highly recommend Baron's for produce & specialty items, too) - Spuntino's is owned by the family who owns Presto's Gourmet Italia and Gourmet Italia North in Murrieta and Spuntino's is an Italian market/deli which happens to make amazing pizza and also prepared to-go Italian deli items.
Also for pizza try Filippi's Pizza Grotto on Jefferson x Rancho California which is the local outpost of the one in SD Little Italy.
Baily's in Old Town - they have "white table" restaurant upstairs but I really like the atmosphere & food of their downstairs casual restaurant.
Rosa's in Old Town across from the Temecula Olive Oil Co -- NOT the Rosa's Tortilla Factory fast food which is also on Jefferson/Old Town Front Street several blocks north! Great authentic Mexican food.
Scarcella's in the shopping center with Armstrong where Orchard's market used to be Rancho California x Ynez) - Italian with martini bar that has been around forever & ever -- great food.
Fish House Veracruz - chain but a reliable family favorite.
Seems like all the wineries have restaurants -- the ones that get the most local raves are the Smokehouse (Ponte) and Carol's at Baily's.
Sushi - I go to Sushi Camp on Hwy 79S/Temecula Pkwy. They have a few varieties that are more in the style of Korean sushi (I think someone involved in this operation is Korean - not sure the details) - always super clean and reliably good food everytime we're there.
Hope this helps! I write a blog about life in Temecula and sometimes write about local businesses & restaurants -- http://thanksgivingfeast.blogspot.com -- there is another local gal who writes a blog and she covers more restaurants than I do -- http://ihearttemecula.blogspot.com