Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “italian”

The Godfather

We celebrated last New Years Eve at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Diego, The Godfather! Excellent Linguine ai Frutti di Mare. Such a beautiful and delicious display of seafood goodness.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

Excellent order of half & half spaghetti and lasagna at Filippi’s in Santee! It was accompanied by a huge, tender and flavorful meatball and one of the best dinner salads you’ll find anywhere. Filippi’s is a San Diego institution, in business since 1950. They’ve grown into a small chain of old-school red sauce Italian restaurants dotted throughout SoCal.

The Godfather

Tasty lasagna at The Godfather in San Diego! Not the best lasagna I’ve had, but decent nonetheless. Not quite hot enough in the center mass.

Villa Capri Trattoria & Wine Bar

Outstanding Pappardelle Bolognese at Villa Capri in Poway! Homemade pappardelle pasta with a classic Italian meat sauce. The Mozzarella Caprese was exquisite.

Antonio’s Pizzeria

Probably one of the more stalwart restaurants on the island, Antonio’s is a good standby. The menu is quite expansive and would satify any tastes. The menus are literally huge in your hands. This has become our traditional last-day eating stop before boarding the boat back home. I’ve had a number of dishes here over the years and the food overall is just slightly above average in my opinion. With the current ‘rona outdoor seating situation, this place is actually a very good choice. Ample outdoor seating right on the water with stunning views. Only Antonio’s and The Bluewater next-door seem to have this seating benefit. Standout for me has to be their music. Really good tunes pumping in the background. Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Alan Jackson, et al. YMMV, but I liked it.

North Italia

I first visited North Italia a few years ago in El Segundo and immediately fell in love with this special Italian restaurant. Since then they’ve opened two locations in San Diego and I’ve been to both. Fashion Valley mall and Carmel Valley. This Carmel Valley location, just east of Del Mar is my fave. Situated in the corner of a high end shopping center, parking was abundant in the adjoining structure. The architecture of the restaurant itself was somewhat reminiscent of a Red Lobster, but attractive nonetheless.

As a starter we ordered the White Truffle Garlic Bread which was just exquisite. Adorned with a generous daub of their house made ricotta. Be careful touching that black iron dish it’s served in. Comes out smoking hot. For my main I tried the Burrata Tortelloni. I always try to get something different each time. This was an excellent dish with a rustic tomato sauce that really highlighted their use of house made pasta. 

Reservations were unfortunately misleading. Via OpenTable I reserved a “standard” table for 4pm, given the choice for dine in. We were only provided a table on the patio upon arrival unfortunately. At the time, they did not seem to be sitting anyone inside. Not ideal and not what I was expecting after driving nearly an hour to get there, but we did enjoy our visit.

The Godfather

Outstanding spaghetti carbonara at The Godfather! One of San Diego’s finest Italian restaurants.

Mamma Ramona’s

A fairly institutional chicken parmigiana at Mamma Ramona’s. Not among the best parm I’ve had but it was decent nonetheless. I think I’ll stick with their outstanding cannelloni.

Olive Garden

Tasty Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara at OG in Santee, CA! Not really a traditional version of carbonara but I still order it. Maybe once every five years or so.

Mamma Ramona’s

I finally checked out the new Mamma Ramona’s recently for dine-in! Upon entering I was immediately struck by the interior remodel. The place looks stunning. I recall going into Mamma Rosa back in the day; it always felt like being in a funeral home. The parking lot is much improved, too. It used to seem like war-torn Kosovo. Craters and what not. It’s nice and smooth now.
I ordered one of my favorite dishes, cannelloni, which is not often found on Italian restaurant menus. House-made pasta sheets rolled around a beef and sausage filling; topped with red sauce & mozz then baked off. Sort of like an Italian enchilada. Mamma Ramona’s cannelloni was outstanding! Warning: when it comes out, it’s about 9,000 degrees. Allow it to cool for a few minutes and start with small bites. My dinner included garlic bread plus choice of soup or salad, only $15.
If you know me, you know I love salads in a wooden bowl. Imagine my delight when my salad came out in a wooden bowl just like at the Weev. The greens were fresh and crisp, with none of that fancy tissue paper lettuce that you can’t even stab with a fork. There was no juice spooge from my pepperoncini, totally dry inside, but the flesh was firm and tasty. My son had the lobster bisque. I didn’t try it but it looked rather thick and viscous. He used the term “pudding” to describe the consistency.
I am pleased to report that Mamma Ramona’s is now serving beer & wine! Overall it was a really nice experience. I was impressed. The service was thorough, friendly and knowledgable. If there were ever any “kinks” after the ownership transition, they have been “worked out”. I will say, the chairs at their new high-top tables are somewhat uncomfortable, but you get used to it after a few minutes. Highly recommended.

Post Navigation