Sunday, March 06, 2011

Bon Appétit in San Diego

120 Orange Avenue
Coronado (619) 319-5696

Laura and Raffaele Petrazzuolo took a 28-year journey around the world en route to Coronado. They met at Hotel Le Grand on the isle of Jersey in the English Channel. Laura, an Englishwoman of Irish heritage, was a trained chef, pastry chef, and chocolatier. (Would she consider her amazing walnut-date caramel tart a confection or a pastry?) Raffaele, from Italy, waited tables. They married and immigrated to Sydney, Australia, where they operated several Italian restaurants until they fell in love with Coronado while vacationing. With their school-age daughters in tow, they recently returned and opened Sapori in 2010. Fans of authentic Italian fare will appreciate the move. Laura oversees the kitchen and personally prepares the handsome desserts. Raffaele, ever so deft when serving, guides the meal at a gentle pace. In the dining room and on the shady terrace from which a few tables enjoy views across San Diego, the day's menu is chalked in capital letters on enormous blackboards. When zucchini blossoms are in season, savor them stuffed with silky ricotta mousse, floured, flash-fried, and served sizzling with pesto and arugula. Sizable portions encourage sharing, especially with the marvelous antipasto of hors d'oeuvres, which includes prosciutto draped over watermelon, garlicky white bean salad, and deliciously dressed carrots. Luscious lips eating spaghetti paper a dining room wall; imitate them by ordering spaghetti tumbled with tomato, pungent olives, garlic, and creamy mozzarella. The pastas are all excellent, and also include fusilli with pesto, ricotta-stuffed crepes (manicotti) in tomato sauce, and linguine with shrimp, olive oil, garlic, and chile flakes. Served hot from the pan, the crisply breaded boneless chicken breast arrives alla Milanese under a juicy tomato salad. Lamb ossa bucco with risotto and sea bass with olives and capers are other fine entrees. For dessert, just try to resist the individual (and huge) lemon meringue pies.
- Review by David Nelson, February 2011

Setting: A few outdoor tables glimpse downtown San Diego across the bay; indoors, sexy lips eating spaghetti adorn the wallpaper
Service: Professional, but friendly and un rushed
Best Dishes: Antipasto; all pastas; breaded chicken breast with tomato salad; lemon meringue pie
Dinner Prices: Starters, $10-$15 entrees, $13-$30 desserts, $7

1 comment:

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