Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quaint Italian Restaurant in Encinitas

Trattoria I Trulli - a quaint little Italian Restaurant located on Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas.  Very homey, cozy, and comfortable.  Seems to me a great place for a date or to have a nice adult family meal, I wouldn't recommend taking kids here for the simple fact that it is so small.  No music here only the chattering of voices talking over one another, not a bad thing.  Sol said she kind of liked it, it gave it more of a personal touch.

We made reservations for 8:30 but showed up quite early, lucky for us they had a table ready and sat us.  We were immediately greeted with a basket of bread and its amazing accompaniment.  It was a slightly cool tomato sauce seasoned very well with strong notes of basil and a hint of spice.  The bread was very fresh - which was a nice touch, I feel like you don't get that very often.

We opened our tattered menus, the first page was a plethora of daily specials: including a ravioli, gnochhi, pasta, soup and desert.  The following page included their house specialties of antipasti, pastas, fish, meat, etc.  So much to look through, what would we decide on.  After ordering a bottle of Chianti, I started to really peruse the menu.  The waiter approached our table mixing in some general Italian words like "Prego" and "Grazie", I asked him what he recommended and he immediately went to the first page, the specials.  The decision wasn't hard from there, Sol ordered the pasta special: a Spaghetti with homemade Italian Sausage, clams, shrimp in a white wine sauce.  I ordered the Risotto of the day: can't remember what all it had but there were peas, watercress and it was on a bed of prosciutto.

To start we had the: Scampi ai Trulli (off the regular menu): Fresh shrimp sautéed with white wine in tomato sauce with shoestring potatoes.  This was uh-mazing.  Never would have paired potatoes and shrimp but it worked very well.  The potatoes were freshly cut and fried, and the shrimp was VERY fresh, soft and succulent.  The seafood flavor from the shrimp and the comfort of the potatoes melded together like they had known each other for centuries.  Maybe they have, I don't get around much.

Back to our entrees.  As you can see mine was a heaping PILE of Risotto.  The main thing that attracted it to me was the "bed of prosciutto".  Lately I've been diggin' Risotto since our chef, Jesse, makes a bomb Lobster Risotto and a Duck Risotto, so I thought I'd give this one a try.  Unfortunately, it fell flat.  It was slightly over cooked, and kind of bland. Not bad with a fair share of salt and pepper, but not sure they tasted it before they sent it out.  I'm not going to lie I was a little disappointed especially since everything up till that point had been superb.

Sol's entree on the other hand was fantastic.  The Italian sausage was quite tasty and the spaghetti tasted fresh.  The light sauce was very flavorful and a great compliment to this dish.  I absolutely loved it.  Something very different than I had tried before but again done very well.  Great presentation.

Sorry, it looked so good, I forgot to take a picture of it whole!
To finish we had Strawberry Napoleon.  When I asked the waiter if it was good before ordering he said yes, it was made fresh daily.  Fresh daily will sell me every time.  Wow, so good.  It was home made whipped cream with thinly sliced strawberries and layers of puff pastry finished with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce drizzled along the outside.  I might even say it was decadent.  Isn't anything with puff pastry and whipped cream good?

I must say, though my entree wasn't great, I found this place to be a wonderful find.  Atmosphere was fantastic, service was very good.  There was some Italians working there which gave it an authentic touch.  The food I would say was outstanding all things considered.  And frankly, I can't wait to go back.


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