Enoteca Adriano – PB’s First Italian Wine Bar

The Pope's Pillow
January 11, 2012

Forget jet-setting - embark on a trip to Italia without leaving San Diego.  Enoteca Adriano in Pacific Beach offers delicious Italian fair in a dimly lit and authentically romantic café setting, with both indoor and outdoor patio seating.  Modeled after many of Italy’s cultural centers, Enoteca Adriano is a wine bar/restaurant featuring regional Italian wines and traditional dishes served up with impeccable white linen service.  With the warmth of a traditional Italian family, owner Franco Tassone invites you to indulge in recipes born of his family of chefs and restaurateurs. 

Embark on an exploration throughout the expanse of Italy via their wines from over thirteen different regions.  The bold Aranacio, a Cabernet ($6) hailing from Sicily would pair excellently with any of the Italian delicacies offered.  The Boro Toree Pinot Noir from the Venice region ($6) is a lighter bodied wine to be paired with your choice of the uniquely flavorful interpretations presented.

After you order your first glass of wine, invigorate your palate with toasted Italian bread dredged through a chive infused oil and balsamic reduction. Take in the quaint yet lively, classy yet casual, boisterous yet intimate atmosphere of Enoteca Adriano.

Any of the four specialitas di burrata are a must.  Based upon the meaningful recommendations of our very well-informed waitress, we chose the burrata enoteca ($14), a warm plate of sautéed garlic spinach, grilled cherry and baby heirloom tomatoes, and salty slices of prosciutto, topped with shaved parmesan, all accompanying and showcasing the soft and creamy burrata - a fresh Italian cheese homemade from mozzarella and cream.   The balsamic reduction drizzled over the top really marries the components, culminating in a heavenly union of elegantly simple ingredients.

The ravioli rossi ($17), a staple in Chef Franco’s repertoire for over 25 years, comes stuffed with seafood, and topped with butterflied jumbo shrimp and lobster, doused in a sweet and creamy seafood reduction sauce.  These raviolis had far more meaty substance than most stuffed seafood raviolis usually have. 

Enoteca Adriano features daily specials ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to zuppa di mare to Wednesday night’s lasagna: a generous piling of thin lasagna, hearty mini-meatballs, and robust red sauce topped with parmesan shavings and served in a boat of sauce ($17).  This lasagna will make you “mmmmhhh” with each bite.   

If you have not yet entered carb-coma, share one of the five homemade desserts.  The white and dark chocolate mousse ($7) is smooth and sexy in its rich decadence.  The Pope’s Pillow ($8) was chosen by Pope John Paul II as his favorite dessert during a 1978 competition held at the Vatican, and the recipe was passed down by the pastry’s creator to his nephew, Chef Franco.  The dessert is a rich smathering of creamy mascarpone between light and flaky pastry squares, topped with tart strawberries – fit for the Pope! 

When you exit this cute Italian Shangri-La, you may wonder how the Pacific has replaced the Mediterranean and the Pier the Coliseum, but you’ll breath a deep sigh of gratitude that such an exquisite culinary experience lies right in the heart of Pacific Beach. 

Enoteca Adriano offers free corkage Monday through Wednesday and nightly specials.  Reservations are recommended.  Visa and Mastercard accepted. 
4864 Cass St., Pacific Beach

Mon-Sun 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Daily Specials:
Monday:         Spaghetti and Meatballs
Tuesday:        Gnocchi Bianco
Wednesday:   Lasagna
Thursday:      Zuppa di Mare
Friday:           Linguini Neri
Saturday:       Osso Buco
Sunday:         Ravioli di Casa

Free Corkage Monday through Wednesday.  

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