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New Italianissimo Trattoria restaurant is elegant but not pricey Phillip Brents | Fri, Feb 25 2011 11:57 PM

Italianissimo Trattoria may not only be among the newest restaurants along Chula Vista’s Third Avenue but it may just be among the best — and that’s saying something considering the line-up of the city’s downtown eateries.

The restaurant, which opened last October, has started to draw a following and more guests are certain to dine at the warm and hospitable establishment once they are introduced to the menu created by chef Mino Puzzo.

Puzzo is partnering with Aniello Zaino in the new venture. The two men, both current Eastlake residents, have known each other for 30 years after meeting on an Italian cruise ship. Zaino was a former owner of Bonita’s popular Buon Giorno while Puzzo owns the popular Italianissimo restaurant in Tijuana.

Zaino is handling the restaurant’s managerial duties while Puzzo, a former personal chef for singer Billy Joel, has complete control of the kitchen. It appears to be a perfect arrangement.
“This is a new venture — it’s something exciting,” said Zaino, who, like his partner, is a native of Italy.

The menu is upscale Italian dining without being pricey and intimidating. The food is on the light side, starting with the bruschetta, and intensely flavorful throughout the selections of appetizers, salads, soups, pizza, pasta, main courses and desserts.

Diners need not dress up for the culinary elegance on display. “This is a place where you can wear jeans,” Zaino said with a welcoming smile.

Puzzo is not afraid to experiment in the kitchen. His Pacific whitefish entrÈe topped with a red wine reduction is proof of that.

Specials are offered daily, and any dish on the regular menu can be made to customer order.
Popular items include the seafood risotto, ravioli al funghetto (stuffed mushroom ravioli in a delicious mushroom cream sauce) and slow braised lamb shank.

The wine list includes about a dozen each of white and red wines; about 90 percent of them are available by the glass.

The restaurant, located at 323 Third Ave., is open daily. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The regular menu is served after 11:30 a.m. The restaurant is open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 651-1457 or 651-7310.

Rate This Article 1 vote(s)
Average Vote 1/5

Carlos Says:

Thu, Feb 07 2013 11:20 PM

I have never given a restaurant a good or bad review but I should have because I have been to many good restaurant http://www.mimmos.biz/index.htm .. but I have to say that Italianissimo is not one of them.

This review will be only on the food as I believe that is what most people read these reviews for. I am just getting home from having dinner there with a friend and she was even more disappointed then I was and it was my "treat".
I had the Stinco D'Agnello [Lamb over paste with a type of marinara sauce]. The Lamb was over cooked and tasted more like goat. Both the pasta and sauce, I am sure were far from fresh. I had 3 bites of my dinner.
My friend had the Rigatoni Montegna, Tube pasta with sweet spicy italian sausage, peas and tomatoes. The pasta was way harder then mine. The sauce was the same as mine, not fresh. She didn't even make it half way and this girl can eat. :)

Now take a look at this :
Rigatoni Calabrese $12.95
Tube pasta with sweet spicy italian sausage, peas and tomatoes
Rigatoni Montegna $14.00
Tube pasta with sweet spicy italian sausage, peas and tomatoes
Same dish with a different name, just getting charged more.

My friend encouraged me to write this review and wanted me to make sure not to forget these last two things. 1. There was a small fly hovering over her food, that stopped her from finishing her plate. 2. (Goes with out saying ) Totally over priced ! [she was very ticked about this and remember, it was my money. I think this speaks for volumes.

In the end we spoke of finding a homeless person but we didn't have the heart to risk someone bad off, get sick and be worse off then what he was.

You may think this review is over the top but if you want to risk it and throw away your money like I did. All I can say is that I warned you. I just won't feel right not speaking up after my experience. After all.. I visited this place because so many people gave a 5 stars.

I was looking for a good Italian place in Chula Vista, but its definitely worth driving to Little Italy ( downtown SD) http://www.mimmos.biz/index.htm
Great place, food, service, etc.

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