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Via Lago offers that something special for Mother's Day Phillip Brents | Fri, May 11 2012 02:49 PM

Via Lago Trattoria, located in the Village Walk at Eastlake shopping center (866 Eastlake Parkway), stands out as the culinary jewel of Chula Vista’s collection of fine-dining restaurants.

Looking for a special place to take Mom on Mother’s Day? Via Lago is that special place — and more.

The restaurant is offering a special Mother’s Day brunch and dinner menu that will appeal to the entire family.

One of seven members in the Busalacchi group of restaurants serving San Diego County, Via Lago opened in Eastlake in 2007 and has only found favor with local diners since.

According to managing partner Jan Montell, the restaurant’s concept is simple: The owners have brought the ambiance of San Diego’s Gaslamp District to the South Bay.

“We found that a lot of our customers lived here and we found this shopping center was a perfect fit with what we were doing,” she said. “They didn’t have to go all the way downtown when they could find the same thing in their own neighborhood.”

Montell said there was a two-hour wait on Friday and Saturday nights when the restaurant first opened.

“We’ve managed to weather the storm during the poor economy because of our loyal customer base. We think things are starting to turn around now.”

One visit to the upscale yet family friendly establishment will require return engagements. In fact, the restaurant remains a favorite among the local dating crowd.

But its elegant appeal also remains sublime.

Many guests simply like to come into the eatery to enjoy a glass of wine and some cheese on their way home after a night at the theater.

The cuisine at Via Lago features a feast of fine-crafted pasta, meat and vegetarian dishes. The emphasis is on top quality, which begins with the simplest of ingredients.

On a recent visit, we had a chance to sample the fried eggplant parmigiana with cheese tortellini, chicken parmigiana, short ribs (braised in a Barolo wine sauce and slow-cooked for six hours) and lasagna.

All are popular dining choices and we discovered exactly why.

For seafood lovers, it’s time to drop anchor and come ashore at Via Lago.

The pescatore entrée ($19.95) is generously proportioned with mussels, shrimp, clams and calamari in tomato broth and white wine.

The fried calamari appetizer ($9.95) is another popular item.

The restaurant will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday with a special brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Cost is $27.95 for adults and $13.95 for children.

The brunch menu features shrimp with cocktail sauce, prime rib, roasted potatoes, rosemary chicken, Parmesan risotto, an omelet station, plus the fresh fish of the day.

Also on the brunch menu are a variety of Sicilian pizzas, tortellini with pink cream sauce, rigatoni marinara, a selection of bruschetta, and salads.

The cucumber salad, piled high with sliced cucumbers, avocado, tomato, sweet corn, gorgonzola with a lemon herb vinaigrette, is an amazing dish, especially with which to cleanse one’s palate. 

Brunch will also feature live music. Dinner begins at 5 p.m.

Reservations are suggested.

If you go ...
Selections: appetizers, salads, pasta, main entrees, pizza, soup of the day, children’s menu

Prices: Appetizers range from $7.95 to $11.95; salads are $7.95; soup of the day is $6.95; pasta dishes range from $14.95 to $19.95; main entrees range from $18.95 to $32.95         
Highlights: luncheon and daily drink specials; live music four nights each week (Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday); full bar; patio dining and conference room

Information: Call 216-8660 or visit the Web site at www.BusalacchiRestaurants.com

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