My husband and I picked this restaurant because of its high ranking with other reviewers and also the recommendation of our friend who was dining with us and who lives locally.Not only were we not disappointed: this place knocked our socks off! We will make a point to dine here each time we're in Temecula.
It is well located, in a shopping center just off Winchester Road. It is kind of hard to locate once you're in the center however. A good landmark right now is the Rite-Aid drugstore: it's right across from it.
The ambience is pleasant and comfortable, with several dining areas available with both booths and tables. There is live entertainment in the bar area which was very good, although we opted for a quieter area so that we could enjoy our conversation. For the romantics out there: there are several totally secluded, private little "nooks", where couples can enjoy a romantic dinner, out of view of anyone else. Very charming!
We started off by sharing the Carciofi appetizer, which were artichoke hearts (fresh, not canned or bottled) which had been marinated in-house, then rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese and then fried, and served with a sauce. They were delicious!
Our entrees were 1) Pappardelle alla Romana 2)Ravioli Lorenzo and 3)Linguini all Florentina. In each case, the entrees were utterly deliciious (we sampled each other's, of course!), with perfect home-made pasta, delicious sauces with perfect balance. Do yourself a favor and check out their menu before you go: you will not be able to resist!
The night we were there (a Wednesday night), the manager was hosting a tasting by a nearby winery. When we were informed that the wine we wished to order was out of stock, we opted to try one of the wines being offerred.in the tasting. It was absolutely marvelous! For those of you who live in the area, the wine was a Cab from Casa Tiene Vista vineyard in Fallbrook. We had a nice chat with the owner, Mick Gallagher, and found that the winery does not ship out of state, which was a disappointment to us. But you lucky locals can take advantage of this fantastic wine!
The service was great: informed, friendly, professional, quick and very "authentic" (our server had a very charming accent). It distresses me that I cannot recall her name so that I could give her a well-deserved "shout out".
Our only dissapointment was that the espresso machine was out of order, which can happen to anyone. Hopefully, it was fixed quickly! Also, some of the dishes tasted a triffle too salty: not horribly so. But if you are sensitive to salt, be sure to mention this so that the kitchen can accommodate. I forgot to do so.....
Do yourself a favor when you are next in Temecula, and enjoy this gem of a place!
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