Hi friends! Sorry I have been slacking on the blog entries lately. Ya know, life gets in the way. Not many things have been able to pull me out of my blog hibernation lately, so it takes a special place to make me feel inspired again. This week, I have just the place for you. It’s got a great atmosphere that matches its amazing food and drinks.
Cesarina is a swanky little Italian place in Point Loma. It specializes in handmade pasta, fresh food, and incredible desserts. One of the owners is actually a client of mine. Niccolo Angius and his wife (Cesarina- yes, he named the restaurant after her and it is swoon-worthy) are originally from Italy. They started selling fresh made pasta at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market before opening Cesarina. They also have two cute doggies, but that’s not why we are here today. We are here to talk about their divine restaurant! The food is fresh, delicious, and nostalgic. The decor is modern, cozy, and inviting. I am considering asking them if I can just move in and be a permanent resident.
You start your meal at Cesarina with a smiling face (I swear all their staff is friendly and attractive- where did they find them all?!) and some of their freshly made bread with herb butter. Ian recommends you try a little of each. Make sure to pick a cocktail or choose some wine from their extensive list! I strongly recommend you order the fried zucchini blossoms to get your taste buds primed and ready for the main course. The blossom is stuffed with herb-seasoned ricotta and then lightly breaded and served with their spicy tomato sauce. My favorite part is that the teeny-tiny baby zucchini. It is both adorable and tasty. Adds a nice texture to the dish.
Ready for some life-changing pasta? I know, I have a flair for dramatics… BUT I actually mean it this time. The pasta and sauce there have changed my life. I energetically urge you to try the funghi sauce. It is a creamy, savory sauce with Cremini, Shiitake, and Porcini mushrooms, parmesan, and crispy parmesan crumbles (think like cheesy cracker crust almost). For real, I did NOT like mushrooms until I tried this sauce. Now I dream about it. It’s just perfect. I finally understand when people call mushrooms meaty and flavorful. I have been converted. I’ve seen the light. I recommend you get it with the bucatini or pappardelle, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of their pastas.
Ian got the Mezzelune. The fillings vary, so I recommend listening closely to all the yummy options they are offering for the day. This one was stuffed with prosciutto, ricotta, and ground beef. Ian got it with the bolognese sauce and then added the fresh buffalo mozzarella. He said, and I quote, that “it was the best ravioli dish I have ever had.” (I made sure to tell Niccolo that, I was serious! -I) The pasta had a nice texture to it that stood up to the delicious, thick filling. The sauce was perfect in every way. The buffalo mozzarella was creamy and smooth. Excellent dish all around. He pretty much licked the plate. (I saved half mine for leftovers- yay).
One of my favorite things about Cesarina is their dessert offerings. They have been different every time I have been, and every single thing sounds amazing. It’s difficult to make a decision. A lot of the desserts are assembled tableside (the tiramisu, the cannolis, etc) which is a fun and interactive way to get you even more excited about dessert! If that is possible… Due to our inability to choose, we went with our server’s recommendation of the Oh Mio Dio (Oh My God in Italian). I am so glad we did. Except we should have each gotten our own because we turned into animals when trying to share. Basically, it was three little choux pastries (think cream puff for those of you who do not watch Great British Baking Show- love you Paul Hollywood) each filled with a different cream. The first was a caramel ganache, the second a Chantilly cream, and the third a chocolate custard with a hint of orange. Again, game changer for me. I didn’t think I liked the chocolate and orange combination, but they just do everything right at Cesarina. I liked it the best. Ian liked the caramel the best. They were all fantastic on a spiritual level. These little pastries are then doused in rich, warm dark chocolate ganache, sprinkled with salted peanut brittle, and topped with shaved white chocolate (done with a cheese grater… too cute). I cannot begin to adequately describe to you know much I loved this dessert. It also lives up to its name because I actually said, “Oh my gosh,” after my first bite. Get it. Get multiple. I do not recommend you share this. It is just too good. We gobbled it up in under a minute I think.
Cesarina is a magical and wonderful place. I am not just saying this because I know the owners. I loved this place before I even put two and two together (embarrassingly so, because how many Cesarina’s do I really know?). You can feel the amount of love and thought put into each dish. It flows out with every bite and sip you take. The whole experience is uplifting and you just generally feel good when you leave. Full to the point of busting, but happy. Isn’t that how all great Italian food experiences should be? I sure think so.