Italian Fare at the Beach

Carlsbad is home to surfers, sand and copious amounts of sun. It is also home to Fresco Trattoria, an authentic Italian restaurant owned and operated by Leone D’Arcangelo. He is from a small Italian town on the Mediterranean Sea coast called Sperlonga, very similar to his restaurant’s home in North County. This local eatery is blocks away from the beach and opened its doors in 1999. Its expansive menu covers everything when you think of Italian food. Some very simple yet flavorful appetizers are the Mozzarella Caprese salad and the Portobello alla Griglia (Portobello mushrooms and jumbo shrimp) with a sweet balsamic reduction. If you like pizza, there are six different options to choose from the classic Margherita to the Capricciosa, a veggie filled pie tantalizing your taste buds.

Pasta is truly Italian, and Fresco Trattoria, right there on Carlsbad Village Drive, has 24 different options for you to choose from, cooked with the freshest ingredients during the season. Gnocchi, Lasagna, Ravioli, Fettuccine and Spaghetti are all offerings found within the creative carte de jour. Linguine Mare Mosso (pasta with mussels, clams, calamari and shrimp) is a traditional dish in cities with fresh seafood readily available much like Carlsbad. Capellini alla Checca (angel hair pasta, fresh tomato, garlic, olive oil and basil) is as simple as it gets, but in this case, straightforward equals delicious. Seafood, salads, veal, chicken, pork and lamb fill out this menu, and your stomach, with Italian originals seven nights a week. It’s also open for lunch with most of the plates at dinner offered during the day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The evening hours are from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. for the weekend. Sunday lunch buffets are big hits and Fresco Trattoria offers a grand slam of a deal for a midday meal. For $17.95 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., they provide a stellar arrangement of Italian cuisine, perfect after a morning stroll in downtown Carlsbad or along the beach.

The dining room is elegant with hand painted murals of what D’Arcangelo’s hometown looks like, a bubbling fountain and chic table settings to give diners a fine dining experience. Enjoy your warm summer nights with a bottle of wine on the small outdoor patio, or sit inside at the large bar and let the tender take great care of your food and drink needs. On Tuesday there’s live music in the dining room and you can get half-priced bottles of select wines.

Another good deal are the five different wine flights (two, three-ounce pours) are a good way to experience what Fresco’s wine cellar has to offer, and it has a plethora to offer. They have nine white wines by the glass including Angeline Chardonnay and Cooper Ridge White Zinfandel. Blackstone Merlot and Greg Norman Pinot Nior are two of the 15 reds offered by the glass as well. If you’re up for whole bottles, there are well over 150 different labels in the vault from California, Oregon, France and of course Italy. 

Food and wine are synonymous with old school, Italian restaurants along with stellar hospitality and ambiance. Fresco Trattoria offers all of the above within its walls and invites all to partake in the same.

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