Review by the East County Eater
Dolci Café Italiano, 2650 Jamacha Road, Rancho San Diego (El Cajon) www.DolciCafeItaliano.com
May 13, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Another culinary prize has turned up in East County. Dolci Café Italiano is located next to Ralph’s in the Rancho San Diego Town and Country Shopping Center. At once, the place felt entirely familiar and also seemed rooted in family and history. It has the ambience of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego—and for good reason. George Georges, the owner - also owns three restaurants in The Gaslamp. Chianti, La Fiesta and the Urban Bar & Grill.
George has been a restaurateur for 18 years. He describes Dolci Café Italiano as “Italian-Mediterranean food served bistro café-style...Everything is cooked-to-order, everything is custom, everything is fresh, everything is gourmet…Even the lasagna.”
How fresh would that be? The East County Eater had to ask.
“Our vegetables are locally grown and organic. Our eggs and chickens are grain-fed and organic. We buy local whenever possible - including fresh fish from San Diego fishermen. The flavor, freshness and quality is greater from local organic sources,” George elaborated with growing enthusiasm. “With few exceptions.” The basic ingredient to make the perfect Gelato is imported from Italy and the aged cheese for Marinara.
Who makes their own Marinara? Chef Leonardo Daniele that’s who. Marinara from scratch, all the dressings and sauces from scratch. Desserts, all from scratch.--tiramisu so light it floats; cheesecake like you’d find in New York City.)
One look at the website alone will surely whet your appetite: www.dolcicafeitaliano.com
My companion and I ate at Dolci Café Italiano a few days earlier. I looked at the menu. Breakfast to die for served ‘till two with cappuccino.
I chose a Panini for lunch. The bread had a delicate crust – like the crust on crème brule. The inside was like butter, the tomatoes were vine-ripe and the ricotta rich and satisfying. She had the Giardino Crepe stuffed with grilled eggplant, mozzarella and artichokes. I tasted hers and it was delicious; I decided to order it next time. She said the same about my Panini.
The wine list was perfect. Compact yet with a variety of intriguing options: wines from Legendary Napa wineries like Grgrich Hills and Stags Leap Artemis, chianti and blends from Tuscany. I had the Red Diamond Temperamental
from Spain. I was sure it was a typo and that they meant Spain’s indigenous Tempranillo, a favorite wine in Europe. It turns out I was mostly right. Temperamental was a blend of Tempranillo and other Tuscany grapes. It has flavors of dark chocolate and tart black cherries. It was so pleasing I ordered a second glass.
This is no ordinary restaurant. Everything about it is extraordinary. If Don Corlione, (played by Marlon Brando in the Godfather) lived in East County – he would eat at this restaurant. There is no compromise. For the good life, La Dolci Vida, I highly recommend Dolci Café Italiano.