Nestled in a strip mall near Costco in Temecula lies a real Italian gem. With so much delicious menu choices and amazing charm, Tratorria Toscana knocked it right out of the park for me.
The interior is very simple from crushed Italian wine bottle art on faux finish terrazzo type walls; Trattoria Toscana will make your every culinary wish come true. You will bask in the art of fine pasta making and spectacular Italian culinary traditions. There are extremely delicious sauces to accompany all of the homemade pasta, which you can watch being made from the front of the restaurant.
The night was so colorful, with Gil performing live music, hits from Engelbert Humperdinck and Wayne Newton. Then there was Gino, who captivated all of our hearts. Gino found his way to Pietro by walking by and asking Pietro about his business. Gino had owned many restaurants in the area for the last 25 years, so Pietro looks to him for his opinion and expertise in the restaurant industry. All of these over-the-top personalities make for one very fun experience.
Here’s What I Tried:
Fritelle Di Asparage, Golden-fried savory asparagus fritters. They have a Gorgonzola sauce that is served with it. I could just eat that and be happy, but the fritters make for one happy food writer.
Calamari Fritti, tender golden fried squid served with lemon and marinara sauce. This is not the tendril, it is the body of the calamari cut in strips. Any good chef knows to get calamari to be super tender, you either cook it for a long time or really quick. Whatever their method, it was straight up fantastic.
Burrata Octopus, so delicate and delicious, never had octopus this good.
Pappardelle Con Funghi, house made wide pasta sautéed in a medley of fresh mushrooms, caramelized onions, and light cream. By far my favorite of the night. Their pasta is done in-house by Fabrizio. There is a little room the has a storefront window so you can see the artist at work. His pastas are truly to die for, and the mushroom sauce, wow!
Gnocchi Alla Gorgonzola, Fresh house made potato dumplings in creamy Gorgonzola sauce. These little darlings are done t perfection and the sauce is just heavenly.
Tortelli with Filet Mignon. So delicate and wonderful, another amazing creation.
Lobster Ravioli with Shrimp, Pietro designed this dish for me and I was at a loss for words.
Chilean Sea bass, the freshest, best fish ever. Such a nicely presented and executed delicacy.
Tiramisu, made in house and served in a parfait glass, the cream and is super light with just a hint of espresso, super yummy.
Sparkling Wine, Lamberti Prosecco, a super bubbly nice way to start my amazing meal.
Pinot Grigio, 2016 J. Hotstatter, DOC, Sudtirol. This is a fruity, dry wine that paired great with the Calamari appetizer.
Pinot Grigio, 2015, Torre Rosazza, DOC, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This a very drinkable, fresh wine, that added some nice acidity to the Octopus.
Chardonnay Cal Dora, IGT, Abruzzo, hands down this is a wine that you would want to drink with the lobster ravioli with the shrimp on top, the perfect accompaniment.
Scarpone, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. This was one of Pietro’s picks; he had a glass as well. Just the best red wine on the planet. This wine went great with the filet mignon tortellini.
Ciu Ciu, Gotico, Piceno Superior. Another Pietro pick, just as delicious as the last one, but a bit dryer.
Trattoria Toscana Story:
Pietro Cinus, Chef, and owner of Trattoria Toscana, was born on the breathtaking island of Sardinia. A countryside filled with wild asparagus and bright green chard, nestled up to the Mediterranean Sea overflowing with mussels, clam, fish, and squid is where Pietro’s taste for fresh and natural flavors developed. As a young boy, Pietro would spend his time in the kitchen with his mamma, Maria, learning all of her signature Sardinian Recipes.
He then later moved to Tuscany, where he lived for over 20 years, developing his skills as a chef and woodworker. Pietro’s love for high-quality food continued to flourish in the Chianti region. He frequently would venture into the forest to collect wild mushrooms and greens, hunt for wild boar and quail, and then prepare it to perfection for friends and family. For Pietro, the joy of life is to prepare a delicious meal for others to enjoy with a glass of fine wine.
In 2007 Pietro met Blythe, a California-native who embarked on a walking adventure through the Tuscan countryside of Italy. While they did not speak the same language, the connection was instantaneous. Several years, two kids, many language lessons, thousands of dollars in phone and plane expenses later, their love for each other and great food has garnered them much success.
Trattoria Toscana, Chef Pietro draws on his Italian and Sardinian roots by bringing the community a true Italian experience, transporting his guests to Italy for a delicious, enjoyable meal. He believes that the best flavors come from fresh food, using the highest quality ingredients, prepared daily, just as they do in Italy. He says, “We are a scratch kitchen.”
Chef Pietro prepares his dishes with care and passion, attending to every detail. He makes the pasta and bread from scratch each day. He rolls tortellini and ravioli by hand. His gnocchi is made in house with potatoes and imported Italian Pecorino cheese, using his mother’s recipe.
You will find the staples of Italian cuisine, olive oil, and tomatoes, in many of his dishes. He chooses to use high quality, extra virgin olive and truffle oils from Italy to ensure that his dishes have true Italian authentic flavors. Chef Pietro sun dries tomatoes by hand using fresh, organic tomatoes to accentuate the flavors of his dishes, such as his popular dish, Pappardelle con Funghi.
Chef Pietro refrains from making his dishes far in advance, in order to preserve the tradition of serving freshly prepared food. This technique requires time for preparation and provides his guests with a leisurely dining experience, a time to relax and enjoy the company of others, sipping a lovely glass of wine, upholding Italian dining tradition. Cuisine is a passion and a past time in Italy, a time to revel in delightful flavors using just the right ingredients, and investing the time in its preparation every day. His goal is to bring this true Italian experience to his guests at Trattoria Toscana!
They also have a deli on premise as well, La Bottega, so you’re able to take home fresh pastas, deli items in their deli case, and the finest Italian products.
From the food to their staff you will feel like you’re at very special family run operation. Why get on a plane to Italy when you have this fantastic restaurant right in your back yard.
I was so impressed; I just loved the authentic vibe, the feeling of community. Never having been to Temecula I was made to feel right at home and loved every minute of it.
26485 Ynez Rd. Ste.
Temecula, CA 92591
Restaurant: 951.296.2066 | Deli: 951-296-9926
* Note some text was taken off of their website
****Most Important gotta give a shout out to Sandi, Kevin, Frank & Mike for making all of this happen and having such a good time, for my first time in Temecula!!!