September 17, 2014 – Dinner at Zia Grill

This stellar place is part of the Busalacchi restaurant group; they own and operate 6 other Italian style establishments. I hope I get invited to all of them in the near future.

Vince the son of owner Frank Busalacchi, has his hands full. With 3 young children and the overseeing of all of the 6 restaurants he some how holds it all together. He made me feel very special. After our great sampling of pasta’s and other homemade specialties, he said lets walk down the street to my sister dessert driven restaurant Café Zucchero. He said whatever you want let me know and he prepared a big bakery box filled with authentic Italian treats, as well as a sampling of some very ice geleto’s.

Here’s what I tried:

Arancini, mini rice balls stuffed with sweet peas and mozzarella cheese. This would be considered an Italian staple, they did it justice, and it was oozing with melty cheese and had a lovely marinara sauce on top.

Antipasto Misto for Two with Salami, prosciutto, Gorgonzola, grana padano, taleggio, caprese, bruschetta, mushrooms and olives. You just can’t beat a real authentic antipasta, full of Italian products. Great cheeses, and fine array of Italian meat products, and bruschetta, olives, round out the goodness of this dish.

Fettuccine con Bolognese with Traditional Sunday sauce. You know this is the real deal, with a recipe handed down from generation to generation.

Ravioli Di Spinaci with Spinach and ricotta ravioli made daily. They deliver this one with two different sauces, one on each ravioli. This dish was completely finished.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with pancetta, parmigiano, egg yolk, fresh black pepper and a touch of cream. A delicious traditional dish, done right it is so yummy.

Penne con Broccoli with roasted garlic, extra-virgin olive oil with parmigiano and pecorino cheese. There is serious garlic flavor in this; they must have put a whole garlic clove in this one.

Precchiette con Pollo, Chicken, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus & a creamy gorgonzola sauce. The sauce is creamy and flavorful; I would say this was one of my favorites.

Rigatoni con Piselli with sweet peas, mushrooms, pancetta and pecorino cheese. You can’t go wrong with this savory pasta dish.

Gamberi al Limone with jumbo shrimp with mushrooms, garlic and capers in a white wine lemon sauce. This dish I died and went to heaven, my favorite thing….shrimp. They butterfly their shrimp and cook it in garlic, lemon juice and mushrooms.

Pinot Grigio, Banti San Angelo, Toscana, this wine went great with the antipasti, it enhanced the luscious cheeses.

Pinot Grigio, Ruffino, Lumina, Italia. The subtle flavors of this wine will make the arancini a little more flavorful, as well as the Gamberi al Limone.

Clos Du Val, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, I would drink this with the Ravioli Di Spinaci, I loved the pairing.

Pinot Noir, Buena Vista, Sonoma, Wild Horse Unbridled, Santa Barbara. The clean subtle berry flavors worked great with the Precchiette con Pollo.

Merlot, Chateau St. Michelle “Indian Wells”, Washington. Somehow this worked good with this dish, Rigatoni con Piselli, especially with the smoky pancetta.

Super Tuscan, Frescobaldi, Tenuta Di Castiglioni, Toscana, this wine did great with the cured meats from the antipasti.

Filmusi Gueifi, Montepulciano, Abruzzo. You got to do this with the Fettuccine con Bolognese; it’s just the right pairing.

There is great lively art on the walls. You just feel like you landed at some ones family home here, with all the great features that an Italian home has to offer, great food, perfect atmosphere, and somewhere a Nonna preparing their great family recipes.

I will have to try their sister restaurants next time, but for now one of my favorite one’s here in Little Italy, come on out and try it.

Zia’s Grill
[email protected]

1845 India Street
San Diego, CA 92101


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