Saturday, February 19, 2011

ACQUA PAZZA or How to Feel at Home in California

If you ever have the pleasure of visiting the San Fransisco Bay area, you'll find that there is no shortage of great places to eat out! We were "out west" just a few weeks ago to visit our new niece. While we were there, one restaurant in particular stood out to me as extremely blog-worthy. Acqua Pazza.

 Acqua Pazza is located on 3rd Avenue in San Mateo. From the minute we walked in, I felt an elegant yet cozy vibe in this two story establishment. Acqua Pazza is tastefully decorated, and we were warmly welcomed by two of the owners, Tullio and Enzo Rosano. Our table service was impeccable, and the friendliness of the staff made us feel right at home.
The menu offered several specials to choose from, and we shared a few delicious appetizers at the table. Then we moved on to dinner entrees... I was in the mood for some Homemade Ravioli with Fresh Pesto Sauce. It was everything I was hoping it would be! True comfort food, Italian style. (Plus plenty of leftover Pesto, to mop up with my warm Italian bread.) Mmm....
A few others at the table chose Mamma Carmella's Homemade Gnocchi. It was served with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese and Fresh Basil. They licked their plates clean!

The fish special of the night was a Mediterranean Sea Bass (whole fish) better known as "Branzino". I am not a fan of whole fish entrees, but my husband and my daughter are huge fans and both ordered it with gusto.When the time came that they served us our entrees, we were happily surprised that Tullio and his assistant Vittorio offered to fillet the fish for us! I snapped a photo after they had already gotten started removing the head and tail.

Here you can see Tullio quickly filleting the fish with a smile. It takes talent, to do it so quickly yet so efficiently!
Here is Vittorio, working his magic at the same time. These guys really know what they are doing!
Dinner was a complete success, and all in such a lovely, friendly atmosphere. Just when we thought we had no more room in our stomachs, Tullio brought us a warm calzone...filled with Nutella and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
(Um, it even possible for the words "Nutella" and "calzone" to really be in the same sentence?) It tasted SO GOOD!! I felt as if I needed to close my eyes to truly appreciate the flavor...Semplicemente Fantastico!

In keeping with true Italian tradition, we were not rushed from our table; but were allowed to linger,  and we shared an after dinner drink while listening to the soft Italian music by candlelight. It was as if the Rosano family were our new friends, even sharing a goodbye hug and kiss as we left.

Here is a link to their website: They will be opening another restaurant soon. Hmm, I wonder if we can convince them to open one in New Jersey....


  1. Wonderful! And congratulations on your new neice! We've been Nutella fans since childhood in Australia-now I can safely say my 5 year old is the same :) As always, loved the detail of your post,Fifi-made it feel as if we were with you x

  2. Corrr, Nutella Calzone?! Fifi, you should put your spin on one and post it here!

  3. I loved the pictures of the restaurant and the food you were served. This is my first visit to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier entries as well. I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed my visit here and I will be back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary