By Judi Curry
When writing a review of a restaurant, I frequently invite any readers of my reviews to join me when I do another one. Few people take me up on my offer, but today I had the most delightful lunch with Deb Greene–who did.
We chose Buona Forchetta because neither of us had been there and the reviews were intriguing. Plus, it’s nice to step out of Ocean Beach every now and then.
We were greeted by a decidedly Italian waitress – Valentina – who hails from Lake Como in Italy. She has lived in the U.S. for about a year-and-a-half and will be returning to Italy in a year or so. She presented us with a huge menu, including 32 different kinds of pizza’s as well as antipasto, salads, desserts, pastas as well as wines and beers.
Additionally, there was a large chalk board on the wall listing the specials of the day. I have to admit I wanted to try so many items, I had a difficult time in my decision. Thankfully, Deb found it difficult too, so it was refreshing to be able to look over the menu. Ask Valentina just how a dish was prepared, and go on to the next menu item.
The specials of the day change from day to day, but the categories remain the same. For example, the restaurant had a veal dish, filet mignon, seafood, pizza, risotto, ravioli, fettuccine, gnocchi, and chicken, just cooked differently on different days.
Just as we were about to place our order, the couple next to us received their bruschetta – three large slices of Italian bread covered with three separate toppings – smoked salmon, artichoke hearts and marinated tomatoes. Yum. Just seeing those together on a platter made me realize what I wanted as my appetizer. The cost was only $10!
Deb and I agreed to share the order. We also shared an eggplant tortino – grilled egg plant with burrata, san marzano tomato and basil, also for $10. We talked about sharing a salad – a Rustica, which consisted of mixed greens, prosciutto di parma, artichokes, and gaeta olives for $10, but decided to wait until after we had our appetizers before ordering more. Thank goodness.
Something that struck us as odd was when Deb ordered a glass of house wine. It was served in a “house” class; a glass that one would have in the house for water, cola, etc. I remarked that “maybe they ran out of wine glasses because other diners had the long stemmed glasses, but not her.”
A little bit later I ordered a glass of house “white” and it was served in the same kind of glass. However, Deb decided she wanted to taste a different wine – one from Italy – and it was served correctly – in a large wine glass. It seemed strange that there would be such a differentiation between a house glass of wine and a more expensive glass of wine.
Nonetheless, the eggplant was served first and it was delicious. Very light. Very tasty. I should note I am not a fan of eggplant, but found it very good and the cheese was not overpowering.
The bruschetta was delightful. The toasted bread was still soft in the middle; crispy on the outside. The three distinct toppings were good in their own right. The tomatoes were marinated to perfection. There were so many artichoke hearts on the next bruschetta that they actually “overflowed” the bread. The smoked salmon – lox, if you will — was not fishy; and whatever the sauce was on top added to the flavor.
By the time Deb and I finished the two appetizers and wine, we happily felt sated. We decided to forego the salad and have a dessert instead. We elected to have their cheesecake – and I am sure that there is an Italian name for it – because Valentina recommended it. It was light, not very sweet and presented well.
Overall we were very pleased with our meal. The cost, without tip, came to $48.60, and that was for 3 glasses of wine, the two appetizers and dessert. We both would definitely go back – at least to try one of their 32 pizzas!
San Diego, Ca 92002