Maurizio Trattoria Italiana is the story of a young Italian boy coming to The States to learn English and live out The American Dream. Maurizio Carbone started working with the Vigilucci Restaurant Group in the kitchen at the Cardiff location. He worked his way up the ranks through the various restaurants from busboy, Maitre D’ to general manager. He was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant with the help from Roberto Vigilucci and good friends by converting the Encinitas Vigilucci to his own, now Maurizio’s. A dream was realized through hard work, good people and a bit of luck. I already loved Maurizio’s before I ever took my first bite of food.
On the night we went, all of our faithful Dining on the 101 followers scattered. I don’t know if it was just a busy night, the scary prices on the menu, or the fact that the tables had actual white table cloths, which is a deal breaker for some. Regardless, it turned out that Hubby and I were on a long over-do romantic dinner for due (that’s “two” for you estraneo).
I made a reservation ahead of time to ensure a good table and put on a little make-up. Hubby wore jeans (That’s dressing up for Hubby, he’s a programmer. He wears shorts everyday to work. ) I was steppin’ out with my man!
The restaurant was hopping. We were shown to our table along the far wall and took in the lively crowd and the delicious aroma of garlic wafting into the dining room from the kitchen. As I looked around the restaurant I soon realized that this very lively crowd all knew each other. And if they didn’t, they were walking around to each others’ tables introducing themselves to one another. But no one came over to ours. I felt left out. Clearly this was some or other private party having an event, and we were sitting on the side lines. Awkward.
For starters, Hubs and I ordered the CALAMARI ELENA for $13.95 “Baby calamari sautéed with garlic and white wine in a spicy marinara sauce.” It was a nice portion of calamari to share, but I wasn’t a fan of the breading. Also, what they call “spicy marinara” was really just very bland tomato sauce. My favorite calamari in the whole world is across the 101 at Q’ero. In fact, this calamari was such a miss I feel the need to make up for it by going to Q’ero later this week for theirs. This will make the world right again. That’s not to say that this dish was bad, trust me, there wasn’t a tentacle left when we finished.
For our meal we shared:
PAPPARDELLE CON FUNGHI PORCINI E CAPESANTE
Homemade wide ribbon pasta with assorted field mushrooms and pan-seared jumbo scallops in a white truffle and brandy cream sauce.
They were kind enough to split the plate for us. This is an extremely rich dish, but also very delicious. There’s just something about thick ribbons of homemade pasta, am I right? And I’m always a sucker for scallops.
In fact, all of their pastas and gnocchi are homemade here, I am sure this is where they shine. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough people with us to try more dishes.
The private party that we were crashing was winding down as we were finishing up. I told Hubby we should just get up and start introducing ourselves around like everyone else was doing. When in Rome…but just as I was doing so, they all started leaving at once. “I’ll save you a seat” I heard more than one person say. A seat for what? I wondered.
“Come on, let’s follow them!” and I grabbed Hubby’s hand before he could say no. The crowd walked across the street to La Paloma Theater and they all went inside. There was a man standing out front.
“Excuse me sir. Can you please tell us what is going on tonight?” I inquired.
“Yes, there is a private screening to a new movie coming out.” he answered.
A movie is perfect. Hubby had to get home for a conference call, but I had nothing to do and a movie sounded like just the right thing for me.
“Can I please see it?” I asked.
“Sorry, this is a VIP screening for those on The List.”
“Can you tell us what the movie is about?” I asked, not at all discouraged. I knew I would get in.
“It’s a very powerful and controversial film that is going to make huge waves nation wide. My wife stars in it.” he said.
“Wow, it sounds incredible. Are you sure there’s no way I can come in? Just me?” With a little eyelash bat bat.
“NO” said Mr. Movie Gestapo Man.
So we continued on our walk down the street. On our return trip back, that guy was gone and a new man was about to walk in. I recognized him from dinner.
“Excuse me sir, would you mind terribly if I accompanied you into the premiere?” I asked.
“Sure, ok” he said.
“SEE YA!” I yelled to Hubby as I practically ran inside before anyone could turn me away.
“How will you get home?” Hubby asked.
“Uber” I yelled as I closed the theater doors behind me. Score! I was in and quite proud of myself I might add.
I found a seat on the aisle and settled in smugly to watch my VIP PREMIERE movie that wasn’t even out yet.
“Excuse me” the gentleman was back who was my “date”. “Hey, I don’t really know you and I want to trust you, please don’t pirate anything you see tonight. Some of the footage shown here won’t be out on the big screen, and what you see here needs to stay here until the actual release date of March 30th.”
“No problem.” I told him.
“And one more thing. This movie is going to be very graphic. It’s rated ‘R'”
“That’s fine, I’m a big girl.” I reassured him.
A few minutes later the producer of the film got on stage and thanked everyone for coming.
“The movie you are about to watch is called “Unplanned” How many people here are pro-life?” ALL hands raised.
“How many people here love Jesus Christ?” ALL hands raised.
“You are about to watch an incredible true story about the evils of Planned Parenthood. Prepare yourselves for some very graphic scenes. Let us all pray.” THIS GIRL IS OUT OF HERE- EXIT STAGE LEFT!
Hubby was upset that I didn’t stay to watch it. Even if my views are different, he felt I should have stayed to see another side. My point is this. I just enjoyed a delicious Italian meal with the love of my life. A graphic movie on abortion was NOT the after dinner mint I was hoping for. I Ubered home to watch something equally controversial, but slightly more benign: The Bachelor.
Our romantic date night here was kind of ruined by the large private party happening at the same time. If they had only sat us outside, it would have worked out much better. I’m sure this is an unusual thing to happen, but it was our experience. Even though the calamari wasn’t special, our main meal was. I would definitely give Maurizio’s another try. I’m a sucker for homemade pasta. I just don’t like it with a side of graphic abortion footage.
Join us next Sunday, March 17th at 6pm at
Leucadia Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant