Enjoy wonderfully authentic food and ambiance in the main
dining room, casual bar or the warm inviting patio. Leone D'Arcangelo
and his family look forward to welcoming you to the restaurant.

5256 S. Mission Road, Bonsall CA 92003, Phone: 760-631-1944

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Enjoy a Wonderful Carlsbad Restaurant, Fresco Trattoria, the Heart and Soul of Italy in Downtown Carlsbad Village
While there are lots of Carlsbad restaurants, Fresco Trattoria stands out - the heart and soul of Italy in downtown Carlsbad Village within sight of the blue Pacific.

Owner Leone D'Arcangelo hails from Sperlonga, Italy, a beachfront town midway between Naples and Rome, and one can easily imagine you are dining by the Mediterranean Sea in Sperlonga instead of in Carlsbad, CA, with the beautiful hand-painted murals that adorn the dining rooms.

And of course the food is special as well (my lunch dish, Rigatoni Salsiccia alla Siciliana, rigatoni with Italian sausage, was excellent). Open for both lunch and dinner, the menus are creative, using the freshest ingredients, with some of the classic Italian dishes but with special touches by Leone D'Arcangelo, himself a former chef.

There are seating areas inside and out, just a two minute stroll from the ocean.

Fresco Trattoria is at 264 Carlsbad Village Drive, just west of the coast highway/Carlsbad Boulevard. (760) 720-3737.

Or visit their other location, Fresco Wine Bar and Grill in Bonsall at 5256 S. Mission. (760) 631-1944.

Buon appetito! A delightful taste of Italy at Fresco Grill & Wine Bar
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
Issue 12, Volume 13.

Generational recipes from Italy, a creative chef who knows how to wield ingredients with flair, impeccable service and reasonable prices… it’s a formula for success, and successful it has been. That is the story of the first year of business for Fresco Grill & Wine Bar in Bonsall’s River Village.

"My customers are my friends," said proprietor Roberto Calci, who was raised in Milano, Italy, where there is a standard of excellence that extends to both wine and cuisine. Calci’s mother still owns a restaurant in the city. His life has been infused with culinary excellence that is evident in Fresco Grill’s cuisine, which is not only reminiscent of northern Italy but also of Tuscany.

Last fall Calci made a trip to Milano, where he visited various restaurants, discovering new dishes. Fresco’s menu reflects the new discoveries. I have visited Milano, savored the best – and can safely say that Fresco’s dishes are truly Italy-inspired.

While in Italy, Calci honed his wine aficionado instincts and has stocked Fresco’s private cellar with many exceptional bottles.

At Fresco, even before the entree is served, a basket brimming with herb-laden focaccia bread is set on the table. Dip it in the fresh marinara sauce and you will almost forget that there is more to come!

For starters the fried calamari is an excellent choice; it is crisp yet tender and some of the best calamari I have ever tasted. The white shrimp are also very tender and drenched in a tomato basil sauce.

A delectable entrée choice is a recipe from Milano, Veal Milanese. The veal is pounded, then breaded, and served with checca sauce, which is tomato-based with basil, shaved mozzarella Advertisement for Pala Mesa Resort and spices. The checca adds zest but the veal can stand alone as well.

Side dishes aren’t always mentioned in reviews; however, Fresco’s potatoes deserve a nod. Made with cubed russet potatoes sprinkled in herbs, lightly fried, then baked, they are delicious.

The updated menu is enlivened with savory-sounding dishes such as Gnocchi alla Roberto and Risotti (with rock shrimp), which I can’t wait to sample on my next visit.

Don’t leave the restaurant without trying at least one of the delights that constitutes the dessert menu. They are imported from Italy and then embellished on-site. One of the most engaging is the chocolate soufflé. It is an artful presentation nestled in a waffle cone flanked by dollops of creamy mascarpone cheese and crowned with maraschino cherries. In the mood for just coffee and dessert? The chocolate soufflé is an elegant choice.

For a lighter taste, the raspberry sorbet topped with a delicious brown sugar sculpture is a fresh selection.

Future Fresco plans include a cooking class – keep an eye out for this one. It isn’t every day that one can benefit from a native of Milano with culinary expertise in his veins! It is impressive that Calci is sharing his knowledge with others and not keeping his cooking secrets to himself.

Wine appreciation classes are also premiering soon and the restaurant now has a full liquor license, so watch for some flaming dishes such as Crêpe Suzette.

Dining at Fresco Grill & Wine Bar is a truly relaxing experience with soft Italian music wafting through the air and dishes that are meant to be savored.

Fresco Grill & Wine Bar
5236 S. Mission Road
Bonsall (River Village)
(760) 631-1944

Fresco Grill & Wine Bar – a savory taste of Italy

Thursday, February 14th, 2008
Issue 07, Volume 12.

Imagine yourself in an Italian bistro with terra cotta walls and a bubbling fountain close enough to almost touch. Then, imagine that your server brings you luscious Italian food made with the owner’s generational family recipes.

That is the very ambiance that dominates Bonsall’s Fresco Grill & Wine Bar in River Village. The stunning wall murals whisk diners off to Italy and a fountain gurgles between tables.

The cuisine of Italy is presented by founder Leone D’Arcangelo along with business partner Roberto Calci. Both men are natives of Italy.

D’Arcangelo was born in a seaside village just north of Rome and Calci is from Milano. Both are proud to be using family recipes; and the cuisine is reminiscent of northern central Italy, Tuscany and Rome.

Fresco Grill is continuing a tradition of success that began in Carlsbad with two restaurants. "Our mission is to offer an upscale restaurant but keep the price down," said Calci. Their formula must be working, as there was a waiting crowd the night I visited.

Love for the restaurant business as well as a love for food are also strong motivating forces. "We do this because we have a passion for it," said Calci.

Their fish is fresh daily and the pasta is made on the premises. However, it is fitting that their water is bottled in Tuscany and the wines are imported from various international wine regions. The only domestic wines offered are from California. Under the soft glow of wall sconces diners can be amazed at the extensive wine list.

Sip a cool glass of Chardonnay while perusing the antipasto selections. The Calamaretti Dorati is a light fried calamari and one of the most tender I have ever tasted. It is served with a side of spicy marinara sauce. However, the sauce wasn’t needed; the delicately seasoned calamari stood on its own.

Another antipasto standout is the Melanzane Parmigiana. This is a thinly sliced eggplant served with a cheesy marinara sauce and lent a fresh flair by basil and a stronger flavor by delicate shavings of mozzarella. Not heavy on the tomatoes, it was a dish that definitely demands a repeat.

The entrées and sides are just as flavorful. Freshly made potato dumplings called gnocchi are soft and outstanding.

The grilled halibut is a mild-flavored fish that flakes easily and is enhanced by a dark mushroom sauce.

Capellini Fresco is a savory dish made with angel hair pasta and served with three fresh jumbo shrimp topped with diced fresh tomato, garlic and basil.

The desserts are culinary surprises. One of the most engaging is their dreamy Tiramisù, with spongy ladyfingers soaked in coffee, then layered with a light creme and sprinkled with shaved chocolate.

An elegant choice is the Chocolate Soufflé, which was served warm and was the perfect consistency, spongy and not too compact.

After I had been sufficiently dazzled by the various menu offerings I sat back and listened to the Fresco Grill Saturday evening sounds -- the low murmuring of voices and the tinkle of wineglasses from a birthday toast. These are the sounds of a successful restaurant.

Oh, the wait staff -- I can’t forget them. Their solicitous and warm demeanor definitely completed Fresco Grill’s pleasantly delivered dining experience.

Fresco Grill & Wine Bar
5236 S. Mission Road
(760) 631-1944

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Bravo! I went to Fresco last Sunday afternoon. We had the absolute best time, best service and food! The wait staff was professional, prompt, friendly and courteous. The food was excellent as was the wine. I honestly felt like I was in a friend's home. I could tell there were regulars there because of how the guests interacted with the staff. It was refreshing. That is a great sign of a great place. The music is GREAT. The duo that plays will have you dancing in your chair. That is what kept us there beyond our lunch! Check this place out. Meet the owner. This will become your "go-to" restaurant for sure!
05-05-2017 Rachel

Welcome To Fresco