We had some alone time after dropping kids off at the mall, and decided to treat ourselves to dinner. Jim had never been to Antica Trattoria, and it's been a while for me, so that was an easy choice. I'd forgotten just how much I love this place. We started with their featured appetizer of portabello mushroom stuffed with crab with a wine sauce. It was enough for the two of us to share, and it was spectacular. The wine sauce was flavorful without overpowering the crab. So good, in fact, the bread came in handy to enjoy the remaining sauce on the plate. Jim ordered the Vitello Ai Carciofi (Veal Scaloppine sautéed with garlic, artichoke and diced tomatoes in a rosemary and chardonnay sauce) and I ordered the Gnocchi Chiara Isabella (gnocchi served with diced pears, mascarpone cheese, walnuts and dried tomatoes). The veal was sliced, and tender. The vegetables were roasted to perfection, maintaining their flavor. He doesn't even care for zucchini, yet ate every bit of it. My gnocchi was pure heaven. It was rich, with the dried tomatoes adding a bit of kick, and the walnuts giving it a more complex texture. I took half of it home, and made the mistake of giving my kids a bite. That was the last I saw of the gnocchi.
If you've never been here, it's worth the trip. It's located in a strip mall along with Outback and Vons, at the corner of Baltimore and Lake Murray in La Mesa. The ambiance is warm, the wine list is decent, the service is very good, and the food is absolutely wonderful.