It is not to difficult to find an Italian restaurant in San Diego, but when it comes to authentic, and I mean Florence, Italy authentic, Acqua Al 2 brings that flavor to your plate right in the Gaslamp District.
In making sure that the Acqua Al 2 menu in San Diego captured all of the flavors of the original restaurant in Florence, owner Martin Gonzalez spent a year in Italy working in the kitchen. In addition, the Executive Chef from Florence, spent seven months in San Diego training the staff in the recipes and techniques, leaving little doubt that what you taste at Acqua Al 2 is truly authentic.
I have always come to look for something original when it comes to steak and Acqua Al 2 found a way to surprise me. The “ Filetto al Mirtillo” is a filet mignon that is topped with a blueberry sauce. To get a sense of this flavor we need to go a little further, the steak is grilled similarly to how you would find a high end steak grilled, but then it is placed in a pan with the blueberry sauce, allowing the sweetness to find its way into the filet as it finishes cooking.
We are talking Italian so we have to point out the amazing pasta dishes that are dished out. I would have to start out with " Martin's Favorite." This was named for the owner but after tasting it I would not be offended if they said it was based on my last name. The dish is called Rigatoni alle Melanzane, which is a tube shaped pasta with a tomato eggplant sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, it almost seems too simple, but i'm here to tell you that there is some magic in the ingredients as it is an incredibly flavorful dish that leaves you asking for seconds. You can order it alone but it also compliments everything on the menu. Topini al Gorgonzo is the other must-try item on the menu. This potato dumpling dish has a mouth-watering gorgonzola cheese sauce. The dumplings are prepared perfectly but it is that cheese sauce that makes you not want to put your fork down.
If you are dining at Acqua Al 2 for the first time, the best way to get a sense of the menu is to try the Assaggio Di Primi Piatti, a sampler of five items from the first course list, chef’s choice, this is considered the signature dish. You can also try the Assaggio Di Secondi, a sample platter of three main entrees, chef's choice.
Acqua Al 2 provides a very cozy and intimate dining experience; you really get that old fashion Italian style feeling when you dine and the service is truly outstanding. You will really appreciate the knowledge of the menu that the staff has. A fabulous way to enjoy one of those stunning San Diego nights is to dine outside on the patio; it also allows you a chance to take in the atmosphere that surrounds the Gaslamp district.
To complete your evening I would suggest trying the Assaggio Di Dolci, a sampler of four desserts, including the finest Tiramisu you will find in any Italian restaurant. You could taste how freshly prepared the Tiramisu was and it was so flavorful that you just wanted the taste to stay with you. The sampler is perfect for a group as you get a taste of each dessert and you will leave Acqua Al 2 very satisfied.
If you are visiting
San Diego or if you are a permanent resident, the
Gaslamp District is an incredible place to spend an evening and
Acqua Al 2 is the highlight of the area when it comes to dining. Not only are you in for an original menu, but you just never know who you might be dining next to as you will find out from all of the famous names who have autographed plates that hang on the walls of the restaurant.
For more information on Acqua Al 2, visit: www.acquaal2.com
Gonzalez also recently opened a new restaurant in the East Village called Toast, to find out more information and to learn about the menu, visit: www.toastenoteca.com