Trattoria i Trulli


Review #34

Trattoria i Trulli.  That’s a mouthful even before you’ve ordered anything.  Most folk just call it “Trulli” pronounced “Truly”.  Actually, I’m not even sure if that’s how you are supposed to say it, but right or wrong that’s what we have been calling it since we moved here in 2000.  Although I hate to use the word “fancy” about any of our beach town restaurants, you will want to change out of your swimsuit and put on your big boy/girl clothes for this dinner.

Expecting a crowd on Saturday night, we came right when they opened to assure a table for our large group.  They have a beautiful patio out front for smaller parties or a quaint inside space that has a warm, Italian-cottage feel to it.


Recently, my BFF surprised me with actual Dining On The 101 Business cards, and I like to pass them out freely when we go out to blog for two reasons.  First, it can’t hurt to let an establishment know you are about to review them in case they want to give you a little extra VIP treatment. And second, no…that’s it.


You are first greeted at Trulli with their wall of wine. My mouth was already watering.


Although we have great memories of Trulli, Hubby and I have not eaten here in about 15 years.  I suppose that’s because we like to try new places, and sometimes forget about ones we have tried and liked.  Then we get stuck on 3 or 4 go-to places and rarely stray. This is one of the great things about Dining on the 101 project.  It forces us out of the rut and into new or almost forgotten territories like Trulli.  Trulli’s homemade bread and garlicky red sauce are exactly how we remembered it, and came quickly to the table.IMG_2424

Hubby and I ordered an appetizer of Calamari Adriatico. It is calamari simmered in a tomato sauce with spinach.  That’s right Tracy, you can order calamari that isn’t fried and is still delicious!  I asked the waiter to put it right in front of me so I could get a picture FOR MY BLOG.  He either didn’t know what a blog was, or was doing his best to act very cool.  No questions asked.  No extra “please enjoy”s.  He just placed it down and left.  Not rudely, just not with anything extra.  Oh well.  There was a generous amount of tender calamari, especially for an appetizer but I found the sauce to have too much garlic and spiciness for my liking.  Hubby was happy he didn’t have to share, he loved it.

IMG_2425Calamari Adriatico

Jen and Greg shared the Burrata Bellina. They use “Fresh virgin mozzarella”.  Just curious as to what you call non-virgin mozzerella.  Ho-cheese?

It came crusted with pistachio nuts and had a balsamic glaze, over fancy pear spheres and arugula.  OH MY GOD!!!  Soooooo good!!  Amazing.  I only had one bite, but I heard angels singing.  The pear spheres are actual halos.

IMG_2426Burrata Bellina

Lynne and I ordered Chianti which is really just adult Kool-Aid. It was delicious and went perfectly with our meal.  The only reason I ordered a second glass was to stay committed to this year’s mini-rez of drinking more.


Tracy ordered a pasta dish that came with eggplant, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and ho-cheese.  It was very good.  The tangy sun-dried tomatoes really made it.


The succulent scallop and spinach dish etched in my mind no longer exists. (WHAT??  How dare they change their menu after 15+ years!) So instead, we shared a dish called Pollo 101, which is a chicken breast stuffed with different cheeses and topped in a mushroom sauce.  They kindly split it for us without asking.  Regular treatment here, or VIP?  The veggies were crisp and flavorful and the chicken with mushrooms was divine.  We loved it.  It paired smashingly with the Chianti.

IMG_2427Pollo 101

Jen & Greg finished their meal with Crème brûlée.  I didn’t try it, but judging from what they left over, I don’t think it sucked.


Bottom Line:  If you haven’t been here, or if it’s been a while (like, 15 years), come in for some great local, authentic Italian cuisine.  Start with the Burrata Bellina and a bottle of Chianti.  Follow that up with Pollo 101, or try one of their home made pastas and let me know how they are.  I bet they’re awesome.  If you’re on a date, sit outside on the front patio for a little extra romance.

Although I passed out business cards, took exaggerated photos all over the restaurant, even left my camera in plain view on the table during our meal, no unrequested tastes from the chef, free scoop of ice cream, or extra glass of Chianti made it our way this time.  Ok, I realize I may not have reached Ruth Reichl status yet.  No biggie.  I don’t knock off any points for Trulli’s service.  They truly did a fine job.


Ruth Reichl- writer & food goddess

Next week’s blog will be on Sunday, February 11th at 9:00 am at

The Potato Shack

120 West “I” Street

(Yes, I know “I” St. isn’t technically on Hwy 101, but it’s very close and MAN-HOLE COVER SIZED PANCAKES, ok?!)






Author: foodkibbitzer

I love to cook, especially soup, and bake challah. I ride horses, enjoy sarcastic people and am a food snob. I'm busy being mom to my two boys and I play mahj jong.

2 thoughts on “Trattoria i Trulli”

  1. I have live in Italy most of my life , I have family in Italy as well . The food in I Trillin is about the worst you can get !!! Period end of story . If this is what you think Italian food is supposed to taste like , I guess you have nothing to compare it to !!! Mi dispiace per te !!!

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Sherry: I’d love to hear your recommendations for great Italian food in North County. I really do like the food at Trulli, and I appreciate all the other elements at Trulli that make for a fun night out…great service, friendly staff, fair prices, etc.


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