Tiramisu Trattoria is an elegant, intimate choice for dinner

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After an afternoon of shopping in downtown La Mesa, a great place to wind down and get a bite to eat is Tiramisu Trattoria. The restaurant, a presence on La Mesa Boulevard since 2004, is a hallmark mix of intimacy and style.

After an afternoon of shopping in downtown La Mesa, a great place to wind down and get a bite to eat is Tiramisu Trattoria. The restaurant, a presence on La Mesa Boulevard since 2004, is a hallmark mix of intimacy and style.

On the evening that my husband and I dropped in for our dinner reservation, it was still very warm outside. Our server, Miguel, showed us to a cozy booth facing the big picture window. He immediately brought us water served from an attractive glass bottle. Another couple was seated on the other side of the restaurant.

The inside decor of the restaurant is a wide dining room where everyone can see the other diners. Painted murals adorned the walls. All the tables had white tablecloths. We drank our chilled water and watched the people walk by on the street.

We perused the menu and decided on the Mozzarella Caprese for our appetizer. Miguel brought us a basket of bread with a plate of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with spices. As we waited for our appetizer, we watched a film called “The Flavours of Italy” on the small TV at the front of the restaurant. The film whetted our appetites for cuisine and culture of Italy. We decided on sharing a plate of the Pollo Milanese dish.

The restaurant was beginning to fill in with more people. A few more couples had settled into booths, and a large group sat at a table near us. Miguel arrived with our dinner, two plates of lightly breaded chicken smothered with tomato and arugula. Served with rosemary potatoes and grilled vegetables, the portions were more than enough for both of us. I was glad we had asked to split the entrée. The peppery taste of the arugula went great with everything on the plate. We took the last bit of bread and dipped it in the olive oil mixture before we sat back and took a deep breath.

Next, we decided to try house specialty dessert—tiramisu. Neither of us have ever tasted a tiramisu that we liked. It will probably never be our favorite dessert, but we had to give this one a try. The dessert was a masterpiece in presentation, with nutmeg lightly dusted over the plate and the cake. It looked like a white gift box and it was lovely.

It was time for a taste test. We dipped our forks into the creamy top, cut all the way through the middle and down through the bottom. The coffee flavor of the tiramisu was not as dense as so many other tiramisus we had tasted, which we liked.

We kept on eating the cake, trying more of the creamy top with a smaller bite of the coffee middle, then more of the creamy crust. Though we did enjoy the creamy taste, we probably will not order the tiramisu again just because neither one of us particularly like the coffee flavor. That said, the tiramisu is the best we have tasted, and it is a sure winner for people who favor the dessert.

Overall, we had a great experience at Tiramisu Trattoria. As my husband said repeatedly throughout our dinner, “This has been a very good meal.” So we will be back, and try either the cannoli or cheesecake for dessert next time. Maybe we will even sit out on the patio if it is cooler outside.

The restaurant is located at 8273 La Mesa Boulevard. For more information, go to www.tiramisutrattoria.com. 

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