My favorite type of food is Italian. The combination of bread, pasta, rich sauces, and wine make it the best comfort food and I’m always craving it. Bencotto Italian Kitchen is located at the heart of Little Italy in San Diego. The focus is pasta, it is all handmade and the restaurant just reached a record making 1000 lbs of pasta per week! Started by Italian owners Guido and Valentina from Milano, they brilliantly created a modern and authentic Italian experience.
We were greeted by the ridiculously friendly and knowledgable server, Jan, who brought us a tray of uncooked pasta to showcase the multiple options we had for tonight. Everything from Gnocchi, to beets Gnocchi, to ravioli stuffed crab meat…there were about 20 types of pasta to choose from. There was even a gluten-free option.
We began with the Fiori Di Zucca Ripieni (recommended by Jan), and it’s lightly fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and smoked mozzarella, yum!
I saw the squid ink pasta (tagliatelle al nero di seppia) on the specials and had to get it! I loveeeee squid ink pasta, it has a unique taste to it and not many restaurants do it right. This dish at Bencotto was absolutely perfect, with rich flavors, creamy goodness, and also had a spicy kick to it with the added shrimp sauce. It wasn’t too heavy and goes so well with a glass of Pinot Noir. This is a lighter wine with fine tannins that goes nicely with shellfish generally, and specifically a dish like this.
The coolest feature about this restaurant was that they had a “Pasta a Mood Tuo”, meaning “pasta your way.” You can choose from eight types of sauces and then choose from multiple types of pastas. My friend Carmichael went with Jan’s recommendation, he got the Gnocchi al formaggi with bolognese and added the shrimp. The Gnocchi was stuffed with a delicious gorgonzola cheese topped with a robust bolognese.
We ended the meal with the fluffy and rich tiramisu. Bencotto exceeded our expectations, beautiful interior, extremely friendly staff, and each dish was top quality. If you’re ever in Little Italy or craving Italian food, make sure to stop by and arrive hungry!