Osteria Romantica brings Italian to La Jolla Shores


By Light staff

Osteria Romantica restaurant in La Jolla Shores prides itself on being “real” Italian.

“We do a little bit of everything (Italian) — we took the best of the north and south,” said Fabio Speziali who, along with partner Antonio Mastellone, has owned the eatery at 2151 Avenida de la Playa for seven years.

Speziali noted his native land has a diverse cuisine with lots of regional recipes that differ from one another partly because they draw on local produce. At Osteria, he said the most popular dishes ordered are the ravioli, gnocchi (potato dumplings), and the veal and pork shanks.

The restaurant has a good international wine list that includes Chilean, South African and Israeli wines along with American and Italian choices.

“We have at least 250 wines,” said Speziali, adding wines are discounted on Tuesday nights.

Speziali said what makes his restaurant so special is its ambiance.

“You feel like you’re in the right place if you long for Italian food,” he said. “Everything is made to order.”

Presently serving only beer and wine, the restaurant will soon have a liquor license.

There is dining indoors and outdoors on two patios, and the restaurant also has a small private room in back for groups.

The restaurateur said prices at his establishment are moderate: $6 or $7 for salads, $12 to $14 for pasta dishes and $14 to $18 for meat dishes.

Speziali set up shop in La Jolla Shores because he liked the local feel.

“I like this area of town because it’s a neighborhood,” he said. “We like to see the same people in the restaurant all the time.”

Call (858) 551-1221 or visit


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