We are blessed to live in a city with all of its fine dining, but what happens when fine dining collides with fun – well you have Il Localino. This North Highlands eclectic Italian trattoria pulls out all of the stops to make moments into memories. This is due to the owners, Giovanni and Gale; whose take on life carries over to the total dining experience – it’s Italian home cooking in a cozy setting, but it’s more than that, it’s how they celebrate the joy of people coming together. The recipes for these masterful creations have been passed down through the generations within Giovanni’s family, and they’re made each night for your pleasure.
To get the party-like atmosphere going, try one of the delicious house cocktails. The tangy pomegranate martini is made with Pearl Persephone vodka, pomegranate juice, and a twist of love - just one sip of this luscious drink and relish the satisfying smile. In addition to these well-crafted drinks, there is an extensive wine list that is a blend of carefully selected Italian and Californian wines. One of the wines that begs for foods of substantial flavors is the lush Jinetes Syrah, its bright cherry and blackberry aromas carry over to its harmonious lingering taste – it’s literally a fruit bomb in a bottle.
As with any great Italian meal, one breaks bread together and shares antipasto to fire up the palate and to start an evening of enduring conversation. At times it is hard to get a word in, as these nibbles are way too tasty. From the creamy Prosciutto di Parma with cantaloupe, to the nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and buttery Asiago, to the crispy yet delicate tasting Hearts of Palms - these appetizing flavors seem to have a way to intensify with each bite. But it’s the Pesto alla Genovese made with finely chopped walnuts in the basil-garlic blend that will rock those taste buds- don’t let it leave the table- the urge to come back to it is irresistible. Now that all of the senses have become fully aroused, send them over the edge with simply the smell from the sizzling garlic and lemon of the baked clams oreganata. These mouth-watering morsels will cause one to gasp at the first taste – the excitement builds!!!
Pasta is typically served as a first course and when properly made there is no other food that is as satisfying and soothing to the soul. The savory robust Paccheri alla Bolognese is both plus oh so much more. The large tube pasta is covered with a rich tasting meat sauce that’s somewhat feisty, and when topped with freshly grated Parmigiano this highly flavored dish is absolutely to die for. The second courses at Il Localino feel like brushstrokes of a di Vinci masterpiece- simply breathtaking. The ultra-tender pan roasted Filet Mignon medallions are sautéed with shallots and seasonal mushrooms in a Barolo wine reduction with a splash of the highly aromatic brandy, Vecchia Romagna, is astonishing. But to excite those last few sleepy taste buds indulge into some of the most exciting seafood in the city, the Cioppino- an unbelievable fisherman’s stew. It’s truly a work of genius that consists of lobster, king crab, clams, mussels, and sea bass all bathing in a savory tomato broth whose flavors are intertwined with fresh herbs and garlic creating a zesty seafood feast that can only be described as stunning - this dish is created from Giovanni’s heart, a labor of love. Ask for some fresh bread to slop up the broth, as it is just way too yummy.After some impromptu dancing and singing, the party-like atmosphere always settles back to the reason why people get together to eat- to feel nurtured and to connect with each other while enjoying the treasures of the kitchen. The treasures really sparkle at Il Localino with their decadent warm Chocolate Soufflé and the coffee tasting creamy Tiramisu –these dreamy treats are truly a gift from heaven. When you think you can’t take another bite, somehow you notice the fork. Besides the foods and the ultra-friendly staff, the greatest pleasure at Il Localino is the unexpected. This adds to its astonishing setting and takes the culinary journey turning it into a fun-filled memorable evening- can’t think of a better way to enjoy life. Buon appetito!!!
LGTG FRIENDLY ***** (Staff That Knows How To Have Fun)
FOOD ***** (Go Off Menu with The Specials)
PRICE ***** (Large Enough Plates to Share)
AMBIENCE ***** (Eclectic/ Fun/ Engaging)
DRINKS ***** (Other Worldly Cocktails/ Special Wine Finds)
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