I strive to surround myself with people whom are encouraging, fun, loving, and smart. some are family, some are friends who have become family. This has given me a wonderful community and made my life incredibly rewarding. Two of my favorites were visiting the Central Coast for the first time and I was excited to show them around. This couple lights up a room when they enter and make strangers into friends almost instantly. I love them. They are more entertaining and encouraging than anyone I have ever met. After a day exploring down town San Luis Obispo we decided to pop into Mama’s Meatball.
A bottle of Chianti wine loosened our mood that spread to like fire, as the entire restaurant became part of our family. This small intimate space was perfect for a family run Italian restaurant and our reunion. We started with a basket of garlic knot bread, which was flakey and full of flavor made even better with an extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. Then we shared a Caprese, which consisted of fresh buffalo mozzarella, large heirloom tomato slices, and fresh basil with a sprinkling of oregano and extra virgin olive oil. It was luscious and we all loved the sweetness of the tomato paired the lush flavor of the mozzarella.
Our main courses arrived and they were as different and varied as our group. I had the Ravioli di zucca that was homemade ravioli with a butternut squash interior with a butter and sage sauce with a touch of crème. This dish was so sweet, I had to share it with my sweet-toothed husband and he was very glad that I did. Gary went for the signature Meatball sandwich, which he devoured half and was excited to take the rest home for lunch the next day. It was huge and filling prepared with homemade bread, succulent meatballs, melted mozzarella, and special Bolognese sauce. It was Italian comfort food at its best. Our friends tried the Orecchiette con braciole, which was a large plate of ear shaped pasta served with rib eye steak (that was cooked so perfect, she could cut it with a fork) all in the signature Bolognese sauce. The final dish was the Scaloppine de Vitello that he ordered piccata style with white wine, capers and a delectable lemon sauce. He hushed for the first time all evening as he devoured his dish.
All of us were quite happy and stuffed, but we couldn’t resist ordering dessert after chef Nicola Allegretta came over to the table to see how we liked our meal. He talked to every table. His accent is so wonderful, I could listen to him read the phone book. I find this a nice touch and a good sign for a restaurant, for if the chef is brave enough to come out and ask people how their meals were, he knows they are noble. He told us that his fondest childhood memories involved spending time in the kitchen with his Mama in Italy. He used to spend hours watching her cook for friends and family and told everybody “nobody cooks like my Mama”. With her watchful eye and amazing culinary teachings he decided to open a restaurant her using all her wonderful recipes.
Chef started his culinary career in the United States The Original of Rome in The Center Disney World Orlando. He was also chef at Tiramisu’ and Aura Restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida. Chef Nicola then moved to San Luis Obispo in 2001 where he worked as Executive Chef of Benvenuti Restaurant for two years. Now with the passion taught by his mother and a vast experience from all over the world, he resides with a steady hand at the helm of Mama’s Meatball.
We went for the mimosa cake (made daily by Mama herself), as I had never heard a dessert described that way and was so curious to try this dish. It was a vanilla sponge cake filled with Chantilly crème, pineapple, and Malibu rum. It tasted of love and sweetness; like a 400-year-old recipe passed down from Grandma to Grandma, we wrestled for the last bite.
There are many Italian Restaurants in San Luis Obispo, but if you’re looking for a casual authentic Italian cuisine then you should consider Mama’s Meatball Italian Restaurant. Ranked among the best San Luis Obispo restaurants, Mama’s Meatball uses the finest and freshest locally grown ingredients to prepare some of the best dishes. Mama’s Meatball offers dine in, takeout as well as delivery service and offers private dining and banquet facilities for corporate parties and family celebrations.
It was a perfect experience and I am so glad I choose well for my visiting friends. Mama’s Meatball is located in the Old Creamery Building at 570 Higuera Street, Suite 130 in San Luis Obispo, call them at 805-544-0861, they are open seven days a week from 10:30am to 10:00pm.