Jack and Giulio's Italian Restaurant
Old Town is known for its Mexican fare and we have ventured here for delicious meals as well as Taste of Old Town samplings. After I won a gift card to Jack & Giulio's Italian Restaurant, our curiousity was piqued. Can this Italian restaurant hold its own in Old Town? We had to check it out.
Jack & Giulio's is only a few blocks away from the heart of old town so parking can be difficult during peak dining hours and weekends.
Sitting inside seems romantic with the candles though people can also take a seat at the bar. The large open patio area definitely appeals to visitors, especially in the summer time. A little bit of shadow cast by the building does keep it a little more breezy and 'cold' than usual.
It seemed like a lot of people worked there; we saw at least 4 waiters, all switching out and helping each other even with few guests. One brought out a simple bread and butter appetizer. I can't remember if this was before or after we ordered food.
We examined the menu but nothing really stood out. We decided to go with the recommended customer favorites. Coincidentally they were also the most expensive items.
First up was Valdostana di Vitello (23.95). It was a veal cutlet, folded, filled with ham, fontina cheese, mushrooms, finished in white wine sauce
A quick cut revealed the multiple layers inside. The fontina cheese was melted in a thick layer on top , followed by an alternation of ham and veal. I loved the concept but the the flavors were a little bit dull. There was no wow factor to this dish, at least for us.
Our other entree was the Scampi Alla Giulio (25.95). It was butterflied shrimp, sautéed with mushrooms and white wine sauce, served with the pasta or vegetable of the day.
These shrimp were huge and there were about five! They had a thin fried crust but lost the crispiness from soaking in sauce. The thick cut mushrooms were nothing fancy, if anything like an afterthought.
The choice of sides were the pasta of the day or vegetables. The pasta portions were small but hey, it's a side. The veggies were cooked a little on the raw side, a bit crunchy and the natural flavors came through. It tasted as if it barely touched the pan at all.
We preferred the shrimp dish though both meals were filling. We didn't have too much interest in dessert...
The service was nothing out of the ordinary but the "favorites" aren't calling me back. The portions were plentiful but this meal would have cost 50 without the giftcard. I like that there are non-Mexican options in Old Town but I'll stick to Italian from BiCE, Solare, etc instead. Or maybe there's still a hidden gem around a corner to find nearby...
Jack & Giulio's Italian Restaurant
2391 San Diego Ave
San Diego CA 92110