happy hour at tre porcellini / hillcrest – san diego, ca
Happy hours are a great way to sample a restaurant’s food without going crazy on the price tag. I did that recently with my friend, Heather. We went to check out a little place in Hillcrest called Tre Porcellini and sampled quite a few of their happy hour specials. Check it out below!
[happy hour menu]
The only thing we didn’t try off the happy hour menu was the Pork Belly, and that’s only because they were out of it that night! That only means we have to come back another time to try it. Oh, what a shame!
We started out with some lovely bread and a simple tomato spread for the bread. Initially I thought this was something that Heather had ordered before realizing it was just a complimentary bread. The tomato concoction was quite good with the crusty bread. It was very simple, almost like what I imagine a chunky tomato jam would taste like.
[House White Wine and House Red Wine]
These are our house wines. I got the white and Heather got the red. For happy hour, the wines were only $1. Yes. $1!
[Coppa Caprese – Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil in a martini glass – $5]
Heather’s caprese in a super cute martini glass. Good flavor overall, not the favorite of the night though. I could pass on this in the future as it wasn’t very memorable.
[Crostini di Polenta – baked polenta, mushrooms and gorgonzola – $4]
We ordered 2 of these because we are crazy and thought it wouldn’t be enough food. Haha. You get two polenta squares with a good helping of mushrooms on top. The polenta part was just okay to me – I felt like it could have had a little more flavor to it, it tasted pretty plain. The mushrooms on top were good though and Heather and I pretty much just stuck to eating the mushrooms and ignoring the polenta.
[Calamari Dorati – fried calmari with spicy aioli sauce – $5]
I got some calamari for myself. Heather doesn’t like seafood. I don’t understand this.
The calamari were light and crispy, not overly battered. They had the tentacle parts as well as the body and there were some fried veggies in the mix, too. The aioli sauce was a nice compliment – it had a little spicy kick that gave the calamari a nice punch of flavor.
[Gnocchetti Burro e Salvia – Ricotta and spinach gnocchi, butter and sage – $5]
This gnocchi was one of my favorite items of the night. They were like soft pillows of flavorfull goodness – so light and creamy and the sage in it really stands out, making me a very happy girl. It came in a light tomato and butter sauce and I dipped as much bread as possible into that sauce. When I think of gnocchi, it’s dishes like this that I think of – light, airy, soft, creamy, delicious gnocchi.
[Ricotta Fresca alle Erbe – ricotta, fresh herbs, chili flakes, crostini – $4]
Heather also ordered this – basically ricotta on toast – and was nice enough to share with me. This was my other favorite item – maybe I just really, really love good ricotta cheese? The ricotta here is perfect – sweet, creamy and dreamy. The addition of herbs and toast just elevated it to the next level – you get the creaminess of the ricotta, the flavorful punch from the herbs and the crispiness of the toast on the bottom.
The only negative side of the visit was the service was a little lacking. But, maybe that’s because our waitress (the only waitress) was also our hostess and the bartender for the night? Luckily there weren’t a ton of people there that night, but it was still a bit slow on trying to get our check. Food and items came out relatively fast with kitchen workers helped to deliver the food, but infrequent checks from our waitress made actually leaving the restaurant a slow process. No matter. I would still come back and visit – still gotta try the pork belly (and any other new happy hours items they might test out).
Also, Happy hour on Tuesday night lasts all evening, so it’s the best day to go if you can’t head out right after work. Other days of the week it is from 4pm-7pm.
1417 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103