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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.

Tre Porcellini
1417 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 294-9201

Tre Porcellini Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

'5 Responses to “happy hour at tre porcellini / hillcrest – san diego, ca”'
  1. Darlene says:

    Everything looks so good! I agree that happy hours are the best opportunity to try new food. Unfortunately, if they have a GREAT happy hour, it will be hard for me to pull away and order something from their regular menu.

    And calamari? Yes, please!

  2. great happy hour prices! i remember when this place was ‘bite’.

    i love the little pigs design! so cute!

  3. leanne says:

    Gnochetti and fresh ricotta have to be some of my favorite things to eat. And I don’t understand people who don’t like calamari… it’s crispy fried goodness with a kicky sauce!

    Good to know that Tuesdays are happy hour all night long… I could totally see stuffing myself silly on HH dishes! And $1 wine – how can you beat that??

  4. Alyssa says:

    My husband’s only exception to staying away from seafood is when it’s fried. Calamari is okay with him, as are fish and chips and sometimes a bite of fish taco. I guess he goes by the rule of thumb that anything fried is good!

    The menu description of the ricotta crostini sounds so plain that I would never think to order it. I’m glad that it turned out to be so good!

  5. mary says:

    Hi Darlene – Yes, that could be a problem… you could always order one dish to share though, right? In addition to HH choices of course!

    Hi CC – I never went here when it was Bite, oh well. I agree, I love their logo!

    Hi Leanne – They also have a Wed night pasta special thing that I also might want to try… if I can pull myself away from the ricotta dishes.

    Hi Alyssa – My bf is the same way with seafood – he really likes fish and chips! Though, he won’t eat calamari… but that just means more calamari for me! :)

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about this site

My name is Mary and I live in San Diego. I've been blogging since 2006 as a hobby - it's my fun, creative outlet! Some random things about me: I'm a front end web developer, I love peanut butter, cookies, warm cupcakes, puppy noses, star gazing, new bags of sugar, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers, egg rolls, eating french fries with ice cream, driving with the windows down, snuggling, wes anderson movies, staying up too late reading a good book and Jake. These are my adventures in all things food. Hope you enjoy the ride.
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