Pismo Beach, CA

My review of Giuseppe’s Italian restaurant at Pismo Beach.

Mark-John Clifford

Patti and I have been going to Pismo Beach quite often this year, compliments of a friend who has a home there and has been sharing it with us. It beats staying in a hotel or motel and constantly eating out.

At least now, if we want a quick bite to eat for breakfast, it's easy to prepare it at home before leaving for the day. 

When we're there, we usually hit two places for food, Pizmo Cafe and Woolly's. I've written about each and have added their links.

Giuseppe's was the place we hadn't tried and heard much about. 

Note: Before you get too far you should know my pictures from the evening somehow were lost so I’m finding images from the web. They may not be the perfect representations of what we had, but the pork chop pic is right on.

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Giuseppe’s in Pismo BeachGiuseppe’s

While in Pismo the last weekend in August, we met up with Patti's sister and brother-in-law, who have a trailer and stay in one of the local parks.

They recommended Giuseppe's after a friend had recommended it for dinner-and, so we went.

We decided to have an early dinner, so we arrived a little before four pm and found out they didn't take walk-ins until four pm exactly, so we waited.

I'm glad we arrived when we did because the walk-in line started to grow as we sat there- whew, we just about beat the rush.

Once inside, the atmosphere reminded me of some of the Italian restaurants in New York or Boston. Pictures of Italy from long ago, as well as recent pictures, adorned the walls.

Along with the pictures, items like empty or maybe full olive oil cans and bottles were on the shelves around the restaurant. One olive oil can near the register was labeled GENCO Olive Oil, like in the Godfather movie.

We were seated, and I could tell this restaurant may be a little more expensive than Wooly's or Pizmo Cafe by the linen and silverware on our table, but the reviews I read before going in made it worth the price.

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Salad alla Giuseppe’sGiuseppe’s

As you know from my reviews, I always look for Italian food that tastes as close to homemade as possible. So far, the only location I've found was at Pizmo Cafe, but there's always someone else, and it was Giuseppe's turn to come to bat.

Time to Eat

The menu looked fantastic, and as I stated above, the prices here were higher than at Pizmo and Wolly's, but the anticipation of the food took away the shock.

They started by serving homemade Italian bread from their in-house bakery, which also makes the dough for their pizza which I heard is fantastic. We'll try that next time.

Along with the bread, they served an olive oil dipping sauce made with balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, crushed garlic, and olive oil.

The dip was fantastic, and to be honest, I believe we had them refill the dip two or three times, along with bringing us more of their homemade Italian bread. The bread was sliced thin as I like, and it had come fresh from the oven.

Our Salads

We started with salads. Patti, her sister, and her brother-in-law ordered salads made with fresh spinach greens and fresh veggies with a balsamic vinegarette.

I ordered the Caprese salad made with fresh tomatoes and burrata mozzarella; that was the creamiest I've had in a while. 

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Look at that Mozarella!Giuseppe’s

I didn't hear anyone complain about their salads. All we did was brag about our salads to each other. I think I bragged the most since I hadn't had a traditional Caprese salad in years.

The Main Course

Patti and her sister ordered Tortellini Giuseppe made with 

bloomsdale spinach & ricotta-stuffed, peas, mushroom, pancetta, and tomato sugo.

It looked fantastic when it arrived, and according to Patti and her sister, it was excellent. 

The sauce wasn't too spicy or acidic as some tomato sauces tend to be in restaurants according to their taste buds. This meal had their full approval.

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Pasta from Giuseppe’sTrip Advisor

Patti's brother-in-law went with the fettucine alfredo with shrimp added as a topping.

I didn't get to taste his fettucine, just as I didn't try Patti's or her sisters, but they kept raving about their dishes, so I knew they were great.

According to Patti's brother-in-law, his fettucine alfredo was excellent, with just the right amount of cheese for the dish.

I opted for the Pork Chop (elephant ear) alla Parmigiana

parmesan-crusted butterflied pork chop, melted mozzarella, tomato sauce, rigatoni pasta, and veggies. The elephant ear refers to how the chop is sliced and presented on the plate.

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Pork Chop from Giuseppe’sFacebook

The pork chop was tender and juicy. I had never had a pork chop parmigiana style. I've had chicken, of course, and some seafood that way, but never a pork chop. Granted, it was pricey, but it was worth every penny or dollar in this case.

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Another SaladGiuseppe’s

The veggies weren't soggy, and neither was the pasta. Both were cooked al dente, and the veggies were very flavorful.

In the End

Their dessert menu looked fantastic, with one item sticking out, a strawberry tiramisu, but we opted to go home and have coffee and treat back at the trailer.

All in all, the evening was fantastic. The company was great, the food was excellent, and the atmosphere brought back many fond memories of New York and Boston.

What topped off the evening was an older gentleman who came in with an accordion. We had finished eating by the time he started to play, but I did get to sing one Italian song with him before walking out the door; Oh (way), Marie (Dean Martin's version), a song my grandmother would sing to me daily. It made the night.

If you get a chance to visit Pismo, make sure you make a dinner date at Giuseppe's, it's worth every dollar, and make sure to go later so you can listen to some old Italian songs while dining.

Buon Appetito!

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA
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