Best of 2000: Best Italian Seafood

Osteria del Pescatore
1201 Camino del Mar, Del Mar
(858) 509-9293

The owner, Giorgio, spent a year in Italy studying seafood preparation. The menu offers antipasti, soup, risotto dishes, 9 salads, 15 varieties of pasta, 10 entrées. The problem is not what to eat but how to limit yourself. You can't afford to miss the zupetta di gamberoni, a stew of langostino and rock shrimp in a fresh tomato broth. Or start with the bean-and-pasta soup and advance to warm spinach salad with walnuts and apples. The gnocchi (potato dumplings) are made on the premises and dissolve in your mouth, although the ravioli stuffed with smoked salmon may prove the highlight of your meal. Roasted sea scallops and tiger shrimp over penne pasta is mouthwatering, but if you can go on eating, don't overlook the roasted rack of lamb. The interior seats 30, but the heated patio is equally attractive. Arrive early to avoid a wait. Especially in the summer, lines form down the street.

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