Romano's Dodge House


Day Hours
Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Restaurant Details

Detail Status
Cuisine Italian
Delivery No
Outdoor seating Yes
Party room No
Reservations accepted Yes
Kids menu Unknown
Occasional live music Yes
Vegetarian friendly Yes
Payment Options Accepts credit cards

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email
  • Pin it


Romano’s Dodge House Ristorante Italiano in Julian is well worth the hour or so drive it takes to get there from just about anywhere in San Diego. I discovered this gem many years ago when my brother used to live in Julian. You can get some good burgers and barbecue in Julian, and that’s fine, but Romano’s serves very innovative, sophisticated Italian cuisine. And if you live in Julian, Romano’s is also the place you call when you want to order takeout pizza and you don’t want to drive all the way over to Wynola to Wynola Pizza Express (which I’ll get to in another review). It’s also the best romantic date restaurant in town. All of Romano’s outstanding food is prepared on the premises. The restaurant is located in one of the town’s oldest historic homes, the Dodge House. It’s a great place to dine year round, but it’s especially cozy when it’s snowing outside. It’s kind of like stepping back in time. The old house has been re-modeled to accommodate the restaurant kitchen and a small cocktail bar, but the décor, including a wood burning stove, is respectful of a living room/ dining area in a late 1800’s pioneer home. On my most recent visit to Romano’s, my friend the omnivore, ordered the baked pork chops simmered in a whiskey and apple cider cream sauce. She was oohing and aahing so it must have been delicious. What I remember most about her meal were the vegetable accompaniments that came with it, most of which I stole from her plate. There was steamed fresh broccoli, succulent glazed carrots and scrumptious garlic mashed potatoes, but the thing I remember the most, was an exquisite dish of sweet and sour red cabbage that rocked my culinary boat. It seemed like a dish that might have originated in Denmark rather than Italy, but it harmonized magnificently with the pork chops and the stolen veggies. My brother’s favorite dish at Romano’s is the halibut simmered in a creamy Florentine sauce served over a bed of garlic fettucine and fresh vegetables. Friends and relatives have remarked very highly on the Chef’s Choice, a sample platter with chicken cacciatore, sausage and brasciole. The shrimp scampi with sundried tomatoes, rosemary and an olive oil butter sauce served over fettucine also got high marks. But for me, the reason that I am willing to trudge an hour into the wilderness is to savor and consume Romano’s pasta primavera containing a bevy of fresh vegetables sautéed in olive oil, tossed with pesto and served over linguine. When I’ve dined with other veg-friendly pals, we’ve also ordered the tantalizing spinach ravioli in marinara sauce and shared the bounty. The bowls and plates are huge, so sharing is only natural in this taster’s (or food thief’s) paradise. I think Romano’s Dodge House has struck gold in the old mining town of Julian.

Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader