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About Acqua Al 2 Ristorante
Acqua Al 2 Ristorante is a casual, elegant restaurant that serves traditional Italian classics in cozy settings. Helmed by Chef Ari Gejdenson, the menu features soups, salads, pasta dishes and delicious steaks. Beef enthusiasts will love the Filetto al mirtillo, a hand-carved medium-rare filet mignon paired with sweet blueberry sauce for a delicious balance of flavor.
In addition to its a la carte menu, Acqua Al 2 Ristorante offers the Assaggio di secondi -- a dinner menu option that allows guests to enjoy a chef-selected serving of three of the kitchen's most popular steaks. Acqua Al 2 Ristorante also offers the Assagio di insalata (a sampling of three salads), the Assagio di Dolci (a tasting of four desserts) and the Assagio di primi (a mix of five pastas). This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Mondays to Sundays.
San Diego, CA 92101
Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary Italian
Hours of Operation:
Dinner, Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
J Street and K Street
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There’s a public lot across from the restaurant.
San Diego Trolley at Convention Center | One block south
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Acqua Al 2 Ristorante Ratings and Reviews
Aqua Al 2 on 5th in San Diego's Gaslamp District was one of our favorites for special occasions. We loved their filet mignon with blueberry sauce and their pasta flights - along with a great wine list. We found out they were closing Jan 30th so we dined there one last time the night before. Had a nice chat with the owner/chef who said he would reopen another restaurant sometime in the future, so we will be sure to be on the lookout for it. Sad to see a great neighborhood restaurant close.
Having eaten here previously, we were looking forward to a nice dinner. The atmosphere and noise level were good, but the food was terribly disappointing. The steaks we ordered were served at room temp, not hot. We sent them back and they came back the same--barely lukewarm. The creme brulee was soupy--not set at all. The service was terribly slow, as well. The manager was very apologetic, as was the server, however it was a huge disappointment. I think we'll skip this restaurant on our next visit to San Diego.
I came with a group of 6. We tried the pasta appetizer and that was a good way to try different pastas. Some were really good, others were just ok. I got the chefs choice of three entrees. The filets were amazing, the chicken was mediocre in comparison to the beef! Our waiter seemed great at first but lost his flare as the dinner went on. Didn't remember which plate was medium well and median rare...big difference! Then just told us to cut into it, should be fine. Really?!?! Overall it was a good dinner. Nothing super spectacular. We've had better, less expensive Italian.
The foos was tasty and authentic Italian.Good choices on menu. Excellent service from waiter who was from Brazil. The price for the dessert was a bit much considering the portion size. However, the main entrees were appropriately priced. Parking is hard to find and pricey.
We picked this restaurant because the reviews about the food were very good. Our experience was "average". The food was very bland. Out Server suggested the fielt with balsamic instead of the blueberry sauce. The balsamic sause was burnt and ruined the steak. We also ordered the tuna...it was so salty it was also tough to eat. The pasat sampler is a great idea but again the pasta was very plain and lacking in taste - I would recommend the gorganzola pasta - I was very good!
We might try it again with the assumption it was an off night.
We tried Aqua al 2 because it was billed as the best Tuscan restaurant in San Diego. We were puzzled once we got there and checked the menu. Where were the typical white beans, spinach, fresh egg noodles, prosciutto, game dishes? Not at Aqua al 2.
OK, there's still a lot of good Italian food that's not specifically Tuscan. But we found the menu selections rather ordinary. Lots of steak dishes, a couple of veal dishes, 2 or 3 chicken dishes that were on the plain side. No lamb, pork, salamis, or the game dishes that are often found on Tuscan menus. I asked if any of the pasta was "fatta in casa" (homemade), but was told-- a trifle snootily-- that no, the pasta came from Italy. You mean, like the dried stuff you can easily pick up in many stores yourself? To me, there's nothing like fresh pasta, and any restaurant worth returning to should have at least a couple of fresh pastas on the menu.
My husband's buffalo mozzarella and tomato appetizer was OK. I started with a salad that was overdressed with a thick dressing (not the simple oil and vinegar most Italians use) that swamped the greens. In retrospect, I should have returned the salad, but what can I say?-- I was hungry and didn't want to wait to re-order. (Service was also on the slow side.)
Since we were not interested in the steak selection, we ordered 2 pastas. Once was rather bland, the other not bad, but nothing to rave about. We didn't bother looking at the dessert menu.
Afterwards, I admit I was puzzled by this "Tuscan" restaurant and its popularity-- enough that I checked the website of the original restaurant in Florence. I was surprised to see that the menu was very similar to the one in San Diego. I concluded that the Aqua al 2 group are called Tuscan simply because the original happens to be located in Florence. But no Florentine would call it Tuscan!
We celebrated a birthday with dinner at Acqua Al 2 on Dec. 11 and the food was phenomenal. All 3 people in our party had the tasting menu and not one of us was disappointed. The waiter did an amazing job of describing each of the pastas and the meats to us and none of us could decide on a favorite item. The dessert sampler was the icing on the cake is one of the most amazing dining experiences we've ever had. Thank you Acqua Al 2 for a meal to remember!!!
We found Acqua Al 2 in Florence, Italy and wanted to experience the restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarters. We enjoyed our meal in San Diego but still just not the flare of Italy! Italy's restaurant was much more quaint and tucked into a back neighborhood. So glad we went in San Diego and someday hope to visit our eastern restaurant in Washington DC! Service was good and our waitress was a delight. Can't remember her name but she lived in Reading, PA which is very close to us in Lancaster, PA. Had some lemoncello with prosecco!!! I could pretend I was back in Italy....... We didn't get to visit any restaurants in Little Italy so we can't make a comparison. Definitely worth trying.
Aqua al 2 is one of our favorite restaurants, and a regular stop on our downtown excursions. The food is excellent Italian - start with the Eggplant Parmigiana, baked to perfection. Then either steak, chicken, or pasta - you can't go wrong. I prefer the Rigatoni Melanzane, while my wife loves the Pollo al Porto. But there are so many other choices to please all tastes. Ask for an outdoor table and enjoy the people-watching along 5th Avenue.
We booked online for my husbands 60th Birthday dinner. We were warmly greeted and they remembered all our food issues i.e. no garlic or onions. We pick the chefs special and it was all amazing food and drinks. they even had a lovely dessert with 60th birthday written on the plate. It was a class act. I have traveled many times to Italy and always loved the food and ambiance. Our dinner was like being transported back to those lovely times. At the end we were surprised to see the food and drink was reasonable priced.
Thank you so much for making our evening so special.
Vallet parking right in front is always a plus. The overall experience with the staff was worth the trip to the gas lamp on a busy event weekend for San Diego. Our server was fantastic! He had obviously spent plenty of time learning his craft and was an asset to the restaurant. He knew the language, the menu and his customers well enough to make GREAT suggestions even under direct questioning by knowledgeable cliental on both food and wine. That being said, everything was surpassed by the food! We will return, and recommend to friends.
I've had friends visit the original restaurant in Italy and they raved about the place. The staff was excellent, friendly and well informed on their menu. They let my friends make a plate and hang our names on the wall- something usually reserved for celebrities. We had a wonderful time, and next time I'm in SD, I will make it a priority to visit! Ciao!
After a great deal of hype about their restaurant in Florence, our dinners turned out to be below average for good Italiano food in San Diego. The restaurant's "Signature Dish" sample of five pastas and sauces were tasty, but poorly presented, or shall I say thrown, onto small platters with little attention to hype in the menu and from our waiter. The best part of dinner was the wine and dessert, a light, tasty chocolate cake.
We are from out of town so normally only eat here once a year. It was outstanding and Allison our server was very good. The signature Apertivo of the 5 pasta sampler is an excellent way to start the meal. We love the filet with blueberry sauce, then to finish off the meal with the sampler dessert. Can't go wrong with any of these choices!
We had been here once before a few years ago and came back to enjoy it again. It was my wife's birthday and we wanted a special place to celebrate, just the two of us. This place is in the Gas Lamp District which has great nightlife and lots of choices for food and drink. It is good for a couple, but they have nice tables to suit up three couples. They have great traditional italian pasta dishes and a sampler of five seperately prepared and served tasting dishes was perfect. We shared them. From there we shifted gears and shared a beautifully preparred 32 oz porterhouse steak. The wine list has some nice value wines and top end selections too. A dessert sampler ended a great evening.
Always a pleasure dining at this fine Italian Restaurant. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District, the fare is always great and the service gets better all the time. Try the Antipasta plate for an appetizer and you won't be disappointed. Be sure to share or you won't have room for your main entree.
We'll be back again the next time we visit San Diego. The only other locations of the restaurant are in Washington DC and Firenze, Italy.
GREAT restaurant. The portion sizes are decent; not typical LARGE sizes like many american restaurants. Every choice on the menu is excellent, and the Prix-fixe menu is probably your best deal - gives you a nice variety. Ambiance is stellar; right in the heart of gaslamp district. good experience with OpenTable, too! This restaurant is located in Florence, Italy (where I've been), and now even Washington, D.C.!
Food was bad quality (steaks and chicken), took forever, was totally overlooked and eventually came out cold. Service was awful. Asked for the wine list multiple times and never got it. There are so many good restaurant s around here - don't waste your time and money here.
Pros: Many vegetarian pasta options. Casual attire is acceptable. Valet parking for the same price as parking in the local garage.
Cons: It was loud in the area we were seated and the server was very slow. The appetizers were good but the main courses were OK.
A good option for someone visiting the Gaslamp but not the same quality as their sister restaurant in Washington, DC
This place was recommended to us from another couple that touted it as the best Italian place to eat in California. I guess we had high expectations, because in our opinion it was a B food experience.
The waiter was great, the food good but not delicious. Price was moderate and cocktails very small. If a friend asked me if I would go back, I would probably say no. There are so many other choices nearby in Little Italy - San Diego.
I love the Aqcua al 2 in Washington DC but found the food at The SD location was just ok. The blueberry filet was not as flavorful and just kind of bland. I also love the Gorgonzola gnocchi on the menu, but unfortunately the pasta at this location was tough and not as melt in your mouth. The sauce also had a pink tint, different from the beloved dish in other locations. Overall I had a good meal but would not return to this location.
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