Saturday, January 16, 2021

Garage Buona Forchetta Serves Up Legendary Italian Eats, Killer Carry-Out Wine Deals and a Side of Spooky Decor

Feeling super safe and distanced on the back patio. Bonus points for the gentle breeze.

If you’re looking for authentic Italian eats in a safe, outdoor setting, park yourself at Garage Buona Forchetta. Not only will you enjoy perfection in pasta, pizza, and in-house specials, you’ll be treated to a playful taste of Halloween.

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A creepy skeleton stagecoach adorns the entry to Buona Forchetta.

When everything feels a little different, it’s fun to celebrate some normalcy. Like, a fun date night on the town amidst the changing of the seasons. For the COVID-weary among us, restaurant dining can be a challenge when outdoor seating is limited. Fortunately, Garage Buona Forchetta has lots of outdoor dining, along the street and on its sun-drenched back patio. Add some spooky Halloween decor–creepy stagecoach, animatronic wolf man, a giant skeleton and an evil clown–and you’ve got a killer venue.

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It’s a recipe for success.

The food, of course, is why we came here. But let’s start with the wine.

The wine list is extensive and offers lots of regional labels from Tuscany, Sardinia, and Sicily which is a nice change from typical California reds. We started with a sangiovese which was bright and tasty with hints of cherry, and moved on to a super Tuscan, succulent and flavorful, full of berry. And, did you know, you can buy bottles of wine from the in-house market to take home, and add them to your bill at a discount? Now you know!

For appetizers, we started with the beet salad with organic mixed greens, lentils, goat cheese, parmigiana and balsamic. This refreshing and savory salad featured both red and golden beets, and was quickly devoured by the fork full.

You had me at goat cheese.

And, why not throw in a fried pizza as another app? The delicious Rebecca le fritte came topped with mozzarella, prosciutto cotto, and mushrooms. It was so good, it felt a little naughty. The deep-fried crust was crispy on the outside, doughy and delicious on the inside. Turns out fried pizza is a thing; it originated in Naples and is said to be as Neapolitan as buffalo mozzarella.

Fried pizza: No words. They should have sent a poet.

For entrees, we selected two house specials. The seafood pasta with house-made spaghetti, shrimp, calamari, and mussels, and the ravioli with four cheeses, pesto, and a sauce of basil, tomatoes, walnuts, ricotta, and provolone. Both were fantastic. The seafood pasta did not skimp on fish or flavor, and the ravioli tasted like all the best parts of October folded into a pillow of pasta.

Of course, you can’t end an Italian dinner without dessert The waitress recommended the tiramisu and the cheesecake, but we could not be swayed. We went straight for the cannoli. (It went straight into our mouths, that’s why there are no pictures.)

Don’t miss the house specials written on the chalkboard. Fantastico!

As the sun began to set behind us and the hint of a chill entered the air, we paid our check and bid arrivederci to Garage Buona Forchetta. As always, the authentically delicious Italian flavors and warm, spot-on service are a constant. But we were surprised by the great deals on wine, the delightful house specials, and the kitschy Halloween decor. It’s like Buona Forchetta will do anything to make you smile. Pretty soon, you just can’t help it.

‘Til next time, Garage Buona Forchetta!

Garage Buona Forchetta is located at 1000 C Avenue, Coronado

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Christine Van Tuyl
Christine was born and raised in Texas, but moved to Coronado with her family as a teen in 1993. Although initially horrified by surfers, flannels and skateboards, she ultimately grew to love all things So-Cal. A graduate of UCSD, Christine got her first writing job on the KUSI ten o’clock news while simultaneously juggling a reporter position at the San Diego Community News Group. She worked as a public relations professional, a book editor, real estate professional, and a freelance writer before eventually succumbing to motherhood in 2008.A decade later, Christine resurfaced to start the Island Girl Blog, a Coronado lifestyle blog. In addition, she writes a monthly page for Crown City Magazine. Christine loves hanging out with her husband, Ian, and their two spirited daughters, Holland and Marley, who attend Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School. When she’s not working, you’ll find her practicing yoga, spilling coffee at school drop off, meeting friends for sushi, or sailing the Bay with her family and English Bulldog, Moshi. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: