By Emily Sorensen
Finding a kid-friendly and pet-friendly restaurant that also serves authentic Italian food is certainly a challenge, but not anymore.
Villa Capri Trattoria and Wine Bar, which opened in May in the Twin Peaks shopping center, near Target, provides all that and more. Jointly owned by four men, one of whom serves as the executive chef, the Villa Capri seeks to be the restaurant you can go to for an elegant meal, or a quick bite with your dog.
“Affordable price in an elegant setting,” is how owner Salvatore Ercolano, an experienced restaurateur with 16 restaurants under his belt, describes the Villa Capri. “There’s something here for everybody. It’s a mix of old and new Italy.” Ercolano, who moved to San Diego in 1993 and is a native of the island of Capri in Italy, currently owns six restaurants in San Diego, including Villa Capri.
Ercolano, along with his fellow partners Kyle Laferriere, Antonio Viscito and Dario Dentamaro, who is also the executive chef, have worked hard to find the balance between casual dining and a more elegant experience.
Villa Capri is the first restaurant Laferriere has ever owned. The two met at a wine-tasting event and hit it off, and decided to go into business together, eventually settling on Poway as the ideal location for their restaurant. Laferriere had previously worked as a restaurant manager for five years, but has always dreamed of owning a restaurant. “When I came here from the East Coast,” said Laferriere, “I wanted to open a restaurant. That’s what I wrote on my first job application for a restaurant.”
One of the restaurant’s selling points is the pet-friendly outdoor patio. “Some people don’t want to leave their pets at home,” said Ercolano. “Some people treat their pets like they are their children.” Pets, as long as they are friendly, are welcome to join their human friends dining on the patio. Ercolano even said the restaurant had recently served a steak to a dog celebrating its birthday with its owner. Villa Capri also welcomes children and families. “We make a really great pizza here,” said Ercolano. “We’re kid-friendly.”
The restaurant also has a wine bar, complete with a television for keeping up with the game while you enjoy your drink. “It’s an elegant sports-bar setting,” said Ercolano. “It’s a restaurant with a bar, not a bar with a restaurant.”
On top of their large lunch and dinner menu, Villa Capri also offers a brunch menu on the weekends, from opening until 2 p.m., served alongside their lunch menu.
Villa Capri Trattoria and Wine Bar is open 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, and 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. To make a reservation or find out more, call 858-391-9400 or visit vc3.villacapriristorante.com.