Disclosure: This meal was provided free of charge; all opinions are my own.
Located right in downtown Half Moon Bay on the corner Main and Mill Street, It’s Italia is a perfect place for an excellent lunch or dinner in Half Moon Bay. The restaurant is beautiful with light flooding in from the large floor to ceiling windows and with a menu that has a “chef’s mood” item where the chef makes a special dish based on their mood. Add to that a wood-fired pizza oven and a relaxed atmosphere, and you have the recipe for a great spot to eat in the area. Here is all the information.
- Cost: $15-20
- Location: 401 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
- Information from my visit in 2016
Situated right on the corner, It’s Italia is easy to find with its earth tone, stucco exterior, and its colorful potted flowers right next to the entrance.
The interior is designed in a Tuscan style, which is welcoming and open. There is a full bar in the back, next to the booth seating, and a spacious patio that they use when the weather is better.
I sat at a table next to the windows in the back by where the chefs were cooking.
It’s Italia is another one of those spots where I could order half of the menu. I asked for recommendations though, and pretty much went with what the waitress told me. Here is what I got.
This dish had locally grown Brussels sprouts from Giusti Farms, oven-roasted with pancetta, pears, and shaved Parmesan cheese. I am already a big Brussels sprouts fan, so adding in pancetta and pears is just icing on the cake. The pears had a sweet glaze that came from the oven roasting, and it works incredibly well with the salty meat and Brussels sprouts.
Burrata, Honey and Toasted Hazelnuts on Ciabatta
They have another appetizer, which is a unique take on bruschetta, where they take toasted ciabatta topped with toasted hazelnuts creamy burrata cheese and local Half Moon Bay honey. It tastes like dessert and is fantastic. The way the creamy burrata pairs with the honey and hazelnuts is out of this world, incredibly flavorful. If I only ordered one thing, it would be this.
The lavender lemonade has a pleasant lavender taste and is more sweet than sour. It is a delightful drink, especially for a warm summer day.
The Seafood Risotto was recommended to me as one of the most popular dishes here, so that is what I went with for an entree. The dish had a creamy sauce with prawns, scallops, shrimp, garlic, and tomatoes inside. It was full of flavor, and all the seafood was cooked perfectly to add to the creamy risotto. It is the kind of meal you want to take a nap after because it is so rich, in a good way. If you have a long day of driving though, you might decide to order something lighter like a wood-fired pizza.
Key Lime Pie
When the dessert menu came, I saw key lime pie as an option and was pretty shocked since this is an Italian place, and I would not expect to see that on the menu. I decided to give it a try, and the server told me it was her favorite as well, which sealed the deal.
After diving in, I realized why it was on the menu; it was incredible. Just the right amount of sweet to tart ratio, it rivaled the pie I had in Key West earlier this year. It even had a shortbread cookie dough crust, which was hard to beat. They have other options like lavender creme brulee, which I am sure is good as well, but for me, I would order the key lime pie every time I came in. It was one of the best desserts I have had in a while.
All in all, this is a fantastic restaurant in downtown Half Moon Bay, the food is on point, the staff is lovely, and the location is hard to beat. Give it a try next time you are in the area and let me know what you think in the comments.