So I may have vented a bit in the past about the plethora (to put it politely) of Italian restaurants in Encinitas, yet there are always stars in a crowded field and Vigilucci scored with his cozy brick-oven fueled hideaway in the heart of funky Leucadia attached to Robbie’s Roadhouse. It has its own personality though with a completely different look and feel and a back patio that is a little oasis. And the cool thing is, if you are not feeling the rustic Italian vibe you can order from the pizzeria menu at the Roadhouse and catch some live music.
So we have established it’s a chill place in an old-school stretch of Coast Highway in North County, now let’s talk about this Bismark Pizza that has become one of my favorite foods to introduce friends to over the past few years mainly because the initial reaction is almost always one of two responses. The first is a polite, oh, “That’s interesting” and the second is the more closed minded “That’s gross” or “I’m not having egg on a pizza.” Whatever the initial reaction, I’ve recorded a very high percentage of converts after their first bite.
Pizza alla Bismark is an amazing combination of wood fired thin crust topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, asparagus, and oven-roasted egg. There is a slice of asparagus on each piece of pizza and two eggs cracked on top that bake while the pizza cooks. I request a special order that I’m sure they would not have a problem repeating and it really does make all the difference. I order two extra eggs for more egg coverage on the pie then order the whole thing well done which gives the crust an extra crisp and cooks the eggs a little more over-medium so they are not runny but still have plenty of egg yolk goodness that is perfectly mopped up with the amazing crust. The combination of the egg and perfectly cooked asparagus with the tomato sauce, cheese and crispy crust is so right it just continues to blow my mind. Besides the pure whacked perfection of this pizza, it will always evoke a comment from a nearby table. That and the priceless look on the face of the doubter at your table when they get that converting combo bite and try to hide their pending foodgasm. If by some remote chance there are a couple slices left over, it passes the next morning cold pizza test with flying colors. When I order one for myself I usually end up with a slice or two left over and it’s a delightful breakfast. I really could take up the rest of the column brainwashing you with more Pizza alla Bismark gushing but I trust you will take my advice and give it a try. There is more on the menu after all and it’s all pretty darn good including the other pizzas.
I’ve tried the salads and they never disappoint, especially the Caprese. On my last visit I had venison ravioli special that we split as a starter and loved it. I also was impressed with the homemade fettuccine Bolognese made with chicken, pork, and beef. There is a full menu of traditional Italian favorites plus great steaks, seafood, and calzones plus a desert menu with a homemade hot apple pie a la mode which is calling my sweet tooth at this very moment.
On a nonfood related note, but a nice addition to the evening, is Leucadia Home which is just next door north of the restaurant. They keep late hours; have really amazing furnishings and accessories including a healthy representation of Anna Cabo glass furniture, tiles and art which I was delighted to see.
So yeah, check this place out, and if you feel like getting a little crazy, order up the Pizza alla Bismark with two extra eggs, well done. Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Vigilucci’s Ristorante & Pizzeria is located at 534 North Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas. Visit www.vigiluccis.com/pizzeria for more information.
Coast News Lick the Plate columnist David Boylan is celebrating 10 years and 500 columns with the Coast News in 2019! His feature covers the ever expanding North County culinary scene that includes restaurants, culinary personalities, trends, observations, tributes and his popular takeover column where area businesses, bands or teams contribute to the column. Lick the Plate has also been a popular radio show for the past eight years in San Diego on 100.7 KFMB, and on stations in Detroit, Michigan, Windsor Ontario and Traverse City, Michigan. Besides the column and radio show, David runs Tatonka Digital & Analog, a boutique marketing agency headquartered in Oceanside, California. Reach him with show suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lick-the-plate.com