Have you ever tried a Tiramisu? This Italian dessert is so good it could be the main course. Tiramisu appropriately translates from Italian to mean “pick-me-up” which metaphorically translates into, “make me happy.” You can’t help but smile after a bite or three of this rich creamy dish that includes ladyfingers soaked in espresso, layered with cocoa and mascarpone cheese.
But before you grab that passport to dive into this elegant and lovely dessert, check out one of the following Italian restaurants in Orange County that serves up homemade Tiramisu. Each one of these family owned bistros have their own unique twist on the dessert. You will be sure to leave happy.
Make room after dinner for Rothschild homemade Tiramisu. Recently voted by Zagat as one of America’s top Italian Restaurants Rothschild has spent the last 35 years perfecting their version of the Italian treat. The ladyfingers layered throughout are imported from Italy and soaked in hot espresso, then covered with mascarpone cheese, and heavy cream blended with coffee liqueur for added flavor.
The secret to Rothschild Tiramisu is the Vanilla Bean Rum Sauce used as a garnish. Owner Heidi Patricola said this secret recipe takes the dessert over the top. Patricola recommends the decaf house cappuccino to accompany the dessert.
Mon – Thu: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Fri: 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Sat: 4:00 00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Sun: 4:00 00 p.m. 11:00 00 p.m.
Ti Amo Ristorante
The Tiramisu at Ti Amo’s is light and fluffy with just the right amount of espresso flavor making this the perfect pick-me-up dessert to finish off an Italian meal.
Under new ownership – including a new chef – Ti Amo Ristorante has one of the best Tiramisus in Orange County. The restaurant was originally built as a home in 1928 and over the years has been remodeled to be reminiscent of a villa nestled in a Tuscany hillside.
Chef Pino Domicola was born and raised in Italy and makes the Tiramisu fresh with a recipe he has perfected over the years.
The Tiramisu at Ti Amo soaks the ladyfingers in espresso and Kahlua that is then covered with the traditional mascarpone cheese and heavy crème with a touch of sugar and egg yolks. Chef Pino said the original Italian recipe used egg yolks, which helps set his recipe apart.
Tue – Sun: 5:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Salerno’s is a quaint casual Italian restaurant in the heart of down town Laguna Beach that was the dream of original owner Tony Manzi. The doors first opened in 1975 with an atmosphere and menu fancied after the traditional New York City Italian bistros. The current owner, Polina, started out as a waitress at Salerno’s in 1977 and in 1995 the former waitress became restaurant owner.
The Tiramisu at Salerno’s is a recipe Polina created first as a server for the Manzi family who loved it so much they added the dessert to the menu. Instead of ladyfingers Polina uses sponge cake, which gives the dish a very light feel with mascarpone cheese and crème. The espresso is drizzled throughout with Frangelico and hazelnut and layered with cocoa.
Tuesday – Sunday 5p.m. – closed Mondays
Roma D' Italia
Benvenuti e Buon Appetito! Roma D’Italia, Tustin’s first original family owed Italian restaurant, also has a second location in Ladera Ranch. Since 1961 the Dominic Corea family has been serving up what they like to call a “Slice of Italian Heaven” daily.
The Tiramisu at Roma D’Italia is made from the family recipes of Nina Corea, Tina, Teresa, and Louie. Ladyfingers soaked in espresso give this dessert the right amount of coffee flavor to wake you up but not overpower. The Corea family recipe, which also uses mascarpone cheese and crème, has subtle notes of cocoa and sweetness that melts in your mouth after each bite.
Sunday through Thursday 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5:00 – 2:00am
Sarducci's Capistrano Depot
The ambiance of Sarducci’s in San Juan Capistrano’s historic train depot prepares your senses for the delectable Italian Tiramisu dessert.
Surrounded by stone brick walls and archways it’s easy to forget you’re sitting in historic Los Rios District and not an Italian village. Sit outside in the courtyard underneath a century old Pepper Tree and order the sweet treat Tiramisu. Sarducci’s uses sponge cake soaked in coffee and dusted with chocolate. Guests are also treated to a shot of caramel macchiato on the side.
Ristorante Rumari, translated in Italian means restaurant by the sea. This quaint rustic bistro won Diners Choice 2012 at Opentable.com.
The Crivello family, Vincent and Max and their mother Bina and father Antonio have made Rumari’s a family affair for more than 16 years. The Tiramisu at Rumari’s is a homemade recipe passed down through the years now shared with their dinner guests. Ladyfingers soaked in espresso and mascarpone cheese are also used. The rest of the recipe is secret but guests can have fun trying to taste the secret ingredients.
Since 1979 Antonello Ristorante brings Old World Italy to Orange County. The authentic Italian dishes, including dessert are influenced by owner Antonio Cagnolo’s mother, Mama Pina.
Carmel coffee lovers will enjoy the Tiramisu at Antonello’s. The decadent dessert is placed together like a masterpiece of artwork, layered lady fingers soaked in espresso and a marsala mascarpone cream served with a delicate yet rich caramel sauce. After dinner order a cappuccino and cozy up with the homemade Italian influenced Tiramisu.
Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Friday 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a writer in Orange County. Who clearly loves Tiramisu.