October 15, 2014

Bottega Americano

A few weeks ago I was in Chicago for my best friend's wedding,
and in case you're wondering, I did, in fact, 
download and purposefully watch My Best Friend's Wedding on my flight there.
But that's neither here nor there. 
The point of me telling you the two aforementioned facts,
is that I happened to stop by Eataly while I was in the Windy City.
I loved the concept - a single location that boasts 23 eateries. 
It's large and in charge, and reminds me of afternoons spent in Italy this past summer. 

But this post isn't about Eataly.
It's about a new restaurant, located at Park & Island, 
in the burgeoning Downtown East Village neighborhood of San Diego.  
Bottega Americano is getting some rave reviews about town lately,
so naturally I had to check it out as soon as possible. 

The restaurant and marketplace is impressive. 
The space is beautifully decorated, offering five interactive food bars, 
as well as a market for those that only have a few minutes to grab something to go.
The menu combines classic Italian dishes with fresh ingredients and innovation of Modern California. 

I stopped by for lunch yesterday and noshed on some freshly cooked pasta,
as I cursed the fact that I had to go back to work, otherwise I would totally try one of the Snake Oil cocktails,
always a treat. 
marinated ciliegine mozzarella / roasted garlic / tomato marmellata / saba
grilled Mary’s farm chicken / fire roasted peppers / fontina / broccoli rabe / roasted garlic aioli hoagie roll  
garganelli / spicy lobster broth / jumbo shrimp / sweet garlic / mint 
1195 Island Ave.
East Village, San Diego


October 11, 2014

Eat, Drink & Be Crafty

How it's already mid-October is beyond me. 
Last night, I took the pups for a walk around the block, 
and was baffled to see all the pumpkins decorating the front stoops of my neighbors' homes. 
The holidays will be here before we know it,
and to get us into the spirit,
the wonderful people at Waters Fine Foods & Catering hosted a Holiday Workshop,
and guess who was invited? 

"Eat Drink  & Be Crafty" said the invite.
Hmm... well I surely don't have a problem with eating and drinking,
but the crafting thing? 
Let's just say Martha Stewart won't be calling me to guest-post on her blog any time soon. 
Either way, my bestie and I were overdue for a catchup session, 
so we decided to make an evening out of it. 
And I'm so glad we did!

The evening consisted of two parts.. 
Upon arrival, we were served with a generous helping of wine 
and escorted into a room where we proceeded to make dream catchers. 
Baskets of thread, feathers, beads, oh my!
My eyes darted from one thing to another, but thankfully, the sweet hosts were right by my side,
helping with artsy ideas, and before I knew it, my very own craft was coming together,
and to my surprise, it didn't look half bad!

After chatting it up with the other attendees for a bit,
we made our way into the kitchen,
where we put our culinary skills to work and made a few appetizers, along with a signature holiday cocktail. 
It was such a fun night, and is the perfect idea for a holiday party with your friends or coworkers.
Our final products. I swear we did NOT match on purpose. 
You know what they say... great minds think alike!
Rule no. 1 - must match the ingredients. 
Bloggers in the house!
Brisket atop a toasted crositni with freshly made slaw and aoli.
Toasted brioche with goat cheese and sauteed mushrooms. Yum!
Punch bowls filled with tequila will surely liven up any party. Cheers!
If you're looking for ideas to plan this year's holiday party,
you should definitely check out Waters!
Their talented team of event designers will help you create the perfect holiday gathering from start to finish.