This past Wednesday was the Taste of Little Italy event, celebrating the restaurants of Little Italy by providing ticket holders with small tastes of the food from each participating restaurant. Event-goers were given a choice with their tickets: buy the North or South "routes", which entailed a different path of restaurants, or buy the entire package, and get to taste at over 30 different restaurants!
We had tickets to take the North Route, which included many restaurants that I was excited to try, as well as some favorites of mine.
Since it was close to the ticket booth, we started our tour at one of the best pizza places in San Diego, Filippi's. With locations all over San Diego, Filippi's is a true classic, with a sturdy, soft crust, and tons of cheese! Vegetarian and pepperoni slices were being offered.
Another favorite was next on the list: Davanti. I've had many great meals here, and enjoyed the samples of freshly cut prosciutto parma slices being offered.
I was especially excited to try Buon Appetito because of its long-standing reputation in San Diego as some of the best Italian food. Serving up pasta with pesto and pinenuts, the food was very good, and made me want to try out other menu items.
Next up was a newcomer to Little Italy, Cookbook Tavola Calda. A Rome-based restaurant, they were quite generous with their tasting offering. Three savory dinner samples, and a dessert! Lasagna, fried chicken with spices, and an orange-glazed meatball. Everything was so fresh and light, which is surprising for Italian food.
The dessert was perfect. A dessert salami, as it was called, composed of Italian cookies surrounded by a thick chocolate fudge. Delicious, and not as rich as it sounds.
Another relative newcomer to Little Italy is Juniper and Ivy, the newest enterprise for chef Richard Blais. The sample was a pork meatball served with a sweet pepper topping. Simple, but quite tasty.
A stunning dessert was presented by 98 Bottles, an upscale wine bar. A dark chocolate brownie with stout, served with chocolate and caramel sauces, topped with whipped cream! The chocolate was right up this pregnant lady's alley!
Another treat was found at Puerto La Boca, an Argentinian steak house. Serving up garlicky Argentinian style steaks and chorizo sausage, and samples of Malbec (obviously I did not partake).Mona Lisa got into the party with a Tony Bennett-esque singer and cheese and Italian meat samples.
The last stop was for dessert! Cafe Zucchero was serving mini cannolis -- one of my favorite desserts! Across the street was Caffe Italia, serving freshly made cappucinos! We took our cannolis to enjoy with the coffee (which we sadly didn't finish -- sleep is good, and these would have kept us up all night!). The coffee and cannolis were a perfect end to such a nice evening.
Definitely one of the best "Taste of" events that I've experienced, and a great peek into some of the menus of this exciting neighborhood.