All of Spumoni's homey restaurants brim with Old World ambience and warm zephyrs laden with the aromas of a broad selection of mouthwatering pastas and pizzas. Enjoy extravagant culinary indulgence not seen since the reign of Emperor Boyardee with a delectable antipasti dish, such as the Veggie Tower & Prosciutto, a shuffled deck of tomatoes, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, and succulent Parma prosciutto ($9.95). For a bigger bite, wrap mouth muscles around the Gnocchi Fradiavola, piquant shrimp and white wine cradling tender spud-infused pasta as beautiful as a litter of Mr. Potato Heads ($16.95). The Herculean array of pizzas, such as the Capricciosa, studded with artichoke, ham, mushroom, and mozzarella ($17.95/12" pie), goes down much easier after a few glasses of muscle-loosening wines, including Sangiovese ($6/glass) and Moretti ($5/glass).Though this Groupon does not cover the $2.50 charge, Spumoni's expedient food runners deliver to homes, businesses, and Muppet-infested trashcans.
Like most self-service fro-yo shops, Twist Frozen Yogurt offers a variety of rotating flavors—generally 14 to 16—and a toppings bar with up to 70 choices, including cookies, nuts, and fresh slices of fruit. And like the other shops' yogurt, Twist's yogurt is kosher, is either fat-free or low-fat, and is full of healthy dose of live and active yogurt cultures.
But Twist entertains more than taste buds. Each location lets visitors play on provided iPads or browse free WiFi until closing time at midnight. And on certain special occasions, the yogurt shop transforms into a birthday-party venue complete with games and activities, such as a piñata full of frozen yogurt.
Boots, brews, and barbecues unite at the first annual Smoke & Saddles Festival. Guests don their rodeo finest to sample eclectic dishes from eateries including the Blue Table, The Latigo Kid, and Hugo's Restaurante, and partake of sips from the likes of Dirty Tequila and The Lab Brewing Company. Live music ensures a night of rootin', tootin', and perfectly timed boot-scootin'. And the party is for a good cause—proceeds benefit Free Arts for Abused Children.
At Riviera Calabasas, chefs draw from local, seasonal ingredients to create dishes inspired by Italian, French, and Spanish cuisine. They even add Asian and South American twists. The result is a menu that features recognizable pillars, such as pasta, steaks, and fish, decorated with delicious flourishes. Chefs coat tender fillets of Scottish salmon in a crisp potato crust, garlic-infused lobster sauce, and vegetables that are seasonal—like freezing rain in winter or falling down despite wearing a classy outfit in winter. And Riviera Calabasas brings plenty of class to the table: white linens drape tables, and earth-tone walls reflect the warm yellow light of fixtures hanging over black-and-white booths in the carpeted dining area.
A full bar showcases wines by the glass, imported and domestic beers, cocktails, and cordials, whereas Sunday brunch presents eggs benedict, a pancake bar, french toast, and breakfast pizza. The Riviera Calabasas team doesn't neglect its guests' health concerns, though—its alternate menu catalogs a slate of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.
Bernard's Wine Gallery, a wine store with thousands of old and rare fine wines for sale, welcomes both wine neophytes and grizzled oenophiles to sip from its fine vat of liquefied vinefruits. Bernard Rosenson, who owns Bernard's Wine Gallery with his wife Cynthia, also owns Coquelicot Estate Vineyard, the organically farmed vineyard featured in this tasting. Six Coquelicot wines preside in the elegant tasting room, including the 2006 Bordeaux Blend, which won a gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition for its dark, complex taste. Guests will swirl and sip in luxury, blissfully whisking away memories of Twilight Zone episodes where clubs of giant wine bottles attended a human tasting. Tastings run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Guido's Restaurant hasn't changed much since opening in 1979. It hasn't had to. The same fireplace still crackles by red booths that are both plush and spacious. The same carved wooden statues and floral accents line the walls and support the bar. And the same deep-stained hardwood columns and wine racks add a smoky sophistication, recalling a mountain lodge or Winston Churchill's childhood treehouse. When cast in low light, these exude nostalgia to create a vintage atmosphere ideal for dates or family meals.
The food is equally classic—Northern Italian recipes that have found their way from generation to generation. The authenticity is apparent in their ingredients. Swiss chard and fresh basil sink into the ravioli di magro, whereas white wine and porcini mushrooms complement the pollo toscana. And if that taste of wine isn't enough, high-end and more modest varietals from California and across the globe can be fetched from the cellar.