When a golfer seeks inspiration, she looks toward the skies over Scotland, just as a baker gets a second wind from his brochure of the Choco Mountain Range. Today's Groupon inspires with a saucy salute to Memphis: $20 worth of sweet meats and succulent, finger-licking barbecue for $10 at Lil' Piggy's Bar-B-Q in Coronado. Follow the sweet-smelling dreams that haunt long nights in your rib-shack.
Guests have to blink a few times upon first entering the Alexander's on 30th dining room—a dazzling wash of pristine white walls, white Carrara-marble counters, and white linen tablecloths. Moonlight pours in through lofty windows, causing the wine glasses and silverware to shimmer with images from Casablanca. Little candles speckle the tabletops, casting a glow on plates of colorful bruschetta, fine pasta dishes, and Italian specialties. A variety of artisanal pizzas perch atop silver pedestals—including the White Room pizza, a flavorful combination of garlic, chicken, and pesto that the San Diego Union Tribune named 1 of the top 50 things to eat in San Diego before you die. Outside, on the back patio, diners linger over last bites of cookie sundaes beneath trees adorned with strings of light.
Amid warm lighting shrouded by red glass, executive chef Samuel De Leon sends out Italian pasta dishes and baked entrees as the centerpiece of the eatery's campaign to give diners an Italian culinary experience. Another facet of this quaint destination is its newly installed covered patio, which lights up with the gentle glow of five LED TVs and warm fire pits. On Thursday and Friday nights, live music trickles into ear canals as patrons sip wine from a menu filled with chardonnays, merlots, and Italian reds. Those who prefer a specific bottle of wine can purchase one of the restaurant's wine lockers, which board bottles and brand each with a plaque that bears its owner's name and shoe size. Taste of Italy Del Mar also can book events for up to 200 people, including weddings and corporate events.
Giovannis Italian Restaurant boasts strong San Diego roots that were put down back in 1980—the year when the eatery first opened. However, the menu has much older ties to the past. The chefs still use generations-old family recipes that draw inspiration from classic Italian as well as Italian-American cooking. In addition to the selection of hearty pasta dishes, veal entrees, and sub sandwiches, the restaurant also prepares pizzas with as many as 28 different toppings from the Periodic Table of Elements, including everything from meatballs and chopped garlic to artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. To accompany this cozy, homestyle cooking, Giovannis also features an ever-changing assortment of beers from local craft breweries, such as Ballast Point, Stone, Green Flash, Karl Strauss, and Coronado.
Today's Groupon gets you $15 worth of pastabilities for $5 at Devine Pastabilities, the sandwich shop that was voted Best Sandwich in San Diego in 2007, 2008, and 2009 on 10 News A-List. The signature pastability is the "torpasta," a hollow garlic roll stuffed with pasta.
Trattoria La Bocca, an Old World Italian gem, welcomes families, lovers, and cartoon dogs who are lovers to enjoy an elegant evening either amid its soothing, incandescent interior or its people-watchable open-air patio. The dinner menu, complemented by an extensive wine list, dances through traditional flavors including the prized insides of crab-stuffed portobello ripieno ($12) and the lush pink sauce ladled upon homemade gnocchi and mozzarella ($17). Diners who prefer their food in shoelace form will find it underpinning the clams and shrimp in spaghetti mare e terra ($20), with even more abundant sea life populating the risotto pescatore's ($22) tomato-sauce-filled edible aquarium. Carne comes cooked to your liking with options ranging from the modest 8-ounce filetto di manzo served with mashed potatoes ($30) to the hearty 24-ounce porterhouse known as fiorentina alla griglia, which drips delicately in a peppercorn brandy sauce ($42). Give either meat a gloriously leggy tango partner with a glass of Blackstone cabernet sauvignon ($8). If you're undecided on your wine pairing, feel free to ask your server—unless, of course, your entree is a traffic cone full of wine.