Edible Arrangements' more than 50 fresh, artful fruit baskets combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy edibility of fruit. The sweetery's designers stud the Delicious Daisy, a bouquet of sliced honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe, with strawberries and strings of grapes that can double as a 25th-anniversary gift for a Smucker's jam heiress ($35). Decadent, gluten-free layers of white and semisweet chocolate coat fruit in a 12-piece box of hand-dipped strawberries and bananas ($25). Customers can also put today's Groupon toward a larger centerpiece, such as the Melon Delight, a decorative spray of watermelon wedges, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and double-dipped bananas sprouting from a watering can ($76). The preservative-free treats are all handcrafted at the apex of freshness, readying hand-dipped dainties to be hand-shoved into eagerly awaiting mouths.
By picking fish caught from the Chesapeake Bay, the Pacific, and the tropics, Edge of the Ranch, formerly known as Nugent’s Firegrille, gives its menu the depth and variety it needs to reflect classic American culinary sensibilities without growing stale or predictable. The chef mixes up the menu with choices such as line-caught swordfish, organic-fed salmon, and baked Maine lobster. Edge of the Ranch supports sustainable-fishing methods while offering guests the healthiest seafood possible. Alongside the fresh fish, the staff also fire grills Angus steaks—such as filet mignon and flat iron—and all of the eatery’s fare can be paired with draft beers, signature martinis, fine wines, and sea shanties.
Organic and locally sourced ingredients give the French, Italian, and Spanish-inspired meals at Rustic Tapas and Meatballs a California twist. The dinner menu centers on oven-baked meatballs, made from scratch according to the owner's grandmother's recipe. Whether tumbled across spaghetti or slipped between bread, they burst with the flavors of fresh herbs and slow-roasted meats?or soy chorizo, in the case of the vegetarian option. Before or between meals, guests can snack on Spanish-inspired tapas or sip glasses of housemade sangria, craft beer, and organic wine.
Since 1979, Horizon Foods has been delivering flash-frozen and pre-portioned dinner entrees directly to front doors. Each item arrives fully prepped to heat and eat, individually wrapped, and fully trimmed and de-boned as needed. Select from proteins such as antibiotic-free chicken fingers ($76 for 48 two-ounce portions), divers scallops ($99 for 36 two-ounce portions), and buffalo burgers ($89 for 20 five-ounce portions) for grilling, searing, or using as an aesthetic metaphor in a diorama about 19th-century westward expansion. Pre-rolled, pre-cut, and pre-stuffed eggplant rolatini ($84 for 24 3.5-ounce portions) makes a palatable, pre-sized main dish for herbivores and herbivoyeurs alike.
If you’re ready to indulge in a carbohydrate-heavy dinner, make sure your meal is made from the freshest and best ingredients. Assenti’s Pasta in Little Italy promises exactly that, while throwing one family’s dedication into the mix as well. Founded by mother Adriana Assenti, today her sons Luigi and Roberto continue the tradition. Local chefs load up on their fresh pastas and raviolis while savvy home chefs can choose from a rack laden with freshly rolled pastas, while oils and other ingredients fill surrounding shelves. A cooler case is packed with over a dozen sauces and sage butter, and a take-out menu waits at the counter where the staff happily answers questions and will patiently circle the cooking times for your selected pasta.
The Mona Lisa Italian Deli and Restaurant sits in a low, white building on a corner along the northern swath of San Diego’s Little Italy. The entrance is adorned with the smiling visage of Leonardo Da Vinci’s muse, and many other versions grace the walls of the restaurant alongside vintage photographs of the Brunetto family, who owns the shop. If a relaxed, sit-down meal isn’t possible, a generous selection of daily eats are available from the adjoining quick-serve deli space. DIY chefs will be inspired by the variety of pastas, sauces, oils, fresh ingredients and beverages that fill the deli from floor to ceiling, while those dining in can expect wood-paneled walls, simple tables and long bench seating that runs along a far wall.