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.
Jimbo’s Naturally is a natural foods grocer, located just west of Poway, that stands by its mission to offer the best high quality organic and natural foods. Founder Jim “Jimbo” Someck, an avid runner, vegetarian and father of four, moved to San Diego over 30 years ago and opened his first store in 1984. Today, there are five San Diego locations. His integrity and ties to local organic farmers and natural food vendors have elevated Jimbo’s into being one of the premier natural foods stores in San Diego County. From farm fresh produce and bulk grains to organic body products and a juice bar, customers can find foods and products that heal the body and soul.
Bins of olives bobbing in their brine. Slabs of lamb and links of sausages hanging behind a butcher counter. Fragrant rows of spices, chutneys, and salads. Beyond the camel mural that tops the façade of Mid East Market, shoppers find exotic ingredients needed to craft delicious dinners and stock their home pantries. One customer favorite is the store's signature, homemade garlic spread, which shoppers like to haul home by the tub or oil drum.
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.
The Mainly Mozart festival unites classical musicians from around the globe for performances of tunes by the titular composer and other legendary songwriters. Eardrums vibrate to the sweet melodies of Haydn's Piano Concerto in D, and renditions of Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo sets toes to tapping. Each show in the four-concert series boasts a different lineup of compositions and performers, but every note awakens from its slumber at the capable hands of Maestro David Atherton.