Rossi's Pizza and Family Sports Bar’s culinary team depends on the fruits of California. Chefs incorporate local cheese, olives, and bread into their dishes, and stock the bar with more than 15 wines, all of which are bottled in state. The cooks bolster regional ingredients with handmade dough, a special three-cheese blend grated in-house, and from-scratch marinara sauce, ranch dressing, and garlic butter. Beyond that, chefs craft award-winning homemade lasagna from a family recipe, pile BBQ roast beef and oven-roasted chicken onto Italian rolls, and crown specialty pizzas with toppings such as cashews and sliced avocado. They also serve bar classics such as chicken fingers and hamburgers.
Along with Californian wine, 25 draft beers served in frosted mugs can help wash down meals, which unfold in a spacious dining area that surrounds guests with exposed brick, flat-screen TVs, and sports memorabilia. In the private team room, groups can enjoy a slice while reviewing strategies on a whiteboard and watching game footage on a big-screen TV . After feasts, patrons can stick around for games in Rossi’s arcade, which includes more than 17 classics such as pinball, foosball, and air hockey.
Richard Valenzuela fondly remembers the home cooking of his Sicilian grandmother, once telling the North County Times that “just thinking about it makes me hungry.” Now that he co-owns Via Sicilia Ristorante Italiano, he continues to embrace those same generations-old family recipes when he helps design the menu. His chefs bake fresh bread every day and hand-form meatballs into perfect dodecahedrons. These house ingredients lend a rustic touch to familiar Italian comfort fare, including crispy pizzas, saucy pastas, and baked veal and chicken. The restaurant’s devotion to Old World ambiance extends to the decor, which evokes the feel of a café along the streets of Sicily. Faux shuttered windows and shop awnings line the walls in the dining room, where red-and-white-checkered tablecloths pop against cobblestone floors. To illuminate the space, the restaurant relies on a combination of wall-mounted lanterns, towering streetlights, and giant, irradiated fireflies.
Satisfying meals and handcrafted beer intersect with premium sports viewing at Lamppost Pizza and Backstreet Brewery, founded in 1976 by Angelo Barro and his sons, Dan and Tom. Today, the franchise welcomes patrons to 37 locations in three states, and the philosophy remains the same at all of them. Seven big-screen TVs broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games from around the leagues to entertain patrons sipping small-batch draft beers brewed onsite. Fans munch on traditional sports-viewing snacks, such as jalape?o poppers, potato skins, and buffalo wings. Chefs also prepare heartier entrees including garlic-chicken pasta, Pesto Supreme pizzas covered with artichoke hearts, and The Linebacker, a pizza loaded with pepperoni, salami, ground beef, sausage, and two types of bacon.
At Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana & Seafood, chef and author Gaetano Cicciotti and his staff of kitchen craftsmen wood-fire pizza crusts and sauté fresh seafood using original recipes. Like Pac-Man’s Italian relatives, diners chomp their way through morsels of tender pasta mixed with mouthwatering ingredients such as creamy tiger shrimp, homemade meatballs, sun-dried tomatoes, and a creamy gorgonzola pesto sauce. Noodle-free fare includes chicken, veal, and seafood, which arrives shrouded in white-wine sauce or cloaked in mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. In addition, an extensive wine list helps patrons match their meal with a vintage vino for a duo of flavors that’s more dynamic than a Bruce Willis and Mr. Peanut buddy-cop flick.