There are a lot of steps to creating bagels. But rather than take shortcuts such as freezing dough and pre-baking items, the staff at Top of the Bagel Cafe complete every step in the early hours of morning. This helps them ensure their bagels are fresh, soft, and ready for customers by their 5:30 a.m. weekday opening time.
They begin by mixing the dough, which they then boil into perfect circles before baking them into fluffy, unsliced rounds. Once bagels have cooled slightly, chefs can slather them with one of the seven styles of cream cheese or lox, or slice them in half to create the shop's signature sandwiches. These include breakfast items made with scrambled eggs, or even open-faced melts topped with a gooey layer of cheese. In addition to bagels, they serve up a range of drinks, such as cups of coffee, smoothies made from fresh fruit, and sodas squeezed from fresh vending machines.
No matter where you sit at Parioli Italian Bistro, you?ll be treated to excellent Italian food and romantic lighting. From the cozy outdoor patio lit with hanging strings of lights, guests order rack of lamb or housemade lobster ravioli. Inside the dining room, a fire crackles and candles flicker on tables dressed in white cloths. When not savoring a plate of steamed mussels or gnocchi, guests can learn the secrets behind the tantalizing dishes during cooking classes, which treat students to a multi-course meal with wine, just like Home Ec class in school.
Home-style Italian dishes draws visitors to Vittorio?s, formerly Villa Capri 2, where chefs make the restaurant?s cheese ravioli, gnocchi, and black-ink linguine by hand, and even create a unique ?ravioli del giorno? each day. Diners can pair selections with 1 of 24 red, white, and sparkling wines, available by the glass or out of your neighbor?s cupped palm. The smell of Italian delicacies permeates through a dining room that resembles a Tuscan villa, with faux wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta-colored walls, and stone archways.
Nestled inside Linda's Hair, Nails, and Reflexology, Nails by Trine's technician specializes in sprucing up fingers and nails with mani-pedis, acrylics, and other nailcare treatments. Trine's passion shows as she delicately shapes nails before coating them in colored polishes. Her house specialties include nail art, long-lasting Shellac manicures, and a delicious tuna casserole.
The small empire that is Whisknladle Hospitality started with a serendipitous meeting of French Laundry vet Ryan Johnston and aspiring restaurateur—and undaunted cooking-school dropout—Arturo Kassel. Their vision? Gourmet comfort food, with none of the guilty excess that term might imply. Just about every ingredient at Whisknladle, down to buttermilk dressings and canadian bacon, would be prepared from scratch, filling a menu that would change with the finest gradations of the seasons. "We want to find that balance of making our guests comfortable and pulling one foot out of their comfort zone," Johnston recently told San Diego Magazine—which means the french toast might exude lemon and lavender and the fried chicken might nest on purslane.
In a 2008 review, the Union-Tribune described "delightful, soul-satisfying" dishes such as "juicy, perfectly roasted chicken" at "one of the most exciting restaurants in San Diego." The crowds agreed. So Johnston and Kassel decided to expand the experience, inspired, as their website says, "by our desire to eat Whisknladle-quality food on a regular basis while sticking to our restaurant-employee budgets." Prepkitchen is a little simpler and more casual, but dishes such as porter-braised short rib and biscuits with chorizo gravy prove the new venture takes the same care as the original when it comes to sourcing ingredients and clearly labeling sugar and salt containers.
Ensconced in the center of historic Rancho Santa Fe, Pantry conjures forth a cornucopia of made-from-scratch American comfort fare infused with fresh flavors and light twists. Dinner patrons or lazy, unholy monstrosities who are only awake from 5:30 to 9 p.m. can quell carnivorous cravings with an all-natural bone-in pork chop, graciously served with grilled caponata, red bliss potatoes, and seasonal vegetables (14 oz., $23.75). Lunch-farers, meanwhile, can get their growling stomach to stop dropping F-bombs with the thousand island chicken sandwich pinned by bacon, field greens, and house thousand island dressing ($10.75). Full lunch and dinner menus, along with pricing and hours of operation, can be found here.