Countdown to Restaurant Week: Mangia, Mangia!

Belly up to the cheese bar at BICE.

Italian cuisine, from pasta to prosciutto, ranks high on pretty much everyone’s list of favorite foods.  So, it’s no surprise there are a lot of Italian restaurants participating in San Diego Restaurant Week

You really can’t go wrong with any of the options but here’s a few of my favorites:

  • Cucina Urbana.  If you haven’t been yet, here’s your excuse to check out owner Tracy Borkman’s reinvention of the former uber-luxe Laurel in Banker’s Hill as a cozy, rustic yet modern Italian eatery.  Their Restaurant Week menu is priced at $30 and includes some delectable dishes like the ricotta gnudi in sage brown butter with Parmesan and amaretti; the short-rib pappardelle with cremini mushrooms; and, for dessert, a seasonal cheese plate, bittersweet chocolate cake or roasted pear crisp.  Plus, at Cucina Urbana the savings keep on rolling in.  You can buy any wine in their on-site shop at retail prices and drink it with your meal for just a $7 corkage fee. 
  • Downtown’s BICE is another relative newcomer to the scene and they put a chic, upscale spin on modern Italian dining.  The glamorous dining room makes the perfect backdrop for indulging in impeccably prepared versions of classic dishes and updated interpretations of classic antipasti, pasta and more.  Their Restaurant Week menu is priced at $40 with options like polenta and wild mushrooms; homemade Gorgonzola and pear stuffed ravioli; and braised pork tenderloin with pink peppercorn sauce.  Don’t forget to check out the mouthwatering spread of imported cheeses and cured meats carefully arrayed on the marble-topped cheese bar!
  • Take a seat at Acqua al 2 in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and you might think you’ve been transported to Florence.  That’s because the restaurant is a tribute to the original Acqua al 2 located just steps from Florence’s bustling Piazza della Signoria.  Luckily, you don’t need a plane ticket to enjoy the creative Tuscan cuisine and warm, gracious hospitality.  During Restaurant Week, you don’t even need a fat wallet since their Restaurant Week menu is priced at $40.  Just keep your eye out for off-duty Padres players who have made Acqua al 2 their regular hangout.

Which Italian restaurant is tempting your tastebuds? 

San Diego Restaurant Week is only 13 days away, make your reservations today!

This entry was posted in Culinary, Insider Tips, San Diego Events and tagged , , , , , by Kate. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kate

I own, and use, a library card, a record player, a sewing machine and a meat smoker.  Ride my bicycle every day and will, sometimes, wear my roller skates in the house. Have a wealth of useless knowledge – for which you will be thankful when we’re teamed up in Trivial Pursuit.

How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?

Hike through the spring wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Watch the July 4th fireworks over San Diego Bay. Eat Julian Apple Pie a la mode and check out the autumn leaves. Ice skate and enjoy the twinkling holiday decorations at the Hotel del Coronado. All in the same day.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to be able to stop and restart time like that Twilight Zone episode back in the 80’s, “A Little Peace And Quiet,” but, you know, without the a-bomb at the end. Basically, I just want to avoid waiting in lines.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Brunch, without a doubt. Also, cocktails by the pool, outdoor movies in Balboa Park, scouring the swap meet for vintage finds, hanging out on the patio at the Casbah between sets, lawn games and backyard barbecues.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Give me uni plucked from the sea by local divers, a warm, crusty loaf from Bread & Cie, luscious Carlsbad strawberries, sweet local lobster in season and creamy Fallbrook avocados. And, most definitely, a grass-fed beef burger with Winchester gouda and a cold San Diego craft brew.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…

Honestly, I buy my records at the thrift store and depend on my husband to download new music. Lately he's been stacking the deck pretty heavy with 90's indie rock, bluegrass covers and drone metal.  Go figure.

For more San Diego dining dish, follow Kate on Twitter @katebuska.

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