Italian Fava Bean Salad

Italian Fava Bean Salad
Recipe and Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Italian Fava Bean Salad

Makes 2 servings

  • 2 cups shucked fresh fava beans
  • 1 cup pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced or cubed Italian salami
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh oregano, for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Rinse and drain under cool water. Place the beans in a medium size bowl. Add tomatoes, salami, garlic, olive oil and salt. Lightly toss. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve.

Maria’s tip: SHUCK, BAG, AND FREEZE. If you have extra shucked fava beans and want to cook them later, place in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 4 months.

Farm to Table at Rimel’s

Rimel's Rotisserie
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At Rimel’s, all the ingredients on the menu are natural and locally grown, including grass-fed meats, poultry, game, seafood and organic vegetables. Owner Matt Rimel came up with the farm to table menu over 20 years ago, and not much has changed since then. Everything is cooked over oak, which is milled from Rimel’s local ranch. Rimel also owns the fish company that supplies the bulk of their fish (long line caught and local whenever possible). -mdm

Rimel’s Rotisserie was started in 1993 in our small La Jolla location as a result of Matt Rimel’s self-taught culinary passions and Jackie Rimel’s shared long term business vision of the restaurant and its greater possibilities. Matt grew up in La Jolla as your typical Wind-An-Sea grom spending his life in the ocean and the outdoors whenever he had the chance. He always had a passion for the ocean, mountains, wildlife, fishing, hunting, surfing, etc. He is a modern day outdoorsman and surfer that grew up learning his way around the kitchen from his mother. He also quickly developed his skills as an avid fisherman and hunter providing the basis for our locally harvested proteins that we feature in the restaurants along with Homegrown Meats. Matt also quickly learned the basics of being a chef and quickly evolved his experience into many of the dishes that are still on the Rimel’s menu today. Everything is based on being fresh, local and simple and he has been doing it this way for over 3 decades.

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Rimel's Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Cheese Store of San Diego

The Cheese Store
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The Cheese Store Opens Today!

Owners Aaron and Marci Flores, with partner David Fremo, are celebrating the opening of The Cheese Store San Diego. “First and foremost we are a cheese store and everything else we provide enhances the beauty of cheese,” says Marci Flores. “David Fremo discovered us at the farmers market about two years ago. He saw our vision from the start and believed in us. We are so grateful for him!”

The Cheese Store
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This cheese loving husband and wife team say they have a strong passion for delicious and beautiful food. Their new store is inspired by small specialty cheese stores they’ve visited throughout the United States and Europe. “The details in our new shop are inspired by the places we’ve visited, namely our trip to Italy, where we were engaged,” Marci explains.

Cheese Store
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The Cheese Store will offer over sixty-five cheeses as well as a large menu filled with soups, salads, sandwiches, mac n’ cheese, cheese and charcuterie boards, cheese-inspired desserts and beer and wine. In addition, ninety-five percent of the pairing items are sourced domestically by small batch artisan producers.

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When I asked Marci about her favorite cheese, she said “That’s a tough one. Today its Winnimere, a raw cows milk cheese made by Jasper Hill Farms. They use winter time milk so its rich, and such a treat. Its wrapped with spruce bark and washed with a brine. You can really taste terroir from where the cows graze. It just arrived and we are all obsessed!”

The Cheese Store of San Diego/1980 Kettner Blvd, Ste 30/San Diego, CA 92101 (b/t Fir St & Grape St)/(619) 544-0500

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

The Cheese Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hurray For Liberty Public Market

In Partnership with Liberty Station, Blue Bridge Hospitality Announces Liberty Public Market

Liberty Public Market

San Diego’s Premier Artisan Market: A 22,000 Sq. Ft. Locally Focused, Specialty Venue—Opening Summer 2015

David Spatafore, the local hospitality veteran behind Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality, announces a substantial partnership with Liberty Station, San Diego’s mixed-use retail and commercial center. Together, they will curate Liberty Public Market—a premier public market uniting the region’s most dynamic artisans under one roof. Set to debut summer 2015, the multi-million dollar investment supports the creation of a complete San Diego cultural immersion: a public arena for locals and tourists alike to embrace the city’s finest handcrafted food and specialty items.


Name: Liberty Public Market
Partners: Blue Bridge Hospitality and Liberty Station
Location: Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106
Prime location adjacent Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Leasing space to 30+ purveyors, allowing brick & mortar opportunities for small businesses and locally-owned wholesale distributors
Anticipated opening date: summer 2015

The Vision: A New Public Market for San Diego

The Liberty Public Market is paving the way for an interactive community experience – a local gathering place where San Diego tastes, smells, and quality artisan goods will harmoniously unite under one roof. Serving as a one-stop specialty shop as well as a daily farmers market, the concept is reminiscent of similar public markets in other progressive cities, such as: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island. The venue aims to represent San Diego’s unique culture by offering year-round fresh produce sourced from surrounding regional farms, locally procured seafood, old fashioned butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, fine wine merchants in the Southern California area, locally roasted coffee, a craft cocktail partner, specialty handcrafted goods and more. In addition to purchasing fresh goods to take home, the market will also offer quick-service counters, allowing guests to enjoy food on-site.

Continue reading Hurray For Liberty Public Market

Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co.

Grounds And Hounds Coffee Co
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Launched on March 20, 2014, Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co. is a premium coffee company with the mission to eradicate the unnecessary killing of sheltered dogs. Each year approximately 2.1 million dogs are euthanized due to shelter overpopulation, roughly 90% of which are deemed “adoptable” but simply run out of time. This number represents an astonishing 1.9 million best friends killed for no fault of their own.

Fortunately, there are thousands of no kill shelters around the United States providing their adoptable pups with a second chance, but they face the difficult constraint of relying on public donations to fund their operations.

Grounds and Hounds donates Twenty-Percent of all revenue generated by their 100% organic, environmentally friendly, coffees to their hard working no kill partner shelters around the United States.


How it All Began

In the spring of 2012, Grounds and Hounds Founder, Jordan Karcher, unexpectedly stumbled upon a dog adoption operating on the side of Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, CA. He was not planning, or prepared to adopt a rescue animal when he left the house that morning, but when a malnourished, brown and white, Dalmatian crawled into his lap, it was clear that he would be welcoming a new member to his family. She immediately became the center of his life and he cannot imagine a day without her.

Grounds And Hounds Coffee
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Similar stories occur thousands of times each week, yet there is still a drastic shortfall of suitable homes and safe haven shelters for abandoned dogs. Karcher strongly believes that every dog, young and old, deserves a second chance at a better life with a loving family.

Why coffee?

Karcher has loved coffee since he took my first sip on a cold Pittsburgh morning as a 12 year old. His passion for the perfect brew has led him to seek out amazing coffees all over the world. It is his dream come true to be on the other side of the bag, bringing delicious, fresh roasted coffee to your home.

*Information courtesy of

The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza

ThePrivateerCoalFirePizzaThe Privateer Coal Fire Pizza

Set in a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza is a local, family owned restaurant in Oceanside, California, offering fresh, made-to-order food using high quality produce, namely organic greens, spices, veggies and herbs grown on their roof top garden. The Privateer is the one and only gourmet pizza restaurant in Southern California with a coal-fired oven using 100% coal fire, no gas. The restaurant was built around this special and very large oven, which is is 7 feet in diameter and weighs 6,500 pounds. Coal fire is the secret to the pizza pies which are cooked at a temperature of 850-to-900°F. The oven cooks these Neapolitan-style pizzas in three to four minutes, leaving the crust thin and crisp on the outside, with a nice, chewy texture on the inside. A sushi-style bar allows for a private viewing of their “pizzaiolos” in action. A changing menu of lunch and dinner specials consists of unique items such as the Soup of the Day, House Made Ricotta Gnocchi, Neapolitan Meatballs, Fried Green Beans, Citrus Salad, Pecorino Fries and Prince Edward Island. Cold craft beers and fine wines are also available.

The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza is located at 1706 S. Coast Hwy. (Kelly St.), Oceanside, CA 92054 (760/453-2500)

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

The Privateer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Solterra Winery and Kitchen

Solterra Winery and Kitchen
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Solterra Owner and Winemaker Chris Van Alyea grew up in Sonoma County and has been making wine for the last 14 years from grapes sourced from Sonoma county, Lake County, Paso Robles, San Diego County, and Baja Mexico. While the majority of wineries are set amongst vineyards in the warm inland valleys, Solterra Winery and Kitchen is situated a couple of blocks from the beach in north county, San Diego. Solterra utilizes grapes from locally sourced vineyards along with grapes from all over California and Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. All red wines are predominately aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 14-24 months depending on the varietal and style of wine. Currently, in barrel and bottle, Solterra has 14 different red varietals, 3 whites, rose’, port, and late harvest wines.The wines have garnered Golds and Best of Class at top competitions in California. The menu is seasonal and features rustic Mediterranean tapas. Some of the wines are on tap, as well as a few San Diego produced beers. -written by mdm

Solterra Winery and Kitchen
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Solterra Winery and Kitchen is an ideal place for your next event, corporate meeting or special occasion. They are a working winery and all of their equipment is on site, with full barrels stacked 15 feet high. They can accommodate small groups all the way up to 160 attendees.

Solterra Winery & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nothing Bundt Cakes in Carlsbad

nothing bundt cakes
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

In 1997, long-time friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz joined forces and fulfilled their life long dream of becoming entrepreneurs. For six months, Tripp and Shwetz worked to perfect their bundt cake recipe with the result being the mouth-watering Nothing Bundt Cakes. Made fresh daily using real eggs, real butter, and real cream cheese, Nothing Bundt Cakes are hand-made, premium quality desserts with an irresistible taste and a timeless aesthetic. In 2006, new marketing efforts resulted in a modern yet nostalgic Nothing Bundt Cakes brand that appeals to all age groups who love great cake coupled with great design.

Nothing Bundt Cakes are available in numerous sizes to accommodate gatherings both large and small, from bite-sized Bundtinis, to single serving Bundtlets, to larger 8″ and 10″ cakes and even double-tiered cakes. In addition to cakes, their bakeries feature an assortment of artfully designed gifts and decorations with a playful, timeless quality to help make any occasion ever more special.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pacific Coast Grill

Pacific Coast Grill
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Pacific Coast Grill uses fresh, local, free range ingredients to produce delicious food at friendly prices. The oceanfront venue features the same unique “Pacific Coast” cuisine and an oyster bar as well as select sushi rolls, black mussels, baked oysters and a plethora of seafood choices.

The kitchen grinds Certified Sterling beef for burgers, makes fresh-cut Kennebec fries with house-made ketchup. Menu favorites include its best-selling lobster tacos, pan seared sea bass, and delectable white chocolate bread pudding with caramel bourbon sauce. New comers on the menu include Margarita-Braised Short Ribs & Coconut-Crab crusted Mahi Mahi. Patrons will find a variety of seafood items plus options from the land.

There are two levels of dining at Pacific Coast Grill with every dining seat in the house carefully planned to have an ocean view. There are bars on both levels and a heated outdoor patio and a deck with one of the best views of the Pacific Ocean and the line up at Cardiff Reef. Guests can watch surfers, kite surfers, dolphins, whales and spectacular sunsets from throughout the restaurant.

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Pacific Coast Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh Italian at Trattoria Fantastica

San Diego Food FindsOpened in 1995, this is the perfect choice if you’re in the mood to savor great Italian fare in a more rustic, country farm house atmosphere. Located adjacent to the casual Café Zucchero, Trattoria Fantastica offers a more refined dining experience. Wood-fired pizzas are the centerpiece of the menu, but plenty of salads and pastas are offered, as well as paninis, soups and more. Directly in the shadow of the Little Italy sign, the patio seating is especially popular. Trattoria Fantastica 1735 India St, San Diego, CA 92101; (619) 234-1735,

©San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond, By Maria Desiderata Montana

San Diego Food Finds

sandiegofoodfinds.comAs ethnic neighborhoods in other cities assimilate to American life, the exuberant local flavor of San Diego’s Little Italy remains both culturally and culinarily distinct. Tucked between Interstate 5 and San Diego Bay southeast of San Diego International Airport, the blocks surrounding the landmark Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church contain many of the most notable eateries and gourmet cafés in “America’s Finest City.” Join Maria Desiderata Montana, a daughter of that Italian heritage and one of the city’s most notable food writers, on this savory tour through the zesty Italian food traditions, businesses and recipes both in Little Italy and across San Diego.

Trattoria Fantastica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eddie V’s at The Headquarters

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Eddie V’s at The Headquarters is a fine-dining restaurant that offers fresh seafood creations and premium hand-carved steaks.

The new Eddie V’s boasts 10,768 square feet, including a 635 square-foot patio (seating for a combined total of 302 guests). The interior color palette showcases soft, sultry variations of earth tones, including mixed-wood finishes, natural tiled-stone walls of travertine, and shimmering stacked-glass accents. The contemporary design is marked by a two-story, glass-encased wine cellar; custom, Art Deco-styled light sconces and original local artwork adorns walls throughout the space.

Continue reading Eddie V’s at The Headquarters