New Madison Restaurant

Madison RestaurantMADISON RESTAURANT AND BAR TO OPEN IN UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS THIS DECEMBER

The new Madison Restaurant and Bar will bring upscale dining, modern design, curated music, and creative cocktails to San Diego’s Park Boulevard this December.

“We look forward to introducing Madison to the University Heights neighborhood,” said Madison Managing Partner Jeffrey Fink, also owner of M-Theory Music and managing partner of FLUXX nightclub. “Located right on Park Boulevard and offering a menu with options for any occasion, Madison will be the type of place you can enjoy a beer with a friend one night, and go on a dinner date the next.” 

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Fast Affordable Tender Greens

Fast Affordable Tender GreensTENDER GREENS OPENS IN WOODLAND HILLS AND TORRANCE

The acclaimed California restaurant group known for its fast, affordable, fine-dining fare, opened its 19th location at The Village at Westfield Topanga on October 21st, 2015 and will open its 20th location at Torrance’s Village Del Amo on November 6, 2015

Tender Greens, California’s innovative, chef-driven, fine-casual dining concept, is pleased to announce the opening of its 19th restaurant location in Woodland Hills at The Village at Westfield Topanga, followed closely by its 20th location opening in Torrance, Calif.

Named one of the “10 Best Chain Restaurants in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler, Tender Greens serves inspired food with friendly service and great value in a comfortable space. The executive chefs at each location focus on the use of fresh, sustainable ingredients through partnerships with local farmers, allowing the restaurant to provide fine dining quality dishes to their ever-growing fan base at an affordable price point.

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Italian Meatball Soup Recipe

Italian Meatball Soup Recipe
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Soup with a bite: Italian meatball soup recipe is family-favorite comfort food

My Italian upbringing meant “meatballs in the house” — meatballs covered with marinara, fried meatballs, baked meatballs, meatball sandwiches, you name it. I thought making meatballs had been explored at every angle imaginable, until I discovered my mom’s meatball soup.


Italian meatball soup is comforting, delicious and easy to prepare


Back in the day, when I came home from school, a pot of simmering goodness was often waiting for me. Smelling the aroma of fresh garlic, I remember lifting up the large lid off the soup pot and seeing little meatballs floating about in a sea of greens and bright orange carrot slices. It was even more special than traditional meatballs covered with sauce, because it was a fun way to eat soup.

A tad earthy and all-around comforting, delicious, and a bit unexpected, this is one of the best soup recipes from my mother’s kitchen. It’s easy to prepare in just one pot, the ingredients are affordable, and it’s ideal for lunch or dinner now that fall is in the air.

Your family will love it so much that you’ll want to make it often.

Italian Meatball Soup With Organic Mixed Greens

Makes 8 servings

  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces organic mixed greens and spinach salad mix, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese, for garnish

1. Pour chicken broth into a large sauce pot and set aside.

2. Rinse and drain the mixed greens, set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine ground beef, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and eggs. With your hands, incorporate all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4. Roll meat mixture into meatballs, as big or as little as you like. Place meatballs on a large plate.

5. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat just a bit and carefully drop meatballs in, one at a time.

6. Add mixed greens, carrots and olive oil. Cover and let soup simmer until greens are wilted and meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

7. Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Garnish with grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.

*This story by Maria Desiderata Montana first appeared in the U-T San Diego

Italian Meatball Soup RecipeGet more of my Italian recipes in my newest book San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond

As 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.

Cardamom Cafe and Bakery

A Loving Dose of Sweetness at Cardamom Cafe and Bakery in North Park

I stopped by a quaint and cozy bakery in North Park one Sunday morning and caught a strong whiff of the sweet spice known as cardamom floating through the air. “I simply adore the cardamom spice and I use it in many of our baked items, especially my cinnamon rolls” said chef/owner Joanne Sherif.

It was years of cooking and baking at home that inspired Sherif to come up with a tasty food concept at this smartly designed, low-key neighborhood spot. “Owning my own bakery is a dream come true for me,” she said. “I am one of those crazy people who loves to make others happy with good food and comfortable surroundings.”

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How Sweet It Is San Diego

san diego food finds
French Macaron’s at Sirena Latin Gourmet Restaurant (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Come enjoy one-of-a-kind desserts and celebrate National Dessert Day October 14th at these eight San Diego restaurants.

If your wish is to finish a hearty, Southern meal with a sugar-coated dessert, head to Brazen BBQ in Hillcrest. Order the Pig Candy Brownie infused with bacon and topped with creamy vanilla ice cream. Thinking of something more traditional? The Peach Cobbler will take you back to your grandma’s kitchen with its rich pastry lining stuffed with refreshing peaches.

How Sweet It Is San DiegoLooking for a laidback place to relax and enjoy a refreshing dessert on the beachfront? The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach offers a variety of sweet endings to enjoy, including their Cheesecake Jar-fait layered in fresh strawberries and blueberry jam. Additional indulgences include the Chocolate Lava Cake drenched in warm chocolate with a soft, fudge-filled center and The Tableside S’mores for two or four.

Do you enjoy rich Mexican sweets fused with a twist of San Diego influence? Romesco offers Tijuana’s Border Churros prepared with a dulce leche dip and ice cream on the side. In the mood for something fruity? Try the Seasonal Berry Crepes filled with berry preserves and topped with homemade berry sauce and fresh cream.

Authentic French pastries are waiting to be tasted at Gaslamp’s boulangerie, Le Parfait Paris. This sweetshop offers customers a variety of hand-made French delicacies created by oh-so-French executive chef, Jean Francois Fays. Enjoy the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich prepared with a soft, crunchy exterior and a creamy vanilla center. Or savor the taste of the Tarte Aux Fruits topped with seasonal, hand-picked fruits over an almond-flavored pastry crust.

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Veggiegrill UTC La Jolla

All Hail Kale (Photo by MAria Desiderata Montana)
All Hail Kale Salad (Photo by MAria Desiderata Montana)

Veggiegrill’s menu features a satisfying and energizing variety of hot sandwiches and burgers, entrée salads, homestyle plates, daily soups and housemade desserts made from hearty “veggie-proteins” and wholesome ingredients. With 16 locations in California, Oregon and Washington, Veggie Grill renders the impossible possible: 100-percent plant-based food that is convenient, affordable and craveable.

San Diego UTC
4353 La Jolla Village Drive #H28, La Jolla, CA 92122 | map
Daily 11am to 9pm | 858.458.0031

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