RECIPE: Fig Tree Café Blackberry Bliss Cocktail

Try out this  fun and easy recipe for a champagne cocktail!

Fig Tree Café Blackberry Bliss Cocktail


4 muddled blackberries with 5 fresh mint leaves

2 pumps lavender syrup (can be made, or purchased – Torini is commonly used brand)

1.5 oz vodka



Mint garnish


  1. Muddle blackberries with mint in shaker
  2. Add lavender syrup as you are muddling
  3. Add vodka and ice
  4. Shake vigorously
  5. Pour contents into mason jar
  6. Top of with champagne (1 inch)
  7. Garnish with fresh mint

Salt & Straw Now Scooping In San Diego


Salt & Straw, the iconic Portland-based, family-run ice cream purveyor known for its taste provoking, imaginative ice cream creations, has officially opened its first San Diego scoop shop at 1670 India Street in Little Italy. Now that the shop’s doors are open, locals are able to savor fan favorites and the special menu created just for San Diego featuring local artisans, including James Coffee and Belching Beaver Brewery.

Continue reading Salt & Straw Now Scooping In San Diego

Visit Born & Raised in Little Italy


Occupying the former Nelson Photo Supplies building at 1909 India Street in Little Italy is Born & Raised—the latest endeavor from San Diego-based hospitality collective, CH Projects (Ironside Fish & Oyster, Craft & Commerce, UnderBelly). Born & Raised pays homage to America’s greatest dining institution, the classic steakhouse.

Local designer Paul Basile of BASILE Studio, designed the two-story, 10,000 square-foot restaurant with a one-of-a-kind midcentury architectural influence. The custom layout features two oversized bars, and three dedicated dining spaces including the main dining room, a downstairs patio seating, and a 1,500 square-foot rooftop terrace with an adjacent 2,000 square-foot open-air urban garden that grows many of the restaurant’s herbs and produce.

Continue reading Visit Born & Raised in Little Italy

Phở Ca Dao & Grill Undergoes Renovation and Opens Fifth Location

Courtesy photo

Phở Ca Dao & Grill, an authentic family-owned Vietnamese restaurant serving classic traditional comfort food, cooks up a new look and opens its fifth location on Jan. 12, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 12719 Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92064. In celebration of its grand opening weekend, Phở Ca Dao & Grill will be providing free PCD phở or any rice dish of choice on Jan. 12-14, 2018 for all local first responders who’ve helped Southern California get through its prolonged fire season.

Continue reading Phở Ca Dao & Grill Undergoes Renovation and Opens Fifth Location

Italian Cannoli Recipe

Italian Cannoli Recipe
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Italian Cannoli Recipe

Cannoli are a Christmas tradition in my Italian family. However, sometimes we just can’t wait until the holidays to devour this crispy, cookie-like shell stuffed with a creamy ricotta cheese filling. The amaretto flavoring makes this cannoli a truly irresistible delight that the whole family will enjoy.

Italian Cannoli with Bing Cherries and Pistachios

Serves 8

2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 orange, juiced
1 orange, zested
1 tablespoon amaretto
¼ cup chocolate chips, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios, finely chopped
¼ cup dried Bing cherries, finely chopped
8 store-bought cannoli shells
8 maraschino cherries, halved
Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients (except shells, maraschino cherries and powdered sugar) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to let flavors set. Fill cannoli shells right before serving. Spoon the cannoli filling into a pastry bag with an open tip and stuff cannoli shells. Garnish each end with ½ of a maraschino cherry. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.*This recipe by Maria Desiderata Montana appears in her new book: San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond.


A Biscotti Recipe for the Holidays

Maria’s Cranberry Walnut Biscotti (Recipe and photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Maria’s Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • zest from one medium orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped anise seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole, dried cranberries
  • red and green decorative sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, orange zest and anise seeds using an electric mixer. Mix until creamy (approximately one minute). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well until the batter is smooth.

Continue reading A Biscotti Recipe for the Holidays

Florent Transforms Dining 

Downtown’s Florent has transformed its menu, from brunch to dinner, with the help of new Executive Chef, Abe Botello. Botello has brought his San Diego upbringing and over ten years of experience in the city’s top kitchens to Florent’s table. He is now reshaping the popular Gaslamp destination’s dining to inspire comforting tastes with elevated recipes.The brunch menu, launched in early December, offers something for everyone with a unique mix of morning favorites. His Chicken & Waffles gives the breakfast favorite an upgrade with duck-infused waffles, duck bacon, chive butter and 100% Vermont maple syrup. Other dishes such as Shrimp & Grits, Deviled Eggs with smoked salmon, Truffle Burger and his Marscapone & Blood Orange Toast are filled with vibrant flavors that wake the tastebuds. Foodies can start their morning on a sweet note with homemade Churros with Mexican chocolate or Cinnamon French Toast with cream cheese frosting. No brunch is complete without morning libations. Continue reading Florent Transforms Dining 

Visit Eddie V’s

Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp “Oreganata Style” and Steak and Lobster

A jewel over the sparkling Pacific Ocean, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in La Jolla offers 180-degree views of the most magnificent coastal location available in San Diego. Striking architectural lines and chic modern décor are the backdrop for diners seeking a special experience. The La Jolla location is unique because it is located at the old Green Dragon Colony, La Jolla’s founding colony. This is a historic writer’s association in La Jolla. The bar area, raised above the main dining room, features a small fireplace that has been there for centuries. Continue reading Visit Eddie V’s

Passion For Excellence At Pacifica Del Mar

Lemongrass Poached Shrimp Cocktail

One of the first modern restaurants to open in the Del Mar Plaza, this local favorite has won awards yearly for its impeccable California cuisine, contemporary style, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Pan Roasted Seabass

Executive Chef David Burke and his kitchen team offer a passion for excellence that keeps Pacifica maintaining its 25 plus year success. “We don’t rest on our laurels, and constantly seek to improve,” he says. ” Our guests know they’ll be taken care of, and that they’ll experience something familiar and surprising at the same time.”

Continue reading Passion For Excellence At Pacifica Del Mar

Raised by Wolves Coming Soon

Courtesy photo

CH Projects announces a dual-concept retail storefront within Westfield UTC’s $600 million expansion. Located at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 4301, RAISED BY WOLVES is anticipated to open in January of 2018. It will incorporate 1,500 square feet of retail space alongside a 2,000 square foot cocktail bar and tasting room designed by Paul Basile of BASILE Studio—CH’s longtime design partner whose work includes Born & Raised, Ironside Fish & Oyster, UnderBelly, and Craft & Commerce among others.

Continue reading Raised by Wolves Coming Soon

Monzu Fresh Pasta Coming Soon

Monzu Fresh Pasta, a future eatery aiming to combine Italian tradition with contemporary flavors, will open March 2018 at 455 Tenth Avenue in San Diego’s East Village. The concept will serve authentic Italian fresh pastas and sauces crafted in-house using regional ingredients, plus a retail section featuring a rich assortment of raw fresh pasta to cook at home as well as Italian delicatessen products.

Continue reading Monzu Fresh Pasta Coming Soon

Visit Jalisco Cantina In Oceanside

Pozole (courtesy photo)

Oceanside’s iconic Coast Highway just added a new foodie destination to its eclectic restaurant scene with Jalisco Cantina! Their name, “Jalisco,” combines two Nahuatl words and is the language of the Aztecs meaning “sandy place.” It is also home to the blue agave plant and some of the finest tequilas in the world. Jalisco Cantina’s scratch kitchen is dishing out some authentic Central-Coastal Mexican specialties that raise the bar on fresh Mex, and are developed to pair beautifully with their line-up of fine tequilas and uniquely prepared hand-crafted cocktails.

Continue reading Visit Jalisco Cantina In Oceanside

Monkey King Opens In The Gaslamp


In the late 1800s, the most influential man in San Diego’s Chinatown, Tom Ah Quin, ran Monkey King, an illegal lottery house where politicians and San Diego’s elite could go to dine, drink and gamble late into the night. Now, the King has returned.

Located in the same location where the original establishment once was, the new Monkey King restaurant pays homage to the Gaslamp Quarter’s Chinatown and its Prohibition-era past.

Continue reading Monkey King Opens In The Gaslamp