Tucked away into a corner of Fourth and Island near the bustling metropolis of the downtown Gaslamp District lies a reinvented Italian dining establishment true to its origin of cuisine.
San Diego’s Bice Ristorante was born with deep roots originating in 1926 by Beatrice Ruggeri (Bice) who first opened the doors to a small, local trattoria in Milan, Italy. The success of the locale soon spread to epicenter of high fashion in New York where VIP’s and celebrities dined alike, and eventually paved its way to the San Diego region in late 2009.
Separating themselves from the troves of Italian eateries sprinkled about the Little Italy precinct, this corner eatery blends the tradition of authentic family style dining combined with leading edge trends of Italian cuisine and design.
The restaurant seamlessly blends its modern and uncompromising style with old world touches of hand-painted artworks reproduced from original photographs that canvas the restaurant in deep sepia tones, complimenting the handsome dark chocolate Italian wood throughout. A glass door slides open to reveal a sunlit “Milano Room” available for private dining.
A point of visual interest within the restaurant allows one to peer beyond the reflections cast from the main dining room through a looking glass, displaying the housed wine vault. Several select bottles remain under lock and key here, making the wine cellar functional, as it is beautiful in design.
Take a coveted seat at the very heart of the restaurant, where a seasoned Fromager will cheerfully assist you with a vast selection of fresh Italian varietals. This exclusive cheese bar is decorated with Tuscan extra virgin olive oils, asturian honeypots, fresh jams, and mostardas (Italian condiment made from mustard seed and candied fruit).
Executive Chef Mario Cassineri from Vigevano, Italy is the standing staff member responsible for routinely ordering the fromaggi from his homeland, while ensuring that the burrata (a creamy cousin of mozzarella) is made fresh daily.
In addition to the cheese menu, enjoy the salumi options with in-house prepared salted and smoked charcuteries prepared daily. An Italian heavy wine selection might encourage your fingertips to dance across the menu written in the Italian native language.
If the starter menus and cheese offerings aren’t enough to appease the appetite, a soft and rich mascarpone cheese slightly dressed with truffle oil is served in lieu of butter, making for a real test of restraint if staving off hunger from the bread basket.
This year, Bice Ristorante’s prix fixe dinner menu for the 2011 San Diego Restaurant Week features offerings of three courses including dinner options such as:
– a salad of fresh multicolor roasted beets, bacon wrapped warm goat cheese with a balsamic dressing
– homemade ravioli stuffed with pear and gorgonzola bathed in a butter and sage emulsion, served with green asparagus tips and shrimp
– Braised pork loin served in its own glazed sauce, sautéed vegetables and mashed potato
Desserts span the range from almond panna cotta (Italian cooked cream) drizzled with balsamic strawberry sauce, to a crumbled lemon and rosemary crostata (an Italian baked fruit tart).
Vegetarian dining options are available. For further details, view the prix fixe menu available here:
For a standout dining option during San Diego Restaurant Week, pay a visit to Bice Ristorante where contemporary design and authentic cuisine meet service from an era of tradition making today’s dining hospitality a fine art.
425 Island Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
For reservations call (619) 239-2423