Food Friday: Gourmet Italia (and some wineries)

The blog is a little quiet this time in summer as I have been busy trying to catch up with research and plan for the summer school course I’m teaching in just over a week (very excited to teach the Civil War Era!). But I still have yummy food places to share with you and I’m continuing my trend from last week of sharing some of my favorite places I ate at while traveling.

The last weekend of June I was still in Southern California and spent the weekend at my friend Tara’s bachelorette party. In addition to seeing some ladies who I haven’t seen since I worked at the Center, I also met some really great women. But I was pretty excited just to hang out with Tara. Over the weekend we spent time at the spa and drinking lots of wine at the Temecula wineries. I’m not sure which winery was my favorite but the last stop had Pinot Noir and that made me happy. šŸ™‚

Our first stop at Danza del Sol Winery

Our first stop at Danza del Sol Winery

I loved the big glasses at Robert Renzoni - I loved even more that I got to keep the glass!

I loved the big glasses at Robert Renzoni – I loved even more that I got to keep the glass!

Longshadow Ranch was the best environment: very relaxing and cute animals too.

Longshadow Ranch was the best environment: very relaxing and cute animals too.

Lorimar was our last stop - I ended up trading in my 6 tastings for a full glass of Pinot. Best decision ever!

Lorimar was our last stop – I ended up trading in my 6 tastings for a full glass of Pinot. Best decision ever!

For dinner, we ate at Gourmet Italia.There are lots of reasons I want to include this in my Food Friday. Ā Of course, if I share it here it’s because the food was delicious. I had the pesto gnocchi and some of the calamariĀ appetizers. The gnocchi and pesto were both homemade (let’s be honest, homemade pesto isn’t that hard – all Italian restaurants should be making their own!). But I also had a bite of a friend’s salmon, so good!

The pretty bride-to-be and me at Gourmet Italia

The pretty bride-to-be and me at Gourmet Italia

The other reason I have to include this restaurant in my Food Friday series is its service. We were a fairly large party and they sat us quickly. I know that I probably shouldn’t be surprised that with a reservation, a restaurant will seat you promptly – but I am! I have many experiences waiting to be seated despite a reservation (and I don’t mean 5-10 minutes, but 30 minutes and more). The worst experience was an engagement party 4-ish years ago in San Francisco; the wait was so bad we ended up leaving and going to a taqueria around the corner! But I digress… the service at Gourmet Italia was quick and friendly. Our server, who had an Italian accent, was very helpful in making our selections and checked in just the right amount (we all know that checking in too many times can be just as bad as ignoring a table completely).

They even put up with our silly bachelorette party antics.

Tara made a veil with her napkin for the scavenger hunt game.

Tara made a veil with her napkin for the scavenger hunt game.

Have you been to Temecula? What was your favorite winery and restaurant?

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