Cold Comfort

By Wendy Lemlin  ||  Photography By Kelsey Skiver

Americana Restaurant

Cioppino, that hearty fisherman’s stew that originated in San Francisco, gets a kick of spicy heat from pieces of Andouille sausage nestled in with the generous amounts of clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and fish. Grilled sourdough bread is the perfect conveyance for sopping up the rich, fennel-enhanced tomato broth and delivering every last drop to your grateful mouth.


Osteria Romantica

There’s something about a bowl of pasta, redolent of garlic and herbs, that just cries “comfort food.” In Pasta Al Forno, Italian sausage, peas and mushrooms are oven baked with the pasta until the flavorful tomato sauce is bubbling hot and the topping of mozzarella becomes melted deliciousness. Add a glass of red, and that’s amoré!

Mary’s English Kitchen

Flaky made-from-scratch pastry, buttery and warm, packed to the brim with tender shredded chicken moistened with a delightfully creamy sauce and seasoned with a house-made blend. That’s Chicken Pie the way it should be, all meat, all good, and as comforting as a childhood memory. Get your veggies in a crispy side salad and you’re good to go.

There may be those who argue that San Diego doesn’t have a real winter (snowbound Midwesterners and New Englanders come to mind), but WE know that there are chilly days and nights when a serving of “comfort food,” enjoyed in the inviting ambiance of our favorite restaurants, totally appeals and warms us from the inside out.


Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Slide waaay into your comfort zone with a plate of Fettuccini and Meatballs, reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood meal, but here all grown up and oh-so-much-better. The 100% beef meatballs, seasoned with a proprietary blend of herbs and spices, are bathed in a rich marinara sauce from a time-honored recipe created more than 50 years ago, and sit atop fresh-made whole egg noodles that add a delicate opulence to the dish.

Brockton Villa

A roaring fire in the seashell-decorated fireplace, stars shining over the ocean cliffs below, and the indulgence of buttery tender Whiskey and Grana Padano Crusted Filet Mignon, loaded bacon smashed potatoes, grilled broccolini and a port reduction on a plate in front of you—could a winter night get any more comfortable or delicious?


Harry’s Coffee Shop

There’s no such thing as a morning chill when you surround yourself with friendly warmth and start your day with a hearty meal of wonderfully tasty Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. Enjoy the eggs anyway you like, definitely go for the crispy hash browns, and sop up the rich sausage gravy with the flakiest of biscuits. Who can say “no” to comfy diner food taken to the next level? And why would you want to?

Girard Gourmet

It may have had humble origins, but Beef Burgundy has evolved into an elegant staple of French cuisine—– even Julia Child called it “one of the most delicious
beef dishes concocted by man.” Chunks of meat, simmered for hours in a full-bodied red wine and beef broth gravy with mushrooms, onions and carrots, are served with either rice or potatoes, filling the tummy with contentment.



Rice leaves behind its side-dish image and takes on a palate-pleasing starring role in a bowl of Risotto Pomodoro. The rounded grains of Arborio rice become creamy with a slight chewiness when slowly cooked in an enticingly aromatic saffron sauce with tender shrimp, woodsy porcinimushrooms, and glistening red cherry tomatoes. The result is a dish that is both comforting and sumptuous at the same time.


Pizza Sole, shaped like the sun and featuring cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini and stracchino cheese, takes a favorite comfort food and brings it up several notches. Prepared napoletana-style, the dough rises for two days and is then hand stretched by a world champion pizzaiolo. The pizza, made of quality ingredients imported from Italy, is baked quickly in a 900 degree oven for just about a minute.