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DISHES TO WARM A WINTER’S DAY

PHOTOS BY Noushin Nourizadeh

San Diego’s temperature may not dip to freezing, but in winter we get chilly enough to crave foods that roast in the oven or simmer on the stove. We set out to find the most delectable winter dishes, and what we found will tickle your tastebuds, stick to your ribs, and warm your soul.

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Brockton Villa’s
Bananas Foster Coast Toast
For 30 years, Brockton Villa’s legendary, soft, fluffy, and heavenly Coast Toast has delighted the palates of locals and visitors alike. Well, grab a fork, because they’ve added a new version of the old favorite that literally takes us to the dark side. The bananas are topped with walnuts and toasted coconut, then flamed with Trader Vic’s dark rum! Order it for breakfast or lunch—whenever your sweet tooth strikes.

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Pomodoro’s
Gnocchi
This succulent gnocchi, blended with an intriguing wild boar sauce, is a popular wintertime special at Pomodoro. The light pillows of gnocchi (potato dumplings) are made in house. The sauce pays homage to Tuscany’s wild boar. Lean and tasty, the meat is marinated, braised with herbs and spices, then cooked until it practically falls apart. It’s a perfect blend of textures and flavors.

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Beaumont’s Eatery’s
Pork Chop with Hatch Chile Polenta
This flavorful, meaty chop owes its tenderness to the way it’s expertly prepared. The chop is sealed in an airtight bag then cooked in a hot water bath (the sous vide process), then grilled to order. It is served with a medley of roasted green beans and carrots atop polenta mixed with roasted hatch chiles—green peppers grown in the small town of Hatch, New Mexico—to provide the perfect kick.

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Americana Restaurant’s
Butternut Squash Soup
Super creamy and aromatic, this butternut squash soup is pure comfort in a bowl. It has the perfect blend of minced vegetables and spices, but the rich flavor of roasted butternut squash plays the starring role. After the first taste, use your spoon to break up the fresh basil on top to savor it along with every few bites.

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Pummaro’s
Pizza Cipollina
Parla italiano? If you said, “Si,” you already know what one of this pizza’s star ingredients is because cipollina is the Italian word for onion. The onions are roasted to bring out their sweet flavor and add a signature crunch. Served piping hot from the restaurant’s brick pizza oven, Pizza Cipollina also features San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Italian pancetta, olives, and black pepper.

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Ranch 45’s
Classic Beef Stew
Think Grandma’s beef stew: Brandt Beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery simmered nice and slow for four hours. It’s waiting for you in the butcher case, so just take it home and warm it on the stove. Serve it with a nice piece of crusty sourdough bread and a glass of Pinot Noir. Your kitchen will smell like you’ve been cooking all day.

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Osteria Romantica’s
Pollo Arrotolato
If the name doesn’t quite roll off your tongue, try “rolled chicken.” The chicken breast is pounded flat, filled generously with a mixture of creamy ricotta cheese, sautéed spinach, and parmesan cheese, then slowly roasted. For a finishing touch, an aromatic sauce of mixed mushrooms is dribbled on top. The chicken is sliced and served alongside a mix of roasted vegetables.

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Nine-Ten Restaurant’s
Mushroom Tortellini
These plump, pillow-shaped pasta bites are stuffed with herbaceous minced mushrooms. They’re surrounded by an assortment of umami-rich wild mushrooms, confit piquillo peppers, and a pomegranate gastrique that adds a sweet-and-sour tang to the dish.