de’Medici Cucina Italiana

de’Medici Cucina Italiana

“Fine Italian Dining”

in San Diego’s Downtown Gaslamp District

Out on the town for an evening of dinner and a concert, we chose a restaurant in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  de’Medici Cucina Italiana is only a couple blocks from the Balboa Theater, the Lyceum Theater and a parking garage near Horton Plaza in the Gaslamp District. Great location and SO easy to get to!!

de' Medici Cucina ItalianaThe owner, Salvatore Vitale – “just call me Sal!” – posed for a photo.  Very friendly and very solicitous, Sal went around to the tables several times checking on his patrons, all the time keeping an absolute eagle eye on the servers and the kitchen.

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

de’Medici offers alfresco dining and on this  beautiful balmy evening their alfresco area was packed!    The interior has a lovely ambiance and we want to eat in there next time, but this evening was too beautiful to be eating inside and we joined the others dining in the open air – alfresco!

 

First, we were served a kind of garlic bread that had a kind of pesto spread on it (really delicious). Sorry, I didn’t think to find out more about it, nor did I think to take a picture!

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

Our Caesar salad (Fabulous!) was made table-side by our delightful waiter, Antonio.

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

In between the salad and the entree we were served lime sorbet — to cleanse our palate!

Even though it’s fine “Italian” dining – and we do want to go back and eat our way through the Pasta list! – we both ended up getting the filet mignon and lobster tail combo.  Wow! The filet mignon had a port wine-reduction sauce and cut like butter. The lobster tail was done to absolute perfection.

And for dessert? Tempting choices of  Tiramisu, Cannoli, Profiterolls, Gelato Berries, Cream Brulee, Floating Island….the list goes on…  Sadly, we weren’t able to sample (or even get a look at) any of these delectable desserts as we had to leave for the concert. Another return engagement is required to eat our way through the desserts along with the Pasta List

de' Medici Cucina Italianade’Medici Cucina Italiana has an “Excellent” rating from Zagat. I never thought I’d ever have the chance to eat in a Zagat “Excellent” rated restaurant – that’s heady stuff!    And yet, we found de’ Medici to be very reasonably priced for such a fancy restaurant.

“From the Spaghetti al Pomodoro Fresco to the award winning Sole Portofino, de’Medici signature dishes are a feast to be remembered.”

Visit the website of de’Medici Cucina italiana 

 Thanks, Alice P, for this fun post!

Scandinavia Baltic Cruise Conclusion

Scandinavia -Baltic Cruise

Conclusion

We were so fortunate to be able to take our Baltic cruise, spend time together and see things we had only read about in history books or seen on the travel channel.

Here are a couple of pictures we purchased . . .

Scandinavia-Baltic Cruise Concluded

  A picture of Stockholm at Sunset

and the magnificent Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.

Scandinavia-Baltic Cruise Conclusion

We wish you all the vacation of your dreams

Guest Author: Vicki L

Last Stop: Belgium -Cruising Scandinavia

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise

Belgium  – Our Last Stop   

 

Our Scandinavian-Baltic cruise concluded with a stop in Belgium.

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium

 Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium We spent the morning of our final destination, Belgium, visiting Flanders Field, near Eiper (or Ypres in French). This town is so old it was destroyed by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It was again reduced to rubble during WWI. This area was a crucial battle sight between Germany and France. Almost 12,000 soldiers are buried in Tyne Cot (just one of many cemeteries here).

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium

The afternoon was spent in Bruges – probably my favorite of the medieval towns. Even the rainy day couldn’t spoil this treasure! The chocolate we purchased did not make it back home -we knew it would melt!

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium

 

 

 

 

 

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium

Scandinavia & Baltic Cruise: Belgium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Author: Vicki L

Stockholm, Sweden – Cruising Scandinavia

 

Cruising Scandinavia and the Baltic

 Stockholm, Sweden – Water Tour

After the tours over the previous few days, we were tired of seeing museums and churches;  so in Stockholm, Sweden, we enjoyed a leisurely boat cruise through the harbor area and the adjacent lake —  Stockholm, Sweden - Cruising Scandinavia

 — which involved trips through the locks Stockholm, Sweden - Cruising Scandinavia – my first time doing something like that.  Stockholm, Sweden - Cruising Scandinavia
Beautiful waterfront views surrounded the area.
We passed by the Parliament and where the Nobel Prizes are awarded – both right on the water!
Stockholm, Sweden - Cruising Scandinavia
Guest Author: Vicki L

Helsinki, Finland – on the Scandinavia Cruise

Cruising Scandinavia and the Baltic

Helsinki, Finland

After St. Petersburg, we went to Helsinki, Finland. What a difference!

We had an opportunity to take a drive around the city of Helsinki and stopped at a beautiful Lutheran church that almost looked Russian.

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

  And another church, built in 1969, was blasted out of solid rock

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took an unusual tour to a Finnish horse farm that’s been in the family for centuries – not just decades!

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

Currently, four generations with 26 family members run the farm. We had a lovely lunch in the house (never thought I would enjoy a fish casserole…but I did. Sorry, no pictures).

And we got to see preparations for an international horse and carriage competition.Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

Helsinki, Finland - on the Scandinavia Cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Author: Vicki L

Peterhof Palace – St Petersburg

 Cruising Scandinavia &  the Baltic

St Petersburg Part 2

 

Peterhof Palace

Part of our first day in St. Petersburg was taking an 1 1/2 hour trip through the suburbs and rural areas to Peterhof Palace – the summer home of Peter the Great. OMG!! The pictures just can’t do it justice. There were massive lawns, gardens and fountains everywhere.

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

St P5 Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

Inside and out, gold gilt was used extensively. Peter was able to take a boat from St. Petersburg right up to his summer palace. It was good to be the tsar!

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg

Guest Author: Vicki L

St Petersburg – Scandinavia Cruise

 Cruising Scandinavia and the Baltic

 

On to  St. Petersburg, Russia, for two days!   

Part 1

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

This city has been on my bucket list for at least 15 years.

After our visit,  I’ve decided it was good to be the Tsar (or Tsarina) because life was miserable for everyone else. I would have had to be a Tsarina!  The difference between the royalty and everyone else was staggering. One can easily see how the peasants decided to overthrow the Tsars but I don’t think they realized that communism would be even more oppressive.

I’m splitting this into 3 different posts – this first one is just scenes around St. Petersburg. Some are views from our river cruise on the Neva River in the heart of the city.

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

St Petersburg- Scandinavia Cruise

Guest Author: Vicki L

Talinn, Estonia – Cruising Scandinavia

Cruising Scandinavia – Next stop: Talinn, Estonia

Next stop: Talinn, Estonia - Cruising Scandinavia  Talinn, Estonia, is another place I really didn’t know much about.  The thing that I will remember most is how thankful they are to have become a democracy in the last 25 years after decades of Communist rule and centuries under the Russian Tsars.

We got to see the marina and village that was built for the 1980 Olympics and are still used today. Then, a tour of Toompea Hill – the fortressed Old Town.

Next stop: Talinn, Estonia - Cruising Scandinavia Next stop: Talinn, Estonia - Cruising Scandinavia

Next stop: Talinn, Estonia - Cruising Scandinavia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More gorgeous buildings – the pink Parliament building and the Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox church were standouts.

But my favorite was St. Mary’s Cathedral, a Gothic 15th century church where the old medieval coats of arms are displayed and the tombs of the nobility are located. I felt transported back to the Middle Ages!

Next stop: Talinn, Estonia - Cruising Scandinavia

Guest Author: Vicki L

Gothenburg, Sweden- Cruising Scandinavia

Cruising Scandinavia and the Baltic

 

Second Port of Call: Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden is a place I had never heard of. Building began in this area in 1308 when the Norwegian king built a huge fortress to hold Sweden back (must not have worked – it’s Sweden now).

 This church was built in 1914 to resemble the medieval churches.

Cruising Scandinavia: Gothenburg, Sweden   Cruising Scandinavia: Gothenburg, Sweden

There are adorable villages throughout the islands that are on the west coast of the country.

Cruising Scandinavia: Gothenburg, Sweden

Cruising Scandinavia: Gothenburg, Sweden

Cruising Scandinavia: Gothenburg, Sweden

 We had pickled herring with onion for breakfast – I think that will be the one and only time I ever do that.

Guest Author: Vicki L

Oslo, Norway – Cruising Scandinavia

The Cruise Begins!

First Port of Call:  Oslo, Norway

Our Scandinavia and Baltic cruise officially begins in Oslo, Norway.Cruising Scandinavia - Oslo, Norway

Since Chuck is half Norwegian, this was to be a highlight of our trip! Things work out the way they should, but sometimes don’t go as planned. . . the tour we REALLY wanted was sold out by the time we arrived at the ship. . . there was a “high terror” alert in Oslo. . .the temperatures were in the mid 90’s (record heat!), it was humid and tour busses and museums aren’t air conditioned. . . 

BUT we got to berth right next to a Viking fortress – complete with cannons!

Cruising Scandinavia - Oslo, Norway Cruising Scandinavia - Oslo, Norway

 We saw the KonTiki, Fram and Viking Museums

Cruising Scandinavia - Oslo, Norway

Cruising Scandinavia - Oslo, Norway

 and we do have a better insight into Chuck’s Norwegian ancestors!

Next Stop:  Gothenburg, Sweden

Guest Author: Vicki L