Nothing puts a spring in my step like knowing I will be trying out a new restaurant that night. A new place called Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria opened in our neighborhood — three blocks from our house — and although it is a chain, it’s one my that Chuck and I haven’t been to before. Our friend Mark’s birthday was a couple weeks ago, so we are treating him to dinner there as well.
I think one of the bravest things to do (next to stand-up comedy) is open up an eating establishment or business of any kind, no matter how large or small, chain or not. We have seen numerous places try and fail in our neighborhood, while some places have been around for what seems like forever. Some places always seem empty, yet manage to still survive, while other places that seemed like they were doing well, quietly slip away.
When trying a new place, I always like to put out a positive amount of energy. I love to see new places succeed, especially when it is evident how enthusiastic and ambitious the owners are. When an adorable cheese shop named Venissimo opened in our neighborhood about a dozen years ago, I was exuberant and optimistic. The owner, Gina was bright and friendly, and the shop happily offered samples of whatever you were curious about. I joked with Gina about how smart it was to open a cheese shop right at the peak of the Atkins Diet. She agreed that that certainly didn’t hurt.
Diets come and go, but I am glad to see that Venissimo has not only thrived, but has opened several more shops all around San DIego. I have been to the one in my neighborhood on an average of 2-3 times per month since it opened, and the people there have always been enthusiastic, knowledgable and accommodating.
There are lots of other good restaurants and shops in our neighborhood that have stood the test of time, and they all seem to have one thing in common: Quality, friendliness and passion.
If this place we’re going to dazzles me tonight, maybe I’ll write about it tomorrow.