Fonda Don Diego Makes Way for its Italian Lover

Mamma Mia! Rosemary Trattoria has sprouted up in Fonda’s former digs, and you’re going to fall in love. I know, because I ate there tonight.

If you’re craving authentic Italian food in a warm, neighborhood trattoria, Rosemary beckons with perfect pizzas, pastas, and lots of amore. In just a few weeks, Chef Alex Martinez has transformed Fonda Don Diego into a lovely Italian eatery, complete with strung white lights and Dean Martin tunes floating on the air. You will love the kind service, and the enticing yet unpretentious menu with all the favorites.

We gobbled up the homemade focaccia bread, served warm to the table while I serenely sipped my glass of Super Tuscan. (Oh, how I love me some Super Tuscan.)

Super Tuscan…super awesome!
Nom nom.

My mom and I shared the delectable burrata salad, with melt-in-your-mouth cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, arugula, house-made pesto sauce and extra virgin olive oil. (Was there anything I didn’t love about this salad? Nope. Not one single thing.)

Melts in your mouth.

We ordered one of the red pizzas with sausage, arugula and buffalo mozzarella, and it was sinfully savory and flavorful. My daughters each ordered off the kids menu, and even my sometimes-persnickety pasta-eating offspring devoured every bite.

Fresh kid pasta.
Don’t take pictures of me.

Chef Alex made his way from table to table, making sure everything was delicious and perfect. It was. I can’t wait to bring my husband here, and next time I will definitely try the Tiramisu or the cheesecake!

Marley tested, Holland approved.

And in case you were wondering, yes, the vivid, colorful Tijuana street art-style murals remain on the walls. Although they don’t necessarily go with the Italian theme, I hope they remain. In the very least, they tell part of the story of this space’s past. Because if we’re lucky, Rosemary will be in our future for many years to come.

Rosemary is located at 120 Orange Ave. For more information and food info, check out Chris Kelly’s article from the Coronado Times here.

Check out the menu below. Thanks for reading!

Little Frenchie: No Passport Required

You don’t need a passport to visit the newest French hotspot in town, but you may need a reservation. Little Frenchie Bistro and Bar a Vin– the newest creation from Blue Bridge Hospitality—is opening up 5pm tomorrow, May 24 at the old digs of West Pac Noodle Bar.

I was lucky enough to slip in with the staff training and enjoy a long, lingering lunch that delighted my palate and quelled my thirst for a dry, sparkling rose.

Evoking all the charm and refinement of the quintessential French café, Little Frenchie beckons with a robust menu dotted with favorites like burgundy snails with herb garlic butter, and duck poutine with mozzerella, gravy, hen egg and confit. If these kind of dishes stir up your wanton, wannabe French alter-ego, then this place is right up your ruelle.

But lets start with the wine list. One of the coolest things about the menu is that each item comes with suggested wine pairing. Like we needed any convincing! But it’s really nice to know what goes with what. Our server Sokol explained that the wines are all either from France or French inspired, so we knew that we were in the French flow.

And, hello! Did someone say dry, sparkling rose? Is there a more delectable wine to sip and savor in the warm, summer months? Mais non! The Louis Perdrier Brut Rose tickles the tongue with happy dances and at only $9 a glass, it can’t be beat.

We also ordered a flat rose that was equally tasty, again, on the drier side, so we weren’t overwhelmed with sweetness.

Eventually we moved on to a Pinot Noir that also thrilled and delighted.

But the food. That’s what we came for, right? The burgundy snails were fantastique, and served in the shell with the fun tongs and little fork, so you get to work up an appetite digging them out. The sauce was to die for.

And for the French Canadians out there, all hail the duck poutine! You won’t find a more gravy-licious mound of fries topped with duck and hen egg.

We couldn’t wait to try the cheese selections, like the truffle goat cheese. (All the cheeses come with wine pairings too, in case you were wondering.) Sadly the cheeses were not available on this training day, but will be up for grabs tomorrow.

We also enjoyed a colorful and flavorful Nicoise Salad, with albacore, cherry tomato, fingerling tomato, and hard boiled egg. The salad was filling and delicious, perfect after the richness of the snails and poutine.

I can’t wait to try more of the appetizers like the smoked salmon rillette with crème fraiche, the steak tartare, the avocado tartine, and the pate, and entrees like the croque monsieur and the short ribs pot-au-feu. And yes, pretty much all the cheeses.

And guess what? Little Frenchie goes big for happy hour, with food and drink specials to delight any Francophile.

We will be back? Absolument. With sparkling rose in hand. Until then, au revoir.

To make reservations, go here.

And check out the menus below.

Wine Pairings for Coronado Social Media Scandals

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Coronado social media scene is pretty incredible. You’ll find posts that are equal parts helpful, horrifying and hilarious…perplexing, vexing, and vilifying. Then there are those golden nuggets…the posts that are downright mean! I’m talking trash-talking, trailer park fighting, scratching someone in the face with Lee Press-ons, punch you in the kidney kind of mean. For a sweet small town, we do online scandal in a big way!

But one thing is certain. That’s the straight-up entertainment value of our local Facebook pages, groups, and posts: It’s first-rate. You can’t make it up. (Who’s writing a screenplay already?)

So before you cozy up in your jammies and check in your favorite small town page or group, let’s class it up a bit. In honor of International Wine Day (which is this Saturday folks) pour yourself a nice glass of wine so you can scroll in style. (Who knows? Maybe you’ll get drunk and weigh in on the latest scandal. Just be careful what you say…hello, screen shots!)

But not any glass of wine will do. It’s important to pair the right type of wine with the right kind of post. You need a varietal that brings out the authentic flavor of the message and scandal, with notes of tolerance and acceptance. A scathing Yelp review, for example, requires a different vintage, flavor and finish than a political post on futility of bridge spikes.

Shameless plug…did you know that I sell organic wines? Well I do. I sell additive-free wines from small, family owned vineyards from all over the world. No added sugar, dyes, pesticides, GMOs, or other yuckiness. So for the purpose of this post, I’m using my wines for the pairings because that’s what I know. If you don’t like it, feel free to post a nasty comment. (Try to make me cry. I dare you.)

So without further ado, here’s my list of “Wine Pairings for Coronado Social Media Scandals.”

A Jaunty Red Blend: Bringing together a diversified discourse on the proposed teen center. Does Coronado need a new teen center? Who knows. But you’ll need a drink to get through all the social media squabbles surrounding the Logos Teen Center. I recommend something fruity and bold, like many of the comments. Name-calling and religion-slamming pair nicely with this Red Wine from Mendocino County. The grapes come from three different vineyards, symbolizing a diversity of religious backgrounds ranging from God-fearing Christians to unimpressed Jews to something in between. (The grapes in this wine are hand-crushed, just like your soul when you get to the 120th comment.) Test your tolerance by pouring yourself another glass anytime someone says “God’s Kingdom,” “cult,” or “minion.”

An Oregon Pinot Noir for the Clayton’s Pig Debacle.

When drunk girls from Del Mar try to bring their pet pig into Claytons, refuse to leave and get arrested, and the pig is police-escorted to PAWS…its time for something special. I suggest the 2017 Conte de la Terre from the Willamette Valley. This wine is a bit pricier at $42 a bottle, but anytime the authorities get involved, it’s kind of a big deal. Earthy and light, this Pinot brings a refined elegance to this carnival-style spectacle. (See if you can taste the notes of tart cherry and entitlement.) Also, it pairs perfectly with pork.


When local boys talk smack to the Coronado Flower Lady, sweeten things up with a crisp rose.

For the post on the badly-behaved teenage boys who banged up the public piano then threw some major shade on the flower lady when she asked them to tone it down, I suggest a juicy rose. With notes of wild strawberry and rhubarb, it pairs great with bad language and teen angst. The mouth-coating, textured palate gives you time to linger and perhaps even forgive youthful blunders.

For scandalous donations to non-profits, try an Austrian Gruner.

For the post about the first-grader who found 45 dollars floating around Tidelands park, donated it to PAWS, and was called a thief while her mom was dubbed a bad parent who “sets the bar low,” I recommend this mouth-watering 2017 Punkt Genau Gruner Vetliner. (Full disclosure, this is me, I’m the mom, so I’m just sharing one of my favorite wines. It’s also what I drank when I was vilified as an over-privileged, heartless housewife with no empathy to others. I only cried once, by the way.) Expressive notes of apple, passion fruit and a bit of spice linger on the tongue, overpowering hints self-righteousness and stupidity. Yeah, I said it.

For scathing Yelp reviews on local businesses, try a Chilean Sauv Blanc.

When someone orders food from Yummy sushi through Postmates and gets an–eeek!–imperfect order, publically shames the restaurant on Yelp then next-levels the post by sharing on local social media, you know you’re in for a treat. Start drinking IMMEDIATELY, preferably this 2018 Entico Reserva Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of lime and lemongrass leap from the glass and continue on the zesty palate with lemon peel and green apple. It pairs nicely with sushi and disappointment.


For Social Media Screen Shot Warfare, open a fabulous bottle of Argentinian Malbec.

If you’re going to read a post where people are throwing around screenshots they’ve taken of each other’s comments on different threads and ridiculing them, nothing subtle will do. I suggest drinking the entire bottle of the 2017 Solar del Alma Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. It’s dense and fruity, just like social media screen-shotters, with flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, vanilla bean and espresso. It pairs perfectly with Mexican food, Friday nights, and fiery tempers.


For senior statistics quizzes, indulge in the “Bookbinder,” an ambitious red blend.

This aptly-named 2016 Bookbinder Red Wine from Napa Valley is dark and deeply colored with blackberry and mocha, and has a persistent finish, just like the seniors and their statistics quizzes. Surprisingly rich and bursting with hope, this wine is worth savoring and applauding, like these seniors who are off to make their mark in the world. This wine pairs great with grass-fed rib-eye and graduation parties, and overpowers any hints of irritation or despairing comments, like suggestions to get some “doors slammed” in your face. Cheers!


For pictures of rainbows and flamingos, something sparkly and bright.

When it comes to rainbow shots and pictures of the famed pink flamingo, only something bubbly will do. Celebrate the beauty of life with this Che Fico Prosecco from Veneto, Italy. Aromatic and fruity with ripe peach, and hints of cream, these lively bubbles burst in the glass, just like your smile when you watch the natural splendor of our island unfold. Living on an enchanted isle such as ours, there’s always a reason to pop some Prosecco!

So there you have it. In case you are wondering, all of the posts mentioned above are real (you didn’t know Coronado had a flamingo? Where have you been?)

You just can’t make this stuff up. And yes, I have screen shots to prove it.

And, for the record, in spite of my sarcasm and dark humor, I’m not judging any of the people who shared these posts, nor the folks who commented on them. We are all entitled to our own opinions and that’s what makes this country (and our little island!) so amazing. Freedom of speech, yo! I’ll take a colorful discourse over a bunch of luke-warm, too-cool-to-care conversations any day. (And yes, I even forgive the people who were specifically mean to me. Just don’t ask me for $45. But if you do, I will laugh and then maybe we can be friends.)

Do I think we should be nicer to each other? Yes I do. I really, really do. We are all neighbors, and we aren’t that different when it really comes down to it. We all want a beautiful, safe, loving community to live in, raise our children in, and to grow old in. So let’s be nice. To our families, to our friends, to strangers on the street, to shop owners, to teenagers, and yes…even to people we don’t know on social media.

Until then, there’s always wine.

Stay classy, Coronado.



OK people! So many people have messaged me to where to buy the organic wines, so here is a link.


Just make sure to ship to Walgreens, 925 Orange Avenue, otherwise the FedEx guy will wait until you are in the shower or at pickup, and the wine delivery requires signature. I suggest getting to $99 otherwise you get charged $12 in shipping which is a total buzzkill! Shipping costs will go up May 29 because of “summer shipping” because they have to do extra packaging to prevent wine from getting yucky in the heat, so for free shipping get up to $99 and order before then. Peace out 🙂


Caught on Camera: Taste of Coronado 2018

Well….I woke up a few pounds heavier this morning, and my liver is still hard at work. But it was all worth it!

Last night’s “Taste of Coronado” was the best yet! The Coronado Junior Women’s Club organized another awesome event to benefit local nonprofits. From the Ferry Landing all the way to the other end of the island, Coronado’s most popular restaurants served up tasty bites, nibbles and refreshments for us to enjoy. See for yourself!

And we’ll call it a night! Thanks for reading.

A Locals Guide to the Coronado Ferry Landing

The scenic Coronado Ferry Landing:  I’m lucky enough to live just around the corner from it.

When I worked at Peohe’s in the early 1990s, the Ferry Landing was mainly for tourists. T-shirt shops, a few places to eat, and of course the iconic San Diego Ferry.

Things have changed. While you will still find some souvenir shops, the Ferry Landing is switching things up a bit…starting to cater more to locals with killer happy hours, some charming little shops, and–hello–two of my favorite things, kombucha and acai!

So where are the best places to visit as a local? Here are my favorite stops along the Coronado Ferry Landing!

1. Grab a coffee and acai bowl at Coronado Coffee Company. Then take a morning stroll. 

Love this coffee cart!
…and they make amazing acai bowls! My girls love them too.

The Ferry Landing is practically deserted in the morning, and it’s the perfect time to grab my chai tea latte and a healthy acai bowl from Coronado Coffee Company. I love to take a walk and take in the calm, tranquil scenery.

Always happy dogs around this place.
A quiet morning at the Ferry Landing.

2. Enjoy a morning paddle.

There’s no better place to paddle than the mellow waters at the Ferry Landing. And the views…perfection!

Solo paddles are the best!

But if you must, bring your husband and a kid…

Or two. 🙂

Always fun to paddle under the pier! (Watch your head.)

Look, everyone’s happy!

Even if you don’t have your own board, you can easily rent one from Bike and Kayak. I love that they do all the board-lugging and hauling for you, so you take off right from the little beach by Il Fornaio.  All you have to do is hop on and paddle off into the Bay!  Have a furry friend? Bring your dog along for free! The prices are good…rates as low as $29 per person!

Good prices and friendly service at Bike & Kayak at the Ferry Landing. An easy way to take a paddle if you don’t have a board!

3. Grab a snack at Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q.

Two Words: Piggy Poppers. These fresh jalapeños are stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and smoked tender. I could eat these all day!

4. Order up some custom-made treats at Coronado Cupcakery.

Not only are the cupcakes at Coronado Cupcakery ridiculously delicious right out of the shop, but you can pre-order and customize for any party theme!

My fav? This adorable cake they did for Easter last year. If I’m hosting, I am totally ordering one of these bad boys!

5. Grab a sandwich and Kombucha at Crown Town Deli. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… this place doesn’t beat around the Boar’s Head! Crown Town Deli makes the yummiest sandwiches AND they have kombucha on tap, people! I love to order ahead when we are taking the boat out and have them slice the sandwiches in quarters. Makes a perfect snack when you’re out on the water!

6. Get earthy at the Art for Wildlife Gallery.

Every time I come in here, I find something new and fabulous. An artist’s homage to Mother Earth, the Art for Wildlife Gallery was established at the Coronado Ferry Landing in 1994. This gallery calls visitors with a distinct purpose: the inescapable belief in the purity and sanctity of animals and the natural world as “subject matter” for art. How can you not love it?

Last time I went, I scored this lovely purple starfish that adorns my mantle.

7. Plan a private party on the Peohe’s patio.

Now I’ve planned quite a few private parties, and I had no idea that you can book an event on the back patio at Peohe’s! This lovely, outdoor setting serves up jaw-dropping views of the San Diego skyline. And of course, it’s Peohes…hello, coconut crunchy shrimp! I’m thinking this setting would be fabulous for business events and birthdays…and pretty much any other sort of celebration.


8. Shop ’til you drop at Miss Match.

I do most of my shopping online…but every now and then, I like to buy in person from local retailers. I’m lucky to live just a hop, skip and a jump from Miss Match which has everything from party dresses and jewelry to casual tunics, jumpsuits, wraps and scarves. And the prices are pretty decent!

And here I am rocking one of my favorite scores from Miss Match, my cold-shoulder red-print top. Pssst… did I mention they offer a locals discount?

9. Grab some empanadas and a drink at El Roy’s Happy Hour!

All this shopping has got you hungry again, and there’s no better place for a delicious, scenic and affordable happy hour than El Roys.

My favs? The empanadas of course….

and I just love this blackberry cooler.

But really, with specials on beer, wine, and cocktails, how can you go wrong?  Other half-off apps include Churrasco Tuna Sliders with chili tomato jam, Duck Confit Empanadas with Oaxaca cheese or Quatro Chili Chicken Wings with chipotle ranch. Mmmmm…..

10. OR…savor some authentic Italian food at Il Fornaio Happy Hour!

This is where I take my girls when my husband is away on business, mommy needs some downtime and the kids have energy to burn. I plop myself right down on the outside patio, order a glass of happy hour wine….

And let my kids run around on the little beach, or scooter, or rollerblade, or do what they need to do to get the wiggles out.

I adore this prosciutto salad on happy hour, and my girls always pick the pasta of the day (one with the sauce on the side.)

But seriously, its really hard to beat the views, food or the Happy Hour prices.

11. My last favorite thing about the Coronado Ferry Landing…actually riding the Ferry and getting off the island!

There is something so magical about getting on that boat and embarking on a short (yet scenic) voyage.


We love taking the girls on the smaller boat to the Convention Center dock, and grabbing lunch or dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack (which is an absolute BLAST for kids, let me tell you.) Or bringing the bikes and scooters and riding over to the Marriott for some poolside cocktails. Either way, it makes for a super fun outing, although I’ m always happy to return home to my enchanted isle.

And that’s it, folks! My favorite “locals” stops at the Coronado Ferry Landing. I hope you enjoyed!

Did I miss something? If so, please be sure to comment!