Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Mashups: Meet The Best Famiglia Around

My mom's side of the family is huge! They are the epitome of that big, loud and fun Italian family; where your cousins and cousins' cousins come for Sunday dinner of spaghetti and meatballs with homemade gravy. My Grandpa is one of eight so as you can imagine he is very accustomed to this tradition and has instilled his beliefs to continue this in us. His siblings did the same for their kids and grandkids. Which leads me to the point of this post; Salvucci's. From East Coast to West Coast meet part of the best famiglia around at the newest restaurant to grace the East Village in San Diego.

(Do you recognize Grandpa?)

Salvucci’s is the new Italian sister to RMD Group’s growing roster of venerable venues. Mom's cousin's son, Mike Georgopoulos, the “M” in RMD Group, (which also owns and operates FLUXX, Side Bar, Ciro’s Pizzeria, Don Chido, Rustic Root and Pop’s Liquor Cabinet), has been dying to do Italian. This stems from his childhood, growing up just like me, in an Italian family where meals at Grandmother Carmella Salvucci Renzella’s house were daily delights. It is near and dear to all of our hearts how just one meal can bring everyone together. Something we all strive to do every evening.

At Salvucci’s, located by Petco Park at Ninth Avenue and J Street in East Village, the menu exudes rich flavors and rich family history. It’s where recipes from generations of the clan (which first laid domestic roots when Loreto and Pasqua Salvucci emigrated to the U.S. from San Donato, Italy, in the 1930s) live on. Their daughter, Carmela, married Peter Renzella and together, they raised this large, East Coast Italian-American family. So here we are, my extended family is bringing our traditions to San Diego for the West Coast to experience a taste of what family truly means. And at this restaurant, you bet there’s an on-site matriarch to make sure they do so.

To maintain his grandmother’s culinary standards, Mike recruited the next logical choice: his mother, Darlene Renzella, who has joined the team as host, ensuring patrons receive a warm welcome from a loving Italian mother. Darlene is my mom's first cousin so of course she knows how to make the gravy and meatballs just right and will give her opinion when she feels it needs a little more fresh basil. We love Darlene! Salvucci’s food is rooted in our family's culture and traditions. It’s recipes, passed down from generation to generation; each adding their own unique touch while still honoring the integrity of the original flavors. You'll be able to see the bonds that are built and strengthened around the kitchen table just like our family experienced while satisfying your fix for real good Italian cuisine!

(I'm on the left!)

Get to know my famiglia and mangia at Salvucci's for a true big-Italian-family-feel. Make sure to check out our family photos posted throughout the restaurant and congratulate my family on another successful restaurant. Saluti! Can't wait to visit!

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