If I could trade places with a wine guy who had a deep understanding of delicious small bite Italian food, it would be Faro Trupiano, who opened up his version of a dockside “enoteca” called D’Vino Café and Wine Bar in Oceanside Harbor.At the get-go I liked him and his fondness for hats. Most of my friends know I own over 60 hats that I rotate, and as I greeted Trupiano, the glance went to small brim Fedora I liked.
“This is a small, intimate, friendly bistro with coffees, gelato, a well-stocked wine bar and home-style small bites on an Italian style menu,” he said. “Many of the specialty flavored dishes are my own creations that you won’t find anywhere else, as well as small production wines that you can fall in love with.” All that, with a view of the serene harbor, and you can easily figure out why I would trade places for a day, or more!
Trupiano is most at home behind his bar. He handpicked about a hundred bottles, some of which he mixed and matched in “wine flights” in trios. I liked the “Big Red Bomb” cluster, which included: Amberhill Meritage, Fallbrook Syrah and Dry Creek Zinfandel — three 2-ounce pours for just $9.
A scroll down the menu revealed a fascinating kitchen experiment that turned into the most popular item on the list, the Italian Nachos. Trupiano blended deep fried pasta, Asiago cheese with a medley of sauces, braised short rib strips, smoked mozzarella, fresh basil tomatoes and Kalamata olives. It’s all stacked Italian-style around the plate. This delicious dish is listed under “Appetizers” and is filling and fun to eat.
The Dessert Bar has pretty Italian favorites like Cannoli, Mama’s Tiramisu, Spumone and my favorite, the “Coppa Mascarpone” with layers of chocolate and mascarpone cream topped with Amaretto cookie crumbs. On second thought, I think I will leave D’Vino to Faro Trupiano. If I traded places, I would be into that Dessert Bar far too much. Call (760) 754-1881 for more.
The new Gallo wines
In 1933, E.J. Gallo Winery was founded by Ernest and Julio Gallo in Modesto, Calif. The two brothers founded the winery after the repeal of Prohibition following years of growing and selling grapes, with just $6,000 in borrowed money from Ernest’s mother-in-law. The hard-driving brothers eventually became the largest family-owned winery in the U.S.
In addition to the Gallo brand, the brothers, who are now deceased, distributed and marketed wine under 60 other labels.
Some of the household names include Andre