OCEANSIDE — Menu items such as a Bone-In Pork Chopsicle, Italian Nachos or Fennel and Cuttlefish Salad are just some of the dishes served at a chic new café that opened May 2 at the Oceanside Harbor.
The café shares a kitchen with the Sicilian eatery Dominic’s, as a father and son coupled their visions and each fulfilled their own dreams.
“I hear a lot about the view,” said Faro Trupiano, owner of D’Vino Café & Wine Bar.
Trupiano is thrilled with the fruition of D’Vino Café & Wine Bar, and said that after several years of not working together with his father, the two decided to collaborate.
“We finally decided to join forces and now with the opportunity we were able to put into place my dream as the wine bar and his dream for the Italian café to represent a lot of the authentic Italian pastries he grew up with,” he said.
Five months ago they started remodeling the 800-square-foot adjoining space next to Dominic’s, and after installing a pewter tile ceiling, sleek bar and sophisticated décor the separate entity is now serving diners.
Large windows frame the bar and capture the boats docked on the waterfront.
“Being able to sit at the bar and watch the sunset, that’s huge,” Trupiano said.
There is also an outdoor patio for dining, and the café’s dining area accommodates up to 28 guests.
The food at D’Vino Cafe & Wine Bar has merged two concepts that include new vogue cuisine and Italian fusion, and also serves gelato, Italian pastries and beer and wine flights.
The beer flights feature a choice of four local craft beers in 4-ounce mini glasses, and the flights range between $6 and $8 while the wine flight is $9 for three 2-ounce pours, he said.
The 28-year-old executive chef, Sterling Smith, said he started cooking at age 13 for a commercial kitchen in Virginia where he learned to use a 10-foot pizza peel and a brick fire pizza oven.
He said he knows his flavors and textures, and spoke passionately about his creations and how for 13 years, since the age of 15, he has been writing his own menu items.
Although he is Irish, he said the Italian fusion Trupiano planned for D’Vino is a perfect fit for both of them because he learned by cooking traditional Greek food and then Italian food.
He said that after culinary school he picked up French techniques and likes cooking fusion style foods.
“On my menu it’s basic Italian food but I’m fusing it with stuff from Thailand, Singapore, Spain, Argentina, Japan … ” Smith said.
Trupiano’s father, Dominic, opened the original Dominic’s in Oceanside in 1991, and the Dominic’s on State Street in Carlsbad followed that, he said.
Dominic’s At The Harbor opened 12 years ago.
“When I came here, I was thinking of opening a little pizzeria with pizza and sandwiches, but they needed more than pizza and sandwiches,” Dominic Trupiano said.
That menu has grown throughout the years to offer 23 varieties of pasta entrees, homemade breadsticks, beef and chicken entrees, several fish and shrimp dishes, melanzane (eggplant), panini (sandwiches), and, of course, pizza.
The sauces are all made from scratch, and the recipes date back several generations, Faro Trupiano said.
Dominic Trupiano said that four years ago he expanded the harbor restaurant and added the dining room.
Now with the opening of D’Vino Café & Wine Bar, the 65-year-old successful Italian entrepreneur is serving guests gelato and pastries to complement the Dominic’s menu.
“Finally my dream came true. I’m very happy,” he said.