Caterers / Charities / Featured / Restaurants / TOT Lunch Meet-Ups

Temecula’s Own Little Italy

(photo by Juanita Juarez)

Shhhh….I have a secret for you. There’s a place in town to get fast food, and have it made your way. And if you’re like me, “your way” is gourmet! Hidden in the Barons Market Place is a cozy Italian pizzeria and delicatessen – Spuntino. It is simply “è molto delizioso!”

Making one of their signature pizzas. (photo by Juanita Juarez)

Owners Alessandro “Alex” and Charity Jane Prestifilippo have been prominent fixtures in our community for many years. They first opened Gourmet Italia in October 2000 and then followed with Spuntino Pizzeria in July of 2008. Having young children, being busy business owners, and founders of “Charity for Charity,” they felt the need to establish a fast food-type of restaurant. Yet at the same time, a place with healthy and reasonably priced lunch or dinner, available whether you stay in and sit at the table with the family, or take the meal home! Their original vision was to have an Italian take-out only deli – just starting with a few tables to sit and eat. As time went on, more and more customers stayed to watch the talented “Sicilian Pizza Man” Chef Filippo Santangelo tossing the dough of his unique wood-fired pizza. So they expanded their little deli to be a sit-down restaurant as well.

Besides their amazing pizza, they have an enormous selection of fresh deli Artisan cheeses, Italian meats, homemade pastas, and antipasto. And who can resist their Italian-style sandwiches and salads? No one, my foodie friends. Oh, and don’t forget about the wine and beer! Spuntino supports several Temecula wineries, imports numerous Italian wines, and carries both Stone and Firehouse brewery beers. “What’s planned for the future” I asked? Charity would like to expand to having a home delivery service.

Pizza Quattro Stagioni. (photo by Juanita Juarez)

My lunch companions and I shared a presentation of Pizza Bruschetta with fresh tomato, basil, garlic, shaved parmigiano cheese, oregano and olive oil. Then came the Italian Sub with ham, mortadella, salami & provolone. As if we needed more, we were forced to eat the rigatoni with broccoli & sausage. Well, actually not “forced” – it was delicious! And their prices are great. They range from $5.00 to $21.00. Gourmet on a budget is always good!

When you want to kick it up a notch, stop by for Wine and Grub every other Tuesday evening starting at 7 p.m. This is a perfect date and/or girls night out. You mix and mingle with friends and strangers alike – just know that these “strangers” will soon become your new friends. At only $20.00 pp inclusive (excluding dessert and gratuity) you are treated to several courses, all served “family-style.”

Pizza Bruschetta. (photo by Juanita Juarez)

I recently had the “Wine and Grub” experience on September 21st with wine pairings from Wilson Creek Winery. Rosie and Geri Wilson joined Charity at the head of the table as we started with plenty of garlic bread and asparagus wrapped with spicy soprasata salami and provolone. We sipped the infamous Almond Champagne. Next came plates of baked zucchini stuffed with egg, olives, onion, and pineapple with a generous sprinkle of parmigiano cheese. And soon after, came the stuffed eggplant with spinach, onion, olives and blue cheese. And as if that was not enough, we were presented with a Frittata filled with onion, ricotta and parmigiano cheese. We enjoyed the Wilson Creek 2009 White Cabernet with these courses. We cleansed our palates with a Caesar and Fattorri salad (mixed greens with tomato, mozzarella and olives). Finishing was “carb heaven” – baked rigatoni filled with oozing cheese, ham and peas. And who could go wrong with a traditional pepperoni pizza pie? All was consumed and washed down with Wilson Creek 2006 Legacy. YUMM! The next Wine & Grub will be held on Tuesday October 5th. Call for reservations @ 951-699-7722.

Rigatoni with Broccoli & Sausage. (photo by Juanita Juarez)

Spuntino is open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. They are located at 31891 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92590 in the Barons Market Place next to Starbucks. Visit their website for their complete menu and upcoming events.

And don’t forget, Spuntino will host our next Lunch Meet-Up this coming Wednesday, October 6th, starting at 12 noon. Stop by for some of the finest Italian cuisine in Temecula!

And on a personal note, please visit Charity has always had a mission in her heart since she was a little girl – to help those in need. Charity for Charity has many upcoming events in wine country that can’t me missed, all for a good cause. Make it your mission too!

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