Ferraris Cucina Italiana – Danville, CA

The best Italian food in the San Francisco Bay Area is in Blackhawk?!?

2 words. Chicken Parmi-OHMYGIANA!!!! 

The BEST Chicken Parmigiana this side of the Vatican.

Here’s a breakdown of our experience:

1) Greeted at the door by the staff. 
2) Given an accurate timeframe of the wait
3) Celine our fun and bubbly waitress was full of fun fun fun
4) Those huge Prawns and the sauce they are swimming in are an excellent appetizer!
5) The Luigi Meatball sammie is out of this world…although I would imagine you could put those meatballs on a shingle and it would still be amazing!
6) The Chicken Parmigiana. Most amazing italian dish ever served anywhere. Period. Westlake Joe’s who? Banchero’s who? How do you get the chicken to taste like that AND keep the breading so crisp?!? Black Magic?!?

If you get one dessert get the Tiramisu cake…but if you get one dessert you are an idiot. The Affogato with the hazelnut ice cream and ILLY espresso is such a ridiculous way to end the meal, don’t pass that up either.

Now one would think with all the chef’s success that he would start charging huge for his popular food, right?  Well evidently Chef Rodney is not a very shrewd business man because on the night we were there he was serving specials and one such special is a bottle of Justin Cab for $30. It paired perfectly with the Luigi, don’t judge me.

Bottom line: Great atmosphere, great food, great prices, great wait staff. 

After 25 years the Plaza has finally found an identity it can bank on!!!

Ferraris Cucina Italiana – Danville, CA.

Add some summer color to your chicken dish!


1 cup chopped red, yellow, orange bell peppers
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 t dried thyme or 1 T fresh thyme
2 T dry white wine or chicken stock
small amount of olive oil to coat pan

Heat the oil in the pan on medium-high, and add the mushrooms. Cook until they begin to brown and add the peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes,and then add salt and pepper, and the garlic and herbs. Cook for 30 more seconds (don’t burn the garlic!), and add the wine or stock. Cook until the liquid evaporates.

Makes two pretty large servings, each with 7 grams of carb plus 3 grams of fiber.


Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Dip)

pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah


1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.

As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.

Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley. This goes well with salty cheeses and fish mezethes like anchovies.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Diablo Magazine 2012 Awards

Here’s how I voted….what did I miss:

Beauty Store: Fusion 3

Beauty Treatment: Mandara Spa

fashion block:


Consignment Shop: Snickerdoodles

Day Spa: Aventine

Exercise Clothes:

Eyeglasses Shop: Site for Sore Eyes with Dr. Ja – Windemere

Hair Colorist: Tiffany – Fusion 3

Local Fashion Designer:

Local Jewelry Designer: hayjac designs

Local Online Shop:

Maternity Shop:

Mens Store:

mens haircut: Fusion 3

Mens Suit:

Nail Salon: Mandara

Shopper Stylist:





Shoe Store: Red Wing

Shoe Repair: Red Wing

Vintage Shop:

Hair Salon: Fusion 3

art wine:

Art Gallery:

business bar: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Live Music: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Bar Trivia size=:

Bar Menu: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Bartender: The Peasant and the Pear – Andy

Brew Pub:


Dance Troupe:

Dog Park: should be banned – Parvo

Museum: Downtown Pleasanton

winery: those two old people who do that video segment


Happy Hour: The Prickly Pear Cantina

bar lounge: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Indie Cinema:

Local Band:

golf course:

night out: The Peasant and the Pear



Pool Hall:

Romantic Getaway:

Singles Scene:

Sports Bar:

Ski Resort:

Wine Bar: Underdog

Atmosphere: The Peasant and the Pear


Breakfast Joint: The Peasant’s Courtyard

Brunch Spot: The Peasant and the Pear

Butcher Shop:

CSA Program:

Cheap Eats:

Chef: Rodney Worth

Chinese Restaurant: The Asian Pear

Coffee House: Sideboard

Comfort Food: Sideboard

Cupcake Shop:

Dog Friendly: should be banned Parvo


Food Truck: Grillaz

Gluten Free: Jules

Pizza thin: Jules

pizza thick: Jules

Hamburger: The Little Pear – Rodzilla

Indian Restaurant: Back Forty

Italian: Baci


late night:

Mexican: The Prickly Pear Cantina

New Restaurant: The Little Pear

Middle Eastern:

Outdoor Dining: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Dessert : The Peasant and the Pear

Romantic Restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

Salad Spot: The Peasant and the Pear

Seafood: The Peasant and the Pear

Service: The Peasant and the Pear

Steakhouse: The Peasant and the Pear

Sushi Bar: eSushi

Tea House:

Thai Restaurant:

Vegetarian Menu:


Anti Gym:

Antique Shop:

Bike Shop:


Boxing Class:

Car Wash:

Cleanse Program:

computer repair:

Craft Store:

Department Store:


Farmers Market: Livermore

Fitness Center:


Health Food: Van’s

Home Accessories:

Book Store:

Local Blog: The Better Food

Massage Therapist: let me know if you find one


Personal Trainer:

Pet Adoption:

Pet Shop:

Pet Lodging:

Pilates Studio:

Plant Nursery:

Pop Up:

Girlfriend Gifts:

Sweet Shop:

Thrift Store:


Wine Store:

Wedding Planner:

Yoga Studio:

Yoga Teacher:

Zumba Class: Adrienne Sulger

After School:

Baby Shop:

Birthday Cake:

Dance Classes: Spark

Family Photographer: Sara Porter

Gymnastics Classes:

Art Classes: Cafe Art

Clothes Store: Janie and Jack

Kid Restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

Haircut: Fusion 3

Kids Museum:

Martial Arts Classes: Cobra Kai

Music Lessons:

Fun Park: Harvest Park

Preschool Daycare: Shining Light

SAT Prep:

Educational Camp:

Fun Camp:

Swim Lessons: LVTC

Teacher Mentor Camp Counselor:

Toy Store: Toys R Us

Coke Ribeye Steaks!

Cola-Marinated Rib Eye Steaks

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 30 minutes

Grilling time: 8 to 12 minutes


1 can (12 ounces) cola
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Weber® Chicago Steak Seasoning
4 rib eye steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1. In a medium bowl whisk the marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for the onion. Place the steaks in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place on a plate, and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Place the onion slices in a shallow dish and pour in the reserved marinade. Carefully turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature alongside the steaks.

2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F) on one side of the grill and high heat (450° to 550°F) on the other side.

3. Remove the steaks from the bag and pat them dry with paper towels. Lift the onion slices carefully from the bowl, letting any excess marinade drip back into the bowl. Discard the marinade.

4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice (if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). At the same time, grill the onion slices over direct medium heat until lightly charred and tender, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove the steaks and onion slices from the grill as they are done. Let the steaks rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the steaks warm with the onion slices on top.

© 2011 ACH Food Companies, Inc. Used with permission.

Memorial Day

Today I remember the most dedicated heroes of our country. The ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. May all who consider themselves citizens of this great republic honor them as well.

National Armed Forces Day

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense.

Here is how you should vote on Diablo Magazine’s Best of the East Bay 2011:

bar menu: The Prickly Pear Cantina

specialty cocktail: Blood O Rita, The Prickly Pear Cantina

margarita joint: The Prickly Pear Cantina

happy hour: The Prickly Pear Cantina

girls night: The Prickly Pear Cantina

picnic spot: Sycamore Grove

ski resort: Donner Ski Ranch

weekend travel: Carmel

new restaurant: The Prickly Pear Cantina

special occasion restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

chef: Rodney Worth

romantic restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

dining vibe: The Peasant and the Pear

steakhouse: The Peasant and the Pear

hamburger: Fat Maddie’s Grill

coffee house: Sideboard

breakfast joint: Katy’s Korner

brunch spot: Pasta’s

fish taco: The Prickly Pear Cantina

salad: The Peasant and the Pear

dog friendly: should be outlawed

outdoor patio: The Peasant and the Pear

place for cheap lunch: The Little Pear

comfort food: The Peasant and the Pear

mexican: The Prickly Pear Cantina

asian: Uncle Yu’s Livermore