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Brachetto d'Acqui, a slightly sweet, slightly effervescent, red wine that is delicious to drink on its own, or pair with desserts or cheeses. But, as we discovered during a cooking class at The B. Ristorante in Nizza Monferrto, Acqui Terme, Italy, Brachetto can also be use to cook with.....and in cocktails. In the class, Chef and Owner Barbara taught both a sweet dish and a savory dish. Involtini - made with pork wrapped around lardo and prunes:  
20131027_125832 Just east of State Street and sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101, near the AmTrak station in Santa Barbara, the Funk Zone has popped up. Home to artisan shops, wine tasting rooms, microbreweries and eateries, this is Santa Barbara's hottest destination. The newest addition to the area is the McTavish Family's Santa Barbara Art Foundry. And, while there, stop for a wine tasting at the Fox Wine Company tasting room inside the Foundry. 20131027_141130 The Foundry offers free tours to see how bronze sculptures are created. Featuring the artist Tim Cotterill, otherwise known as The FROGman, visitors can watch the entire process firsthand while artisans work on the "lost wax" method and create his original frog sculptures.
The team behind one of my favorite Valley spots, Black Market Liquor Bar, has come to the Westside with Scopa Italian Roots. Located in a former Szechwan Chinese restaurant space on Washington Blvd near Abbott Kinney, and next door to Sunny Spot, Scopa Italian Roots offers traditional home-cooked Italian food, inspired by Chef Antonia Lafaso’s upbringing.   Steve Livigni, Pablo Moix and Antonia Lafaso have been busily working on this new project for months. At an event this summer, they were serving drinks under the name Old Lightening which is the name of the bar that is opening adjacent to Scopa in the coming weeks.