TOAST Enoteca and Cucina in East Village
Martin Gonzalez went to Italy to learn the language. He decided to study at a culinary institute and life changed for him at that school. He never had a desire to cook prior to attending, but he learned a new language and found a new passion at the same time. He left the country speaking Italian and co-owning a restaurant, The Acqua Al 2 in Florence. He became a chef and acquired a lifelong bond with all things Italian.
In 2000, Martin opened Acqua Al 2 Restaurant in downtown San Diego. He expanded in 2010 with Toast Enoteca & Cucina, an intimate and chic wine bar. Warm woods and modern angular furniture create a soothing atmosphere. The wine is stored vertically up the walls with a rolling ladder to access them.
What’s unique here are the Enomatic machines used to dispense their wines. These state-of-the-art machines, imported from Italy, protect open wines from too much oxygen and allow the wine to hold its integrity for a longer period of time. You purchase a card, similar to a credit card, insert it into the machine and select a one ounce pour of a wine. This allows you to try many different wines for a small price. You can enjoy tasting many wines, order a glass or a bottle. The choice is yours.
Toast Enoteca currently has about 260 wines in stock. They feature Italian wines along with California, South African, New Zealand, and Australian wines. Martin plans on offering 700 different personally selected wines. You will not find these wines in local stores.
Food pairing is always a must with wine lovers and Chef Martin will dazzle you with his menu. Two favorite pizza dishes are Pizza Bianca (Pancetta and potatoes) and Pizza Verde Bianco E Rosso (green, white and red) with Pomodoro sauce, buffalo mozzarella and arugula. Or you could try his White Lasagna ai Broccoli, Salsiccia: a lasagna with broccoli, sausage and parmesan sauce.
People with a gluten intolerance will be happy to know that he offers gluten-free pizza and spaghetti and is currently developing a complete line of gluten-free pastas.
VinItaly Celebration on April 21:VinItaly is the largest wine competition in Italy that happens every April. To pay homage to winners of this wine competition, Chef Martin has put together an event featuring past winners. For $60 per person, you will enjoy these wines paired with hors d’ouevres. The fun is from 6-9 p.m. TOAST will offer complimentary parking to patrons for this event. Parking is available at the Padres Parkade Garage on 11th Avenue between Island and J Street.
Every Thursday TOAST Enoteca sets aside the regular menu and offers a Chef’s Choice Surprise Menu. The menu is revealed Thursday mornings via Facebook and Twitter. Here you can also make reservations and post special requests for future menus. For $30 you will experience a three-course family style meal paired with half-glass wine tastings.
Behind the Label Wine Tasting and Pairing:Every Wednesday, TOAST Enoteca hosts a monthly wine tasting and culinary pairing evening. Guests have the opportunity to taste samples of a specific winery paired with small bites of foods. After the tasting a three-course meal is served with additional wines from the winery. Each wine will be perfectly complemented with a food pairing from Executive Chef Martin.
Located in San Diego’s East Village, next door to Petco Park at 927 J Street, you can sit out on the patio, watch the Padres fans going to the game and enjoy one of these unique wines.
- City: San Diego
- Name: TOAST Enoteca & Cucina
- Address: 927 J Street