When Alex Prestifilippo moved to Temecula more than 20 years ago, he said he would never have imagined he could still be here today, the owner of two restaurants in town.
Make that three restaurants – if all goes well.
Prestifilippo and his wife, Charity, announced to the Valley News in an interview pertaining to the 20th anniversary of their wildly popular flagship Gourmet Italia restaurant that they had just that day submitted plans for a new restaurant concept in Old Town Temecula.
Bottega Italia will open in April or May 2020 and will join Gourmet Italia, Spuntino Pizzeria and Delicatessen, The Bar Next Door, and Poggio Leano Winery and wine bar to Prestifilippo’s businesses.
“I thought I was done, to be honest with you, because that’s a lot of stuff on my plate,” Prestifilippo said. “I am a person that is always thinking it doesn’t stop. So, a few months ago, I was approached from somebody in Old Town, a Realtor, and they offered me this beautiful spot in Old Town. They said we want you in this spot.”
Though they had their hands full and enough to do already, the couple went to check out the space located on the corner of Sixth Street and Old Town Front Street in what will become the extended portion of Chaparral Center.
“Basically, we decided to take the spot for the new adventure in Old Town,” Prestifilippo said. “The city is going that way; the city is going toward Old Town. There is a lot of bars, a lot of restaurants, so let’s bring something there.”
The restaurant will encompass the entire downstairs portion of the extension to the center.
“The logo itself says, ‘All you love about Italy,’” Prestifilippo said. “We will start in the morning, 7 a.m. with breakfast, an Italian breakfast with the croissant cakes, coffee, cappuccino, an espresso high bar, no chairs, typical European, Italian espresso bar. Grab a cappuccino, a croissant; you’re at work.”
The restaurant will also feature what Prestifilippo called the new thing in Italy – pinzas – a crust made of a mix of three flours that is low sugar, low gluten and low carb. The pinzas will be priced by weight as guests will choose their toppings as they go along the line, similar to what is done at places like Blaze and Pieology, but with the different crust.
They will also have authentic gelato and a bar with a full liquor license with wine and another bar with Poggio Leano.
The dinner menu will offer five appetizers, five entrees and a few desserts.
“It’s very simple,” Prestifilippo said. “But it will change multiple times over the year, maybe every couple of months we will change. Maybe I want to do some regional recipes every other month – so maybe we feature for two months Sicily, then Campagna, then Pimonte, then Toscano, then Lazio.”
The Prestifilippos think it’s going to be something special in old town.
“We are right on Front Street with a beautiful patio and a larger side patio,” Prestifilippo said. “It is very exciting.”
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.