By Miriam Raftery
June 29, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – If you’re hungry and looking for flavorful foods at affordable prices, an array of tasty drinks and extended happy hours, look no further than Giardino Neighborhood Cucina. Appetizers are just $5 and drinks range from $3 to $5. Also awesome – their happy hours start at 2 p.m. and run to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the bar, lounge and new patio area.
Owner/chef Marco Provino, originally from Sicily, offers up some delicious options to the standard fried food fare found at far too many happy hours. Instead, at Giardino you can savor alternatives such as eggplant rolls, lollipop meatballs, calamari, bruschetta and a cheese plate with generous portions. On my visit, the cheeses included a port wine cheese, fresh parmesan, and smoked gouda served with strawberries, toasted crostinis, fig jam and mustard.
Drink options included satisfying sangrias and mimosas, as well as Sicilian mule, bellini (choice of pomegranate or peach), plus house wine and beers.
For now, the cocktail-type drinks are all wine-based, but that may soon change since the restaurant has applied for a full liquor license.
You can also get $3 off any pizza – and their pizzas are excellent, with a light and flaky crust and a variety of toppings.
Giardino is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and bar in Lemon Grove, with a European vibe including white brick, wood tables, a bar in chrome, black and white tones, and a lounge with a soft glow provided by wine bottle light fixtures. The service is always excellent and while their full dinner menu is too, the value of their happy hour menu can’t be topped. I highly recommend stopping by.
Where: Giardino Neighborhood Cucina
8131 Broadway, Lemon Grove
When: Happy hours are served Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. in the bar, lounge and patio.