Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this








Photo, top left:  Gil Frank and Melissa Medina

Photo, top right: Linda Frank Luz (center, in white) with her extended family

By Leon Thompson

January 4, 2015 (Alpine)--A very special holiday party and family reunion took place at the Mediterraneo Italian Bistro in Alpine on Saturday, December 20th.   

Linda Frank Luz is the mother of Gilbert Frank III, co-owner with Enzo Croce of Alpine’s popular upscale restaurant.  She’s the perfect hostess, welcoming and introducing friends and family from as far away as Portugal and Brazil. The Frank and Croce families have long colorful histories in San Diego, from humble fishermen to a fleet of tuna boats to bankers then hotels and restaurants. 

I felt honored to be there, invited as a longtime friend of the restaurant, chef and owners.  I was surrounded by warm and hospital people with movie-star good looks.

In my other identity as the “East County Eater”,  the Mediterraneo was one of the first restaurants I ever reviewed because of its uniqueness and outstanding food.  I’ve been a fan ever since.  Gil Frank, Enzo Croce and Sal Ercolano have created a magical place and I knew the food  at this event would be spectacular--and it lived up to my expectations. 

I had two helpings of the Spigola al Vino Bianco (filet of fresh-caught Sea Bass or Baramund) sautéed in white wine, lemon, butter and capers--perfect with spinach and roasted potatoes.  The filet just melted in the mouth.  Fishermen know how to prepare and serve fish better than anyone else.

Later on, with music and dancing, we celebrated with gusto late into the night, capping off an idyllic evening of holiday feasting and festivities. 

For more information about the Mediterraneo, visit

Photo, below left: Lionel Medina, Sr., Melanie and Matthew Medina

Photo, below right:  Melanie Medina, Linda Frank Luz, and Vanessa Rameriz








Photo, below left: Pedro and Therese Garces


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.