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Giardino owner Karina Kravalis welcomes second eatery in Lemon Grove

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove resident and restauranter Karina Kravalis is opening the doors to her latest anticipated project, Zest Wine Bistro which features a variety of delightful vintages from around the world as well as artfully arrayed tapas to savor. The wine bar features cozy indoor and outdoor seating, soon to include an outdoor firepit and heaters for year-round comfort.

The intimate and slick bistro has been a dream for Kravalis, who saw an opportunity to provide something she felt her neighborhood was missing but wanting.

 “After all these years of owning Giardino, I’ve learned that Lemon Grove and East County love their wine,” said Kravalis. “There are so many of us who share a passion for good wine, and wanted a place to sip and toast. Zest is just that - a social gathering space to come try and learn about wine, and nosh on good food."

 Zest’s menu features a variety of sharable small plates, like the Seafood Tostada with citrus white shrimp, scallops, octopus, mango, salsa fresca, avocado and chipotle aioli, Truffle Burrata with white truffle oil, pepper and crostini, Seared Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with wasabi aioli, seaweed salad and citrus ponzu sauce, and well-stocked Charcuterie Boards with imported meats and cheese.

ECM stopped by for a preview and sampled the charcuterie board, which comes complete with dried and fresh fruits, olives, carmelized walnuts, almonds, Dijon mustard, crostini, Peruvian sweet peppers and garbanzo beans as well as  a trio of  meats that included Spanish chorizo, Mortadella with pistachio, and Prosciutto di Parma. The cheeses that day were Spanish truffle goat milk cheese, Caccita from Sardinia, and Gorgonzola Dolce from Italy, though selections will vary on a regular basis. We look forward to returning to enjoy many more!

 The wine list features known and lesser-known premium labels available by the glass and bottle. ECM savored several vintages including a Spanish tempranillo, Chilean Pinot Noir, and French Cotes Du Roussilon-Vilages, all sublime.

 Zest also offers a Wine Club, giving guests access to unique labels and vintages available on a monthly basis. More details on what is included is on Zest’s website.

 What promises to be an intimate spot where the neighborhood gathers often for fine wine and food, Zest also provides monthly events focused on bringing the community together.

Afternoon Tea will take place the 3rd Saturday of each month, where a selection of fine teas is accompanied by pastries from local bakehouse Knead, alongside savory bites from the kitchen.

Last Sunday Wine Tastings highlight select regions or varietals, and are led by Zest’s sommelier with accompanied bites for the table.

 Zest is located at 8129 Broadway in Lemon Grove, sharing a driveway and parking lot with sister eatery Giardino. They are open for bites and wine inside as well as on their cozy outdoor patio Wednesday-Sunday from 4pm. www.ZestWineBistro.com

 Upcoming Events:

Afternoon Tea: Jan. 22  at 1 p.m.

Last Sunday Wine Tasting: Jan. 30 at 4 p.m.

Tickets available here.



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