••• Tondi Gelato has opened on State Street, in the former Wetzel’s Pretzels space at Paseo Nuevo. The hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily—nice to see they’re accommodating those of us who aren’t dogmatic about ice cream before lunch.
••• Anyone who manages people for a living might want to check out the heartfelt tributes that Bell’s co-owner Greg Ryan has been posting about his staff in honor of the restaurant’s third anniversary.
••• I was happy to see the crowd at Secret Bao at lunchtime the other day. You’re definitely going to want to order some the sour cream and onion–flavored prawn chips for while you await the rest of your meal. And coming soon: special dinners, like Secret Bao did before opening a restaurant.
••• Bank of Italy—Cocktail Trust, the Ventura bar from the folks behind the Good Lion and its many siblings, soft-opened over the weekend.
••• Here’s a preliminary menu for Vaquero Bar, part one of the ambitious Coast Range project in Solvang. Vaquero Bar opens in early April, with the restaurant and café components to follow. Love “good butter” as an ingredient….
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