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Father's Day, Restaurant Week to keep diners busy

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A plethora of exciting dining adventures await during the month of June. This Father's Day weekend in the Gaslamp, the Taste of Gaslamp takes place 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. During this self-guided walking tour, participating Gaslamp restaurants will showcase house specialties with a 2- to 4-ounce sample for each ticketed patron. Each guest will also receive a complimentary Taste of Gaslamp recipe book. Guests aged 21 and up can also partake in the Samuel Adams Beer Garden and sample a cold beverage.

On Saturday, at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, there will be special extended sampling hours from 2-6 p.m. and on Sunday at The Merk at the Keating Hotel. Tickets are available online at gaslamp.org

In addition, San Diego Restaurant Week is back, taking place from June 22-27, serving up three-course, prix fixe menus.

Organized by the California Restaurant Association San Diego chapter, the goal of Restaurant Week is to showcase the local dining community. There are no tickets or passes required, so food lovers simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they wish for $30 or $40, dependant on the restaurant. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com for details.

Acqua al 2 and the Italian Community Center are co-hosting "Rome! Florence! Venice! The Local's Perspective," Tuesday, June 17. The special event is free and open to the public and will offer travel tips for the off-the-beaten-path accommodations, restaurants, shopping and attractions in Italy as well as a lively language lesson on common Italian phrases.

The event is meant for those planning to make the "Italian Boot" their summer travel destination or for those folks who want a "Taste of Italy" without pulling out their passport. To set the mood and prepare travelers, Acqua al 2 Executive Chef and Owner Martin Gonzalez will dish up tastes of Italian cuisine with a spread of complimentary Aperitivi (Italian appetizers) and dishes that are only served in Italy. Flights of Italian wines will be available to accompany the fare for an additional cost. Visit acquaal2.com for additional event information.

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