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BICE to open doors in Gaslamp Oct. 28

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The soon-to-open Italian restaurant BICE is rooted in the story of one woman: Beatrice Ruggeri, lovingly called "BICE" by her friends and family.

Known for her extraordinary hospitality, warmth and luscious cooking, she opened a small trattoria in Milan in 1926. It was a place for locals to gather, laugh and share their love of authentic Italian cuisine. BICE's U.S. debut was in New York City in 1987.

The first San Diego location opened in The Paladion in 1990. Unfortunately, The Paladion was hit hard with the economic recession of the time and the entire complex was closed. Fast forward to 2009, and the new BICE San Diego -- scheduled to open Oct. 28 in the Gaslamp Quarter -- looks to become a part of the neighborhood, attracting a family of customers that can be re-introduced to Italian excellence.

Bice's restaurant team includes: Managing Partner Rinaldo Colantoni, who has traveled and managed many of BICE's flagship restaurants, Chef Marino Cassineri, who joined BICE in 2005, and Trevor Sacco, general partner.

BICE is known for homemade pastas and its signature Ossobuco, a dish that originated in the first BICE restaurant in Milan. The location also features a Cheese Bar, offering a variety of Italian cheese and salami plates.

Recently named the top beer city in the country by Men's Journal, San Diego is hosting its first-ever San Diego Beer Week Nov. 6-15.

"San Diego Beer week is a 10-day event showcasing the amazing craft beer we have in this city," said Colby Chandler, San Diego Brewers Guild president.

San Diego is one of the country's first cities to embrace a Beer Week, following a successful model first set forth by Philadelphia and later San Francisco. With more than 33 working breweries in the county, San Diego is anticipating a prosperous inaugural event and hopes to bring attention to the region's burgeoning beer tourism industry.

"Not only are we working with local bars and restaurants for beer week," says Adam Carbonell, San Diego Brewers Guild representative, "we've set up great partnerships with local hotels to bring in people from out of town." Special room rates are available through the event Web site.

The event kicks off with the VIP Session of the S.D. Brewers Guild on Friday, Nov. 6, followed by two general admission sessions on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park. The Guild Festival is the largest gathering of local craft breweries featuring more than 80 beers brewed in San Diego County. Allied member restaurants will be at the event serving small bites to pair with the beers.

There are more than 100 events planned for San Diego Beer Week, with new events added daily. The week will conclude with a Chef's Celebration of Beer on Sunday, Nov 15, where local chefs team up with local breweries to create unique beer and food pairings. The event also includes seminars on sensory analysis, how to pair beer and food, and other craft beer related issues presented by local brewers.

For more information including public transportation and accommodations, visit sdbw.org.

For the first time in 10 years, ham radio operators will be permitted to broadcast from Midway Island. On Oct. 16 and 17, from 2-4:30 p.m., they will be in radio contact with USS Midway Museum's ham radio operators, who will be broadcasting from the museum's flight deck.

Battle of Midway veterans, other veterans, Midway members and the general public are invited to participate in this rare event. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service allows radio operators on Midway Island about every 10 years or so. Transmission conditions permitting, museum guests will be able to talk over the radio network directly to those on Midway Island. It is the 24th most-sought contact by ham radio operators around the world.

The USS Midway was named for the historic World War II victory at Midway Island in 1942, considered the turning point in the Pacific War. That makes this a rare opportunity to connect the museum with its historical roots.

For more information about the USS Midway's ham radio operators, contact Joe Garza at jgarza@san.rr.com.

Now in its 37th year, the Harvest Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds returns on the weekend of Oct. 23-25.

About 300 vendors will be pulling into Del Mar earlier that week to unload their wares and set up their booths at the Fairgrounds. They come from all over the West and some are from San Diego County -- everything from experienced vendors to newbies who are embarking on a new career because of the economy. All their goods are unique, handmade in America, and evaluated by a jury before they are allowed to participate in the show -- everything from glass blowing, peanut brittle, embroidered doilies or metal sculpture.

Expect to see Halloween and Christmas décor, handmade wearable art, garden decorations, handmade pottery, jewelry and much more. There will also be a Kids' Zone hosted by Hillside Artisans.

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and one ticket is good for all three days. Visit harvestfestival.com for details.

Award-winning Del Mar restaurant Pacific Del Mar is turning 20. A past Gold Medallion Winner for Best Seafood Dining, its kitchen, led by executive chef Christopher Idso, over the years has been lauded for its seafood and appreciation of fine dining.

In addition to creating success in the kitchen, Idso has also spearheaded the Future Fine Diners Program several years ago, to offer an elegant fine dining menu for children, in order to cultivate an appreciation for fine dining at a young age.

Have you been over to Hotel Indigo yet? If not, check out the rooftop terrace -- Indigo's offering a new fall seasonal cocktail menu, where many of these libations include fresh herbs from the hotel's green roof herb garden.

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