Pronto Italian Deli & MarketDec 13, 2022 10:34AM ● By Don Kindred
Donatella and her son, Chef Adriano Piazza.
by Nina Welch
Pronto Italian Deli opened in April, 2021. One year later, Pronto Italian Market opened next door at 221-A Avenida Del Mar. Owners Adriano, Donatella and Franco had the idea for a market adjacent to the deli in order to offer small companies imports, to support sustainable agriculture and to offer high-quality, wholesome products for their patrons.
An entire section of the store is dedicated to artisanal pasta, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar that comes from the oldest company in the world that still uses barrels dating back to the 1600s. Customers can even find vegan Bolognese sauces in the market.
Also available are 30+ types of jams, spices, gelato, fresh pasta, aged cheeses, and a variety of pestos and fish sauces. There is nothing in the store that isn’t Italian. Even the laundry soap is Italian.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian market without the wine, and the choices are plentiful. Avid collectors will be pleased to know that Sassicaia wine is available at Pronto Market. Kick-starting the Italian wine renaissance, the first vintage of Sassicaia was officially bottled in 1968. It’s interesting to note that in Italy, there are over 545 grape varieties and 47,000 wines. For the holidays they prepare gift baskets or one can assemble their own.
Donatella is pleased that the store has become like a village square where customers gather, socialize, and talk about Italy and its culinary products. During the interview a client called and said she wanted to bring in her family. After the call was finished, another customer wanted to know what she could fix for dinner. Donatella suggested mushroom ravioli that she could make in five minutes. That shopper bought sauce, red wine, and aged parmesan. Regular patrons also include teenage boys who like to cook.
Pronto Italian Market offers wine tastings on the third Wednesday of the month between 4 and 7pm. During the wine tastings, Donatella doesn’t talk about the taste. Instead, she tells the story and the history related to the wine’s origin and the territory it comes from, as well as the culture and art of the area.
“We like to tell anecdotes about the history of the land, which has been cultivated for thousands of years. The wine is the breath of the earth,” she says.
One can experience unique food along with the wine tasting such as truffles, jams like Nebbiolo chutney, and figs in Barolo wine plus aged cheeses and desserts from cookies to almond paste, marzipan, nougats, and chocolate.
Donatella and Franco, along with their son Chef Adriano, run both businesses. Their daughter Fiammetta just gave birth to a beautiful daughter this year named Francesca. She and her husband and daughter live in Dana Point, and she is very proud of her family’s thriving deli and new market in the heart of downtown.
Hours: 11am – 7pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday