Maturing is realizing is you don't want to be around drama, stress, or conflict anymore.
You start choosing calm over chaos, and distance over disrespect.
You start prioritizing your peace, mental, and happiness over everything.
Photo: Elite Room
Gratitude | New Restaurant Opening
"Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything. What is guiding your decisions these days?" Repost from @fuchilafresheners. What's guiding my decisions these days? Love for my family and Love for hospitality.
“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” Fr. Pedro Arrupe S.J.
Over the past two years - where we saw a virus destabilize our lives, our habits and our certainties - our parents have proven to us that Love is the answer. Krishan has avoided retirement with the opening of our new restaurant, Ula - Gems of the Sea (www.ulasf.com). Arti has just been recognized as one of the leading 100 Realtors in the Bay Area. My siblings continue to move through their life phases where something funny or unusual is always happening. Our family has celebrated our growing village with Amar and Leah welcoming their son, Jay. Nehika has moved to New York to pursue graduate studies and welcome new opportunity and friendship. Laura has found a new home teaching in a middle school in the Bay Area and is embracing both the expected and unexpected chaos of establishing a new home. I wish here to express particular gratitude and understanding for my wife since the world of a hotelier or restaurateur is all-consuming and we are working together to make that quality time.
I returned from Taiwan earlier this year and am thankful Laura moved for me. We settled in our home here in San Francisco and I went back to work immediately. We re-opened Zingari for in-door dining and live jazz everyday. We helped some Austrian wine enthusiasts in the East Bay find wine from Tscheppe, Werlitsch, and Muster through our wine shop. We filled our Piano Room with trios and good vibes every night. We welcomed our kitchen and service team back and are currently hiring for Chefs, Servers and Managers. We are making bookings for holiday parties and holiday dining. We opened our new sister restaurant, Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails with Chef Ryan Simas.
Many thanks to Chef Victor Cedillo and our kitchen and service team who makes all this possible. Many thanks to Alan Hopkins, San Francisco Area Manager for Wyndham Hotels, and the Wyndham corporate team who supported us as we pivoted in every direction during the pandemic shutdown periods. Many thanks to our guests who continue to dine, support, and share our restaurant with friends and family. Bottom line, we are filled with gratitude and we look forward to serving you.
My passion is deep and sincere, and I want nothing more than to share this with others. "The more I give to thee, The more I have." William Shakespeare. With Love from Zingari & Ula, we wish you a happy holiday season and new year.
Bubbly Mary by Banjara Life
Inspiration behind Bubbly Mary by Banjara Life
This cocktail was born the day following the 2018 San Francisco SantaCon at The Aperitivo Bar of Zingari Ristorante. A guest approached the bar for Brunch. We quickly learned our new friend had a proper hangover and was in search of 'alimento' to nourish her body.
While she considered her cocktail mood, the 'Mozzarella al Forno', warm baked mozzarella wrapped with prosciutto and garnished with a balsamic glaze, was ordered. We learned about our guest's enthusiasm for Gin and tonic. Given her discomfort, however, she was in the mood for something something more crisp and refreshing, like a sparkling drink.
Our barman was immediately reminded of the beautiful expression of life around Lake Geneva in Montreux and Lutry on a warm, sunny day. He recalled the champagne cocktails at Montreux Jazz Festival and Prosecco over a picnic before jumping into the lake from Plage de Lutry. This inspiration brought a spritz remix to mind.
A remixed spritz with Italicus, botanical gin, prosecco, and lavender bitters. With the cocktail's subtle citrus, botanical, and lavender tendency matched with its crisp and refreshing feelings, the guest shared a big smile with each sip. The cocktail was unexpected and perfect.
After more conversation at the bar, we learned our guest was warm and supper bubbly. We even asked her name to properly introduce ourselves. She was Mary. We named the spritz cocktail 'Bubbly Mary'.
What is in the Bubbly Mary?
4 oz prosecco
1 oz italicus
1/2 oz botanical gin
Garnish with olives
Feeling Italian? Time for an Aperitivo. Cin Cin!
Inspiration behind our Aperitivo Bar. Learn More
What is Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto? Learn More
Best Wishes | Meilleurs voeux
Frohe Festtage | Sinceri auguri
Mejores deseos | Melhores cumprimentos
最良好的祝愿 | أطيب التمنيات
행복을 빌어요 | शुभ क्रिसमस
“Just as the First World War precipitated the society of that time into the twentieth century, it could well be that the year 2020 brings us a similar disruption. A microscopic virus managed to destabilize our lives, our habits and our certainties. One year ago, who could have expected such a turmoil? This virus has managed to traumatize many of us with long queues of coffins, putting a short term to what we considered as standard, economic growth and prosperity taken as a given? The punitive journey of this little monster followed an erratic trajectory, hitting regions that did not expect its visit and hence were badly prepared for its arrival. The impact made us collectively rediscover the relativity of things.” Claude Béglé, SymbioSwiss.
The ‘New Normal’ is unclear. One thing, however, is clear— Asia is slated to come out stronger from this crisis and the world has ‘speed-dated’ with the Digital Revolution. We limped to this checkpoint while debating society’s values and losing patience in our inability to jointly address a global problem. Long-term consequences have yet to reveal themselves.
Don’t be discouraged. Think about it. In your lifetime, you may have not had many instances where you had to drastically and quickly innovate based on society. With that being said, nothing you are doing is futile. This crisis reveals who we are. I remember the words of my friend, David Gonzalez of Bella Trattoria San Francisco, who said, “Idea Number 4,317!” A few months into the pandemic, after consistently trying new ideas each day, he had just turned part of his restaurant outlet into a beautiful Salumeria to showcase and sell his quality inventory. It’s up to each family, to each one of us, to reinvent its sustainability model, meet the challenge, and reinforce ties.
For our family, I wish to share deep gratitude and love to my wife, parents, brother and sister for the relationship and awareness we work to have and value. This year has surprised and blessed us in different ways. My sister, Nehika, has set plans to shift her life from San Francisco to New York City where work and graduate studies are in the horizon. My brother, Amar, is in South Carolina completing his medicine fellowship and will proceed to give to his care and passion to his work and patients, as he always has done. My mother and father, Arti and Krishan, are in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been an important element fueling our actions of good and forward thinking. They, also, supported me in our decision to follow Laura, the love of my life, to Taiwan while she completes her teaching contract, after seven years, at an international school in Taipei. I admire Laura for her passion and philosophy of teaching. Her work and her family’s wisdom and care are also important elements that give me inspiration. I wish here to express particular sympathy for my wife’s family and community since Latin America has been one of the most affected regions hit by the coronavirus crisis.
For my work, I have had the joy to create a beautiful Rooftop Ristorante with our General Manager, Victor Vargas, and my partner (and mentor, father), Krishan Miglani. We had a beautiful six-month run during the in-door dining shutdown. Many thanks to our Landlord Partners, Alan Hopkins (General Manager of Wyndham Hotels San Francisco) and Club Donatello. Their gracious support and freedom allowed us to make it nice for our guests. Furthermore, we were able to provide work for our team of 20 service and culinary professionals. The Ristorante, Rooftop Ristorante, and Jazz Bar will be back and we look forward to sharing good vibes with you soon.
I am dedicated to a few new projects. We have launched our Online Wine Shop. Zingari brings wine country to San Francisco with a selection of sensibly priced, quality wines – from the large to the small wine producers – of Italy, California, and beyond. I look forward to sharing knowledge, stories, and laughs with you as we explore the beautiful selection of wine in our cellar. I will continue with my Italian wine and wine service education. With knowledge and a sensible price comes enjoyment. Hope you agree and will browse our shop online or in person.
Being in Taiwan has been a privilege and enriching experience. I have observed a new style of commerce and felt a new culture. I have taken on Mandarin Chinese, met different restaurant owners, traveled around the country, and learned to live like a local. On our restaurant blog and social media, I’ll share more about the things learned, the people met, the hospitality concepts tried, the new ideas in mind, and the laughs felt.
With the unusual year behind us, global ties resetting under new leadership, and having reflected quite a bite, let’s welcome 2021. Laura and I wish you all the best in the year ahead. Big hug.
"When sipping your wine, remember the farmer, loyal to the grape and the land, who produced the beauty in your glass." –L.S.