Two Long Beach Restaurants Earn Top Honors and Awards


Two of Long Beach’s best-loved restaurants were honored by the Southern California Restaurant Writers, a nonprofit that has been recognizing excellence in the food and service industry since 1974. While Alegria Cafe & Tapas Bar – Long Beach earned 4 stars, a high achievement for a restaurant in the affordable price category, its sister, L’Opera Ristorante earned 5 stars and the Golden Bacchus Wine Award, a prestigious honor awarded to only 3 other restaurants in Southern California. The 2 Pine Avenue dining establishments are owned by Enzo DeMuro and Terry Antonelli.

“We are delighted beyond our wildest dreams and wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our two teams and one Executive Chef Walter Cotta, who is one of a few chefs who oversee 2 restaurants with radically different menus,” said Antonelli.

Added DeMuro, “We are humbled by these honors and will continue to work hard to earn the praise.”

Combining yesterday’s charm and today’s sophistication, L’Opera Ristorante is located in the heart of downtown Long Beach in a stately edifice that formerly housed the Bank of Italy. The expansive dining room and bar area boast an interior of emerald-colored faux marble columns, vaulted ceilings, glass partitions, jewel-toned upholstered booths and chairs, oak floors and an exhibition kitchen. Splashy artwork, including paintings by Aldo Luongo, adorn the walls and floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows allow guests to watch the hustle and bustle of the city.

The restaurant’s interior is matched only by it’s extraordinary menu of classic and northern Italian cuisine. Cotta has created an exceptional menu that has earned the restaurant countless awards and critical acclaim. L’Opera uses only fresh fish from local markets, prime grade beef, New Zealand lamb and free-range chicken and all pastas and breads are made daily on the premises. An unparalleled selection of beautifully crafted desserts are made by pastry chef Rosa Vargas.

Located just a few doors up Pine Avenue is Alegria Cafe & Tapas Bar – Long Beach, one of Long Beach’s most unique and dynamic restaurants. Featuring a dizzying array of tapas (perfect for sharing), numerous Latin American lunch and dinner selections, soups made daily from scratch and entree salads, the menu has earned critical acclaim for its bold flavors, exquisite textures, originality and ability to satisfy the palates of discriminating diners. Alegria Cafe & Tapas Bar – Long Beach is known for its nightly live entertainment that frequently features Flamenco guitarists and dancers who invite guests to join them on stage for lively performances. The restaurant also offers Salsa nights on Tuesdays featuring free dance instruction by Astro from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Club Euro on Friday evenings complete with top-notch live entertainment and ½ off Sangria from 10:30 p.m. – midnight.

Reservations for L’Opera can be made by calling (562) 491-0066; Alegria Cafe & Tapas Bar – Long Beach at (562) 436-3388.

Posted by Suzanna