Restaurant Week San Diego

Restaurant WeekSeptember 21st-26th

Don’t miss it!

Experience cuisine that delights your palate and defines the art of dining in San Diego. Held twice annually, this beloved culinary tradition features discounted prix fixe menus from more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants in 12 unique regions throughout San Diego County.

No tickets or passes are required. Food lovers may simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like during San Diego Restaurant Week.

Wild Salmon (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Wild Salmon at NINE-TEN in La Jolla (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
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The Curious Fork opens in Solana Beach

Culinary Café and Teaching Space Opens in Solana Beach: Introducing Healthy Fare & Cooking Classes to North County

(Courtesy photos
(Courtesy photos

Experience fresh local dining and a specialized culinary adventure with the launch of The Curious Fork, concentrating in healthy food, education and retail.

The Curious Fork, the new healthy café and hybrid culinary space in Solana Beach, is now open. Located in the Ocean Pointe complex at 512 Via de la Valle, the 1,800 sq. ft. venue is a haven for the health-conscious, food-curious community with a fresh quick-service café for breakfast and lunch, an educational kitchen offering cooking classes and guest speakers, and a culinary retail center, all under one roof. The Curious Fork strives to source the best organic ingredients and unique products – including the famed Oakland and Brooklyn-based Blue Bottle Coffee, marking the first time the coveted brand is offered in Southern California.

Behind The Curious Fork concept are Founders and Executive Chefs Barbara McQuiston and Kai Peyrefitte. Barbara was raised cooking with her mother and grandmother using fresh ingredients from the garden. As she grew up, members of her family were diagnosed with celiac disease – and Barbara immediately switched her at-home cooking techniques to gluten-free. The result? Her family’s health, along with her own, improved almost overnight. After transitioning from her high-profile aerospace and national defense career where she served at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), she began her second life devoting herself to following her passion for culinary arts and healthy-living.

Barbara developed her skills at the San Diego Culinary Institute (SDCI) where she met Kai Peyrefitte, an accomplished Chef who has held prestigious roles such as Executive Chef for Hilton Hotels, Executive Chef for The San Diego Convention Center Corporation, and Vice President of The California Culinary Olympic Team. Sharing the same vision, Barbara brought Kai to The Curious Fork in North County to promote a healthy lifestyle by providing a fresh culinary concept with an integrated approach to education.

“Our mission is simple: to bring wholesome, healthy, fun gluten-free cooking into people’s lives,” said Barbara McQuiston, Founder of The Curious Fork. “We want to provide an approachable, engaging space for learning and really highlighting the importance and joy of the food we put into our bodies every day. We are focused on producing excellent cuisine along with a fun learning experience and to be a community resource – whether it be how to cook seasonal ingredients picked up from their local farmers market or figuring out what gluten-free even means, we are here to help.”

The quick-service café is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., serving freshly baked pastries, nourishing smoothies, dynamic salads, tempting sandwiches and soups, handmade pizzas, and satisfying small plates and specials. With an emphasis on using local organic ingredients, café favorites include the mini quiche with chorizo and dried tomato, berry tarts and treats, tantalizing charcuterie and sandwiches and unique artisan pizzas such as shrimp with lemon pesto. Pastry Chef Sonja Knowles leads the pastry program, and surprisingly, the entire menu is completely gluten-free without sacrificing taste. The Curious Fork is also proud to offer a range of coffee drinks from the Oakland and Brooklyn-based Blue Bottle Coffee. Guests can take their meals to go, or enjoy inside or on the front patio.

In addition to the café, educational evening classes are offered focusing on a variety of topics including culinary techniques (knife skills, stocks), family classes (gluten-free baking, grilling,) date night options (dinner for two, chef demonstrations), healthful cooking classes (cooking for anti-inflammation and special diets), Farmer Basket Fun where you can pick up the baskets, specialty items and ideas on cooking, pop-up chef demonstrations and private events. The Curious Fork will also host an ongoing engaging series of guest speakers with book authors, honey producers, and local farmers.

For those who want to further explore their cooking curiosity in their own kitchen, the space also offers a culinary retail area. The shop features carefully selected products to promote healthy living and improve at-home technique including specialty gifts, appliances, cooking utensils, bakeware, and artisan goods.

The Curious Fork venue is available for private events, and catering is available for occasions of all sizes from intimate gatherings to extravagant events. For more information, please call 855.387.3675 or visit http://www.thecuriousfork.com.

ABOUT THE CURIOUS FORK:
A haven for the health-conscious, The Curious Fork in Solana Beach is a 1,800 square-foot quick-service café and multi-use culinary space helmed by local founders and executive chefs Barbara McQuiston and Kai Peyrefitte. Organically sourced, gluten-free fare is always the quick-service café menu, which is open everyday except Sunday from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., serving freshly baked pastries, nourishing smoothies, salads, sandwiches and soups, pizzas, small plates and specials. In the dedicated events/">event space, engaging cooking classes are offered in the evening for every level culinary enthusiast on a variety of topics from beginner knife-skills and date night ideas to pop-up chef demonstrations, hosted speaking engagements, and book signings. A curated retail shop features carefully selected products to promote healthy living and improve at-home cooking technique including specialty gifts, appliances, cooking utensils, bakeware, and artisan goods. The Curious Fork is located in the Ocean Pointe complex at 512 Via de la Valle; private events and catering are also available. For more information, please call 855.387.3675 or visit www.thecuriousfork.com. To connect with The Curious Fork via social media, please visit www.facebook.com/TheCuriousFork or @TheCuriousFork.

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Liberty Public Market Opening Summer 2015

In Partnership with Liberty Station, Blue Bridge Hospitality Announces Liberty Public Market

Liberty Public Market

San Diego’s Premier Artisan Market: A 22,000 Sq. Ft. Locally Focused, Specialty Venue—Opening Summer 2015

David Spatafore, the local hospitality veteran behind Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality, announces a substantial partnership with Liberty Station, San Diego’s mixed-use retail and commercial center. Together, they will curate Liberty Public Market—a premier public market uniting the region’s most dynamic artisans under one roof. Set to debut summer 2015, the multi-million dollar investment supports the creation of a complete San Diego cultural immersion: a public arena for locals and tourists alike to embrace the city’s finest handcrafted food and specialty items.

QUICK FACTS:

Name: Liberty Public Market
Partners: Blue Bridge Hospitality and Liberty Station
Location: Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106
Prime location adjacent Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Leasing space to 30+ purveyors, allowing brick & mortar opportunities for small businesses and locally-owned wholesale distributors
Anticipated opening date: summer 2015

The Vision: A New Public Market for San Diego

The Liberty Public Market is paving the way for an interactive community experience – a local gathering place where San Diego tastes, smells, and quality artisan goods will harmoniously unite under one roof. Serving as a one-stop specialty shop as well as a daily farmers market, the concept is reminiscent of similar public markets in other progressive cities, such as: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island. The venue aims to represent San Diego’s unique culture by offering year-round fresh produce sourced from surrounding regional farms, locally procured seafood, old fashioned butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, fine wine merchants in the Southern California area, locally roasted coffee, a craft cocktail partner, specialty handcrafted goods and more. In addition to purchasing fresh goods to take home, the market will also offer quick-service counters, allowing guests to enjoy food on-site.

Location: Mixed-Use Venue at Liberty Station

Conveniently located at 2816 Historic Decatur Rd. within Liberty Station, the market is being built out in a 22,000 square foot venue in the north end of the complex, situated in a prime location adjacent to the successful Stone Brewing. The storied space, which was originally built as the Naval Training Center’s commissary in 1921, will pay homage to its historic roots by housing a diverse mix of merchants, each hand-selected for their passionate support and ardent commitment to San Diego’s culture. The expansive indoor area features high-ceilings in a communal setting and the space will also include a massive outdoor patio, promoting a social atmosphere. Liberty Station offers complete accessibility for San Diego neighborhoods and tourists alike and provides ample and free parking for all visitors.

Key Players: Blue Bridge Hospitality & Liberty Station

Alongside The McMillin Companies of Liberty Station, the visionary behind the Liberty Public Market is home-grown success story, David Spatafore, principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality. Born and raised in San Diego, Spatafore has made a name for himself developing Coronado restaurant concepts such as Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, MooTime Creamery, Village Pizzeria, Little Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, Coronado Coffee Company, as well as the forthcoming Stake Chophouse + Bar, opening next month on Orange Avenue. As an avid traveler, Spatafore regularly frequents public market concepts across the U.S. to capture the true essence of each city’s unique history and culture. Spatafore returns to San Diego with one thought, “How does San Diego not have a market like this?” And thus, the idea behind Liberty Public Market was born. Invested in bettering and building the community he lives in, Spatafore’s is filling a much-needed gap in the city by creating a truly authentic San Diego specialty market.

“As Liberty Station continues to grow and thrive we are thrilled to introduce the same type of community market concept that has proven to be successful in world-class cities across the US,” says Scott McMillin. “David Spatafore of Blue Bridge Hospitality is a proven operator and we think under his direction, this concept is a perfect addition to a destination that is already rich with local culture and history.”

Market Vendors: Local Artisan Leaders

With the capacity for more than 30 merchants, the Liberty Public Market is locally focused and aims to forge a partnership between the region’s most talented artisans. Blue Bridge Hospitality is curating a hand-selected group of like-minded purveyors that are specialized in their particular craft, who when brought together, are a top representation of San Diego’s unique culture. The space operates as a co-op, giving vendors a platform for success by acting as a collaborative partner for business support and marketing services.

“Liberty Public Market presents small businesses the chance to sell their goods on a much larger scale,” says Spatafore. “Liberty Station is a coveted retail location in San Diego. It’s highly trafficked and centrally located with prime visibility and free parking. This project allows the little guys to be a part of a very big business opportunity. Not only that, but it offers some of the area’s premier local wholesale distributors the chance to have a brick and mortar presence, as well as access to the every day consumer. It’s a win-win scenario.”

About Blue Bridge Hospitality:

Blue Bridge Hospitality is a diverse group of exceptional restaurants based in and born out of a love for the city of Coronado. With a portfolio of five distinct concepts (MooTime Creamery, Village Pizzeria, Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, Coronado Coffee Company, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge), Blue Bridge Hospitality has experienced immense growth since its beginnings in 1998. The collective’s first restaurant, MooTime Creamery, was a family effort from the ground up, with native San Diego resident David Spatafore taking the lead. As Blue Bridge has flourished, expanded, and entered into new partnerships in the 16 years since its inception, that same focus on local ownership and family values has remained a core component of the company’s principles. In fall 2014, Blue Bridge will open Stake Chophouse + Bar on historic Orange Avenue, a 4,600 square-foot property, and Coronado’s only existing tried-and-true steakhouse. For more information, please visit: bluebridgehospitality.com.

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Snooze Del Mar

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Snooze serves breakfast in the Del Mar Highlands Town Plaza. The Denver-based, family-owned company boasts a unique comfort food breakfast experience with made-from-scratch recipes. Produce is hand selected and meats are natural, farm raised, free ranging, and local (whenever possible). In addition, Snooze’s exclusive organic coffee is picked, roasted, and flown in directly from Guatemala every week.

Pot Pie (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Pot Pie (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pancake of the Day (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pancake of the Day (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Trio of Pancakes (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Trio of Pancakes (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The seventh Snooze location, Del Mar Snooze’s 4,000-square-foot space has seating for 110, and a large outdoor patio.

Open from 6:30am-2:30pm Monday through Friday and 7:00am-2:30pm Saturday and Sunday.

 See the menu here.

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BASIC Urban Kitchen and Bar

Courtesy photo

Uncomplicated is the name of the game at BASIC. Thin-crust brick oven pizza is the highlight on the one page menu, and a no-nonsense drink list and simple design elements complete the massive 5,000 square foot lounge and restaurant, which was converted from an authentic 1912 warehouse. The original brick walls are still intact, along with industrial garage doors, shag carpet constructed of old rubber tires, an oversized purple pool table, and a huge streamlined ceiling fan that spans 16-feet across.

In the midst of a San Diego social scene where locals have become accustomed to strutting their stuff in designer duds, and dishing out dough for over-priced cover charges and drinks—BASIC takes the locale back to its roots as a casual, contemporary enclave for visitors, young professionals, neighborhood regulars and hipsters alike. BASIC’s simple approach in concept and raw design have allowed it to stand out among the crowd—becoming one of the town’s leading hot spots without even trying.

Jon Mangini, owner of BASIC and veteran in the restaurant industry, wanted to contest the idea that bigger is always better. He challenged the “larger than life” mainstream bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter with a basic approach to all elements—from location and décor, to menu and music. Mangini wanted to do everything a little different from what was already going on in the thriving downtown social scene. No cover, no dress code—just great food, great drinks and great company.

Instead of seeking a prime spot in the Gaslamp Quarter sure to bring a crowd in based on proximity alone, Mangini was the first to take a risk on a new area of town, budging a few blocks down into the East Village. He envisioned turning the former warehouse district into the ultimate urban area with the BASIC concept. Now with 2008 approaching, the masses have followed his lead—making the East Village one of the hottest, up and coming areas of town.

With the design contributions by noted San Diego architect, Graham Downes, BASIC opened its doors to welcome trendsetters, urbanites, beatniks, ball fans and downtown partygoers. “Instead of being a passing fad, our concept is so simple that it can’t really go wrong or out of style,” Mangini says. “We wanted to have the ‘staying power’ to keep this place around as long as we can, as opposed to becoming that one place that used to be the ‘it’ spot in town.”

Mangini foresaw the shift happening in the Gaslamp nightlife scene. Restaurants and clubs were overdoing themes to be too trendy and flashy. “Now, I’m watching the big guys eat each other up,” Mangini says. “They’re competing with the biggest and the best with lines around down the street as the newest hot spot in town. I’m just the little guy in the corner who has a concept that I think people will like just as much, in a very different way.” Mangini even saw the fashion scene becoming more urban. People were throwing on their jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops to come to BASIC for an atmosphere that carried the reputation, but lacked the pretentious nature of other areas in town.

BASIC is one of the few spots downtown to offer late night dining, with a kitchen serving up thin crusted, brick oven New Haven pizza’s until 2 am. New guests and regulars alike indulge in everything from a traditional pepperoni pizza to signature toppings like fried eggplant, broccoli or mashed potatoes. The BASIC salad is the other contender on the menu: a sumptuous blend of mixed greens, sliced pears, candied walnuts, and gorgonzola served with a light vinaigrette.

About BASIC
BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar was opened in April, 2006 in San Diego’s East Village. The warehouse bar is located at 410 10th Avenue and is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30am-2am, and Sunday from noon to 2am. Bottle service is available by request and the venue is available for rent for private and public events. Please call (619) 531-8869 or visit www.barbasic.com for further information. The BASIC concept was founded by industry veteran, Jon Mangini. Mangini started in the service/restaurant industry on the East Coast with CB5 Restaurant Group. While with CB5 he served as a consultant for launching restaurants, and had the opportunity to come to San Diego to help launch the restaurant concept at The W Hotel in 2003, before branching off to open BASIC on his own.

Basic is consistently awarded for its excellence in menu and concept, including an honor for Design Excellence by San Diego Home and Garden Magazine; recognized as “BEST PIZZA in San Diego” by NBC’s Golden Local, a viewer-based contest voted on by the locals; and was selected as a “Silver Fork” award winner by San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, an exclusive award that is handed out to only the best in San Diego dining and cuisine. Basic has been featured in high profile media outlets such as The New York Times, MTV, The LA Times, 944, and Riviera Magazine. With the overwhelming success of Basic in the San Diego market, Jon has recently opened the doors to URBN Coal Fired Pizza in Vista, a casual-eatery spinoff of his flagship restaurant. URBN’s simplistic menu features the same authentic New Haven style thin-crust pizza and unique signature toppings. Please visit www.urbnpizza.com for more information.

*Courtesy photo and information

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Inland Tavern brings coastal flavors to San Marcos

Opening of New Eatery To Spur Inland North County’s Food Renaissance

Courtesy Rendering
Courtesy Rendering

Penny Lane successor, Inland Tavern, will bring coastal flavors to San Marcos with top chef, inventive cocktails, wide beer selection, good tunes and complete, modern renovation

Out with the old and sleepy, in with the new, hip and delicious. On Monday, Sept. 22, after 20 years of business, it’s cheerio to San Marcos’ Penny Lane Pub and Grill, the community hangout where college students and barstool warmers clinked glasses in merriment to assorted jukebox tunes amidst badass British paraphernalia. With Penny’s fond exit comes a grand entrance: the opening of Inland Tavern on Thursday, October 16th, a bold new eatery and IT spot with 20 beers on tap, craft cocktails, a wide wine selection and a tantalizing chef-driven international menu, poised to bring the unique flavors and flare of the coast to inland North County San Diego.

San Diego native Peter Zacarias, who helped open The W downtown, developed the notion of Inland Tavern with the eagerness of a 15 year-old boy at coed summer camp. The concept: a modern beach-away-from-beach culture for good food-starved inland dwellers. In May, the audacious drummer-turned-F&B guru teamed up with his pal, seasoned international chef Rob Conaway, for the task, and, voila! a hotspot destined to be the culinary heartbeat of San Marcos.

“Our goal is to create a place that has that great raw, rock coastal vibe with exceptional food and drinks,” said Zacarias. “International flavors, a modern interior, the right music: it’s kind of one big ball of fun.”

With Zacarias calling the shots and Executive Chef Conaway manning the kitch, Inland Tavern will be a contemporary ode to what Zacarias memorably calls the glorious beach scene of San Diego across the years — vintage tastes and tunes, with a twist: top-notch food inspired by Conaway’s international work and travels. Conaway ain’t no one-note chef.

“The menu will be in constant motion with new ingredients as I meet new artisans and new flavors at the whim of myself and my team,” Conaway said. “I like to be adventurous, but never to the extreme of disenfranchising the everyday person’s palate.”

The new Inland Tavern will cater to several different groups of people: quick service for daytime business folks who lunch; a non-stuffy dinner setting where Mom can get a glass of wine and Dad a brew while the kids nibble on an approachable, yet inventive menu; and big screen gaming and a lively bar for late night college folks.

But these are food guys, so don’t think the fare’s an afterthought; it’s central to the deeper philosophy and Conaway’s is this: food is about taste, absolutely, but dining should be a deeply social and cultural experience. Inland Tavern’s menu is a thrilling collision of cultures and flavors, staples and innovations. Even his vegetarian options are creatively conceived and passionately executed.

Sample menu items:

Small plates

  • Vietnamese Meatballs – Sauce “Bac My An,” Cilantro
  • Baja Chocolate Clams – House Tasso Ham, Concasse, Thai Basil
  • Shrimp Pomelo Escabeche

Salads

  • Watercress and Gigante Beans – Frisee, Orange Supremes, Parmesan, Sherry
    Vinaigrette
  • Kale Kobb – Smoked Chicken, Local Tomato, House Paneer, Egg, Avocado

“Goddess”Tacos

  • Short Rib Carne – Onion Soubise, BrusselsKraut and Crispy Shallots
  • Tempura Fish – Chili Jam, Asian Slaw, Pickled Red Onions

Sandwiches (served with hand-cut fries or salad)

  • Ginger Sesame Beef “Bahn Mi” – White Radish Carrot Salad, Cilantro
  • Grilled Vegetable “Reuben” – Local Veg, BrusselsKraut and Emmenthaler on Corn Rye
  • Avocado and Brie Torta ­ – Cucumber and Watercress, White Peach Blueberry Mostarda, House Mustard
  • Truffled Egg Salad – on Toasted Pain de Mie

Desserts

  • Feta Drop Donuts “a la Churros” ­- Cinnamon Sugar, Vanilla Dipping Sauce
    Fruit + Berries – Seasonal Berries, Minted Syrup, Lime Sorbet, Crumble

Above all else, Conaway, Zacarias and their rugged team are bringing flavors, concepts and personality not oft afforded to inland dwellers, from the daytime crowd (families, business folks and retirees) to the nocturnal college lot. When asked how they hope the community will view the new locale, the pair said, almost in unison, ”like home”.

About Inland Tavern

Bringing the freshest flavors of the California Coast to San Diego’s North County, the rugged team of food and beverage vets at Inland Tavern believes white linens are overrated and beer tastes better when you’re wearing boardshorts and flipflops. Delicious food, craft cocktails and good tunes are what you’ll find at Inland Tavern.

*Courtesy information

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Hotel del Coronado Names New Chef for 1500 OCEAN

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

Hotel del Coronado, California’s iconic luxury hotel by the sea, today has appointed Meredith Manee as its new Chef de Cuisine of 1500 OCEAN. Manee will oversee food and beverage operations for the signature restaurant and its adjacent Sunset Bar, leading a veteran staff of culinary professionals. With a classically trained background in fine dining and with Santa Barbara roots, Manee will utilize over 13 years of experience in the industry to provide the hotel’s global guests with the finest in California Coastal dining.

“We are excited to have Chef Manee bring her fresh perspective to the cornerstone restaurant of The Del,” said Andre Zotoff, Vice President and Hotel General Manager. “Meredith’s background in restaurants from Hawaii to Houston, Los Angeles to Denver, will allow her to incorporate eclectic inspirations to the seasonal culinary program of 1500 OCEAN.”

As a child, Manee spent hours in the kitchen learning her family’s traditional Italian flavors. Developing as a young chef, she added heat and spices from around the world to her repertoire, and plans to blend those flavors in unexpected ways with seasonal produce from local farmers, bringing new light to the California Coastal menu. She plans to utilize The Del’s on-site, beachfront herb garden year-round for growing the freshest garden-to-table flavors, and incorporate artisanal products from local purveyors to produce the highest quality of bespoke, uncomplicated dining that can be appreciated by all palates.

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Manee has worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for the duration of her career, where she consistently elevated the dining profiles amongst guests and local clientele at a variety of properties. In her most recent position, Manee served as the Executive Restaurant Chef of Edge Steak House at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver where she oversaw all culinary operations onsite including in-room dining, banquets and receptions, and pool and lounge operations, placing the hotel among the top three in the global Four Seasons portfolio. Additional Four Seasons properties include Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Four Seasons Resort Hawaii – Lanai at Manele Bay, Four Seasons Newport Beach and Four Seasons Resort – The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

Meredith Manee received her culinary education from the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu program. She will work under the direction of Hotel del Coronado Executive Chef John Shelton. For more information about 1500 OCEAN and Hotel del Coronado, visit hoteldel.com or Facebook. Follow @delcoronado on Twitter and Instagram.

*Courtesy information

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Visit Chef Paul McCabe at T. Cooks

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

At the heart of the resort, T. Cook’s culinary philosophy of magnifying the purity of fresh, seasonal ingredients is a celebration of its treasured legacy. For nearly two decades, T. Cook’s has garnered both local and national acclaim. This time-honored tradition lives through the vision of Executive Chef Paul McCabe.

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Chef McCabe’s culinary style can be summed up in three words – crafted, thoughtful and bold – which are all precisely in line with the Mediterranean principles of fresh, seasonal, local and ingredient-driven cooking.

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Explore the new T. Cook’s this season. Whether for a special, romantic occasion with a candlelit dinner on one of our two patios, complete with scenic Camelback Mountain views, inviting fireplaces and blooming bougainvillea; for socializing with friends inside T. Cook’s vibrant and colorful new dining room or glass-enclosed Wine and Tequila tasting room; or, for inviting colleagues to your next power lunch. All of this and more are currently on the menu at T. Cook’s restaurant this season, located in the heart of the Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Reserve your table at T. Cook’s on Open Table or by calling 602-808-0766

www.TCooksPhoenix.com 

*Courtesy information

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Josefas Cocina Mexicana Opens in La Jolla

Josefas Cocina MexicanaThe Eclectic Kitchen will serve up Contemporary Mexican Fare

Josefas Cocina Mexicana (@JosefasRestaurant), opened its doors today at 909 Prospect St., suite 209 in La Jolla. Inspired by the vibrant colors and bold flavors of Mexico, Josefas Cocina Mexicana is a fun representation of its culture. The Cocina features whimsical, contemporary and unique offerings, atop very Mexican elements, such as trajineras – a miniature version of the festive boats that gracefully float in the canals of Xochimilco, Mexico.

“We are excited to be in La Jolla and bring our culinary innovation to this beautiful city. This new concept is a treat for both us, and those who visit our eclectic kitchen. La Jolla locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy layers of flavorful, traditional Mexican dishes in a young, bright and casual atmosphere,” said Omar Ramirez, Executive Chef at Josefas Cocina Mexicana.

Featuring the work of artist, Alfredo Libre Garcia, Josefas Cocina Mexicana is approximately 5,800 square-feet and features blended indoor and outdoor seating in an embellished and stylish contemporary setting.

On the food side, the larger than life menu includes dishes like sopes, tostadas and quesadillas; a selection of salads, tacos ceviches, tortas and fajitas; as well as steak, chicken and seafood entrees like a mixed-grill chicken, cactus paddle, and ranch style chorizo served in a stone mortar. Desserts include flan de queso and homemade ice-cream, projected to soon be delivered right to your table in a unique paletero cart.

Josefas Cocina Mexicana will open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and will have a robust Happy Hour Menu. Taco Tuesday specials will go from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Patrons can expect a bevy of margaritas, local and imported beers, and creative cocktails. Regular restaurant hours are scheduled to be: Monday thru Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday thru Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Express lunch options will be available for pick-up from Monday thru Friday from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information on Josefas Cocina Mexicana, visit www.JosefasRestaurant.com or call 858-454-1961.

About Josefas Cocina Mexicana

Josefas Cocina Mexicana is a larger than life, eclectic and contemporary restaurant that serves authentic Mexican favorites. Located in La Jolla, California, Josefas Cocina Mexican offers traditional Mexican fare in a whimsical, playful and contemporary setting, while honoring the flavorful history of Mexican cuisine.

For more information, menu and hours for Josefas Cocina Mexicana, visit www.JosefasRestaurant.com or call 858-454-1961

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Starlite Celebrates 7th Anniversary

STARLITEGROUP

The owners and local indie music legends, Tim Mays (Casbah, Krakatoa) and Matt Hoyt (music video director and three-time winner at the San Diego Film Awards), have supported small farmers and purveyors the same way they’ve supported small bands and relatively unknown artists over the years—just part of the reason that the Starlite concept has found success since it opened doors in 2007. In addition to partnering with organizations such as The San Diego Music Foundation, Slow Food Urban San Diego, Olivewood Gardens, Wild Willow Farm and more for the week, their high-design, midcentury-modern inspired haunt will also break out a stash of Pappy Van Winkle for their anniversary celebrations, the extremely rare family reserve whisky, which has developed a cult-like following.

Over the years, local artists, off-duty chefs, music types and cool, in-the-know indie kids have filtered through Starlite’s hexagonal slatted tunnel-entryway to mingle underneath retro pendant lamps and industrial design features. With its convivial, and communal atmosphere, Starlite’s upstairs patio plays host to a cast of returning regulars, who come religiously every weekend for the much loved Sunday Brunch— as well as their daily changing special dishes which feature, farm-fresh and locally sourced produce.

In honor of this milestone, Starlite will host SEVEN DAYS of Anniversary Celebrations: MONDAY, SEPT 29th through SUNDAY OCTOBER 5th

Matt & Tim invite the community to filter through the hexagonal slatted tunnel-entryway to mingle and enjoy special $7 prices on menu offerings and classically made cocktails for seven days straight, including Kentucky Colonels and the famous ginger-brewed Starlite Mules that helped put the retro nightcap spot on the map.

Often regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world, Starlite was one of the first and only venues in San Diego to offer Pappy Van Winkle – the Family Reserve Whisky that’s high in demand and hard to find. For the die-hard bourbon aficionados, Pappy will be making a surprise appearance in San Diego during the celebration, as Starlite pulls from their personal stash to offer special pours of their Rye, 10 year, 12 year, 15 year, 20 year, 23 year (ranging from $16-$73 per pour) starting on Monday, September 29th at 7pm until it is gone.

Starlite will also offer seven evenings of giving back to local charities, donating a portion of proceeds of all sales to seven area charity partners.

STARLITE 7-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, SEVEN DAYS OF CHARITY SCHEDULE:

  • DAY 1- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29: SAN DIEGO MUSIC FOUNDATION (Beginning at 7pm)
  • DAY 2- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30: SLOW FOOD URBAN SAN DIEGO
  • DAY 3- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1: THE SAN DIEGO COOPERATIVE CHARTER SCHOOLS
  • DAY 4- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2: MUSEUM SCHOOL
  • DAY 5- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3: SAN DIEGO ROOTS: WILD WILLOW FARM
  • DAY 6- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4: MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO
  • DAY 7- SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5th: OLIVEWOOD GARDENS

Starlite is located at 3175 India Street and can be reached by calling: 619-358-9766, or by visiting: starlitesandiego.com.

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Sublime Ale House

courtesy image

Sublime Alehouse is a culinary establishment intent on creating the ultimate customer experience.  From the moment you walk through the door, you will smell the waft of fresh bread coming from our in house bakery, see the central bar with 56 taps of craft beer and small lot wines, and hear the buzz of customers exalting over their heavenly food and beverage choices.  You can peek over to the other tables and see flowering bouquets of truffled fries, piping hot pizzas, and glorious mounds of mac ‘n cheese, as customers imbibe on Belgian Strong Ales, local IPA’s, and Napa Valley Cabs.

The burgers are butchered and ground in house, served on house made bread, and served with such items as house cured bacon, local organic vegetables and homemade aiolis.  The pizza is made in the Old World style, for a perfectly light, yet crisp texture. The regular mac ‘n cheese has the perfect combination of sharp cheddar, buttery Monterey jack, and creamy béchamel sauce, topped with a perfectly crispy parmesan crust.

*Courtesy information

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Westgate Whiskey Pairing Dinner

WestgatWhiskeyPairingDinner

The Westgate Hotel invites you to an exclusive evening with renowned Master of Whiskey, Ed Adams. He will introduce you to the captivating flavors and aromas, history and folklore of the best whiskeys of the world in harmony with a five-course dinner specially created by Fabrice Hardel.

Friday, September 19, 2014
Le Fontainebleau Room
Whiskey cocktail Reception at 6:30 p.m.
Five-course pairing dinner at 7:00 p.m.
$99 (tax and gratuity additional)

Whiskeys featured are: Crown Royal XO, Oban 18 Single Malt, Talisker Storm Single Malt, Lagavulin 16 Single Malt and Baterhouse 20 years.

Click and buy your ticket today online
Click and discover our five-course menu
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Give me more BUNZ!

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

About BUNZ
Executive chef/owner Jeff Rossman specializes in burgers made with Certified Humane Meyer’s Natural Angus beef, buns from Bread & Cie and Sadie Rose (choose your own bun: sesame, brioche, whole wheat, ciabatta or protein-style), housemade condiments and locally grown produce from Suzie’s Organic Farm and other area growers whenever possible. Rossman is also executive chef/owner of Terra American Bistro and Terra Catering and Shalom Kosher Catering.

“Terra American Bistro is the restaurant of my dreams and Bunz is following suit,” said Rossman, who recently received the inaugural San Diego Grown 365 Award from the San Diego County Farm Bureau for his perseverance in supporting local growers and making locally grown food more accessible to the average person. “We’re bringing the beautiful, locally grown produce from farms likes of Suzie’s Organic – and humanely raised meats – to communities where those ingredients are sparse or non-existent. We’re making food we’re proud to serve our own children.”

Menu items include flat-top hot dogs, local craft beer, breakfast items, breakfast cocktails, shakes and a beer float made with caramel and Stone Smoked Porter. Bunz will also be the first restaurant in town to serve concretes, dense and delicious frozen shakes. In the ’50s, these shakes were handed to customers upside-down as a way to demonstrate their thickness.

Bunz replaced the Rossman family’s 31 year-old Pam Pam Cafe & Grill, attached to Hotel Circle’s Days Hotel. Jeff, who was not involved with Pam Pam, had long waited to convert the spot to a casual eatery where he could serve the same high-quality, locally and humanely sourced ingredients guests get at Terra.

All menu items are under $10.00.

Housemade Vegan Burger (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
South A D’ Border (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Strawberry Malt made from locally grown berries (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Brownie Sundae (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
*Courtesy information

Bunz on Urbanspoon

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Coronado Brewing Beer Dinner

Sessions PublicSpecial beer dinner on Thursday, September 18th at Point Loma’s Sessions Public. The Coronado Brewing Company Beer Dinner is priced at $45 and includes four delicious courses paired with Coronado brews.

Sessions Public: 4204 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 756-7715
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Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Even with the long waits for dinner, this charming neighborhood pizza joint does pizza the organic, sustainable, and local way. The pizza dough undergoes a three-day fermentation process, mozzarella cheese is stretched by hand daily, and the fennel sausage is made from sustainable Berkshire pork on-site. Read more about Blue Ribbon Pizza in my new book: ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego’.

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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Beach Grass Cafe, Solana Beach

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

You can dress up or come in flip-flops to this novel cafe with its white tablecloths in an informal setting. Guests who walk through these doors can expect a fabulous meal with friendly and personal service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are plenty of vegetarian options. Since this is one of the few places that dishes up pasta for breakfast, it’s a regular pit stop. The fried linguini scrambled with egg, tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh basil is sublime.

Read more about the Beach Grass Cafe in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego.

Beach Grass Cafe on Urbanspoon

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New Baja Wine Bar in South Bay

Zarco

Enjoy special Modern Mexican Cuisine from Chef/Owner Flor Franco to include ceviche, soups, salads and larger plates. Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine + Food will be organizing wine events as well as stocking a variety of wines from Baja, available by the glass.

Zarco on Urbanspoon

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Isola Pizza Bar

Sophisticated and modern, Isola Pizza Bar offers warm and friendly service to every guest whom walks in the door. Located in a tiny storefront in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy, the menu is a surprise that will leave you craving more for your next visit. Read more in the ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City’, now available for pre-order.

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
BURRATA MOZZARELLA WITH PARMA PROSCIUTTO: CREAMY BURRATA, VINE-RIPENED TOMATOES AND FRESH GENOVA BASIL PESTO (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
BURRATA MOZZARELLA WITH PARMA PROSCIUTTO: CREAMY BURRATA, VINE-RIPENED TOMATOES AND FRESH GENOVA BASIL PESTO (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
GAMBERETTI ALLA DIAVOLA: WOOD-FIRED SHRIMP, WHITE WINE, GARLIC, CAPERS, KALAMATA, CHILE AND TOMATO SERVED ON A BED OF POLENTA. (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
GAMBERETTI ALLA DIAVOLA: WOOD-FIRED SHRIMP, WHITE WINE, GARLIC, CAPERS, KALAMATA, CHILE AND TOMATO SERVED ON A BED OF POLENTA. (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
ARUGULA E PARMA: ARUGULA, PARMIGIANO REGGIANO, SHAVED CRIMINI MUSHROOMS AND LEMON DRESSING (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
ARUGULA E PARMA: ARUGULA, PARMIGIANO REGGIANO, SHAVED CRIMINI MUSHROOMS AND LEMON DRESSING (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
Bruschetta with Fresh Figs and Pistachios (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Bruschetta with Fresh Figs and Pistachios (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
MARGHERITA PIZZA WITH MOZZARELLA, TOMATO AND BASIL (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
MARGHERITA PIZZA WITH MOZZARELLA, TOMATO AND BASIL (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)
Fegatini de Polo Alla Toscana: Organic Chicken Liver, Capers, Crispy Pancetta and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Fegatini de Polo Alla Toscana: Organic Chicken Liver, Capers, Crispy Pancetta and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Caramel and Chocolate Budino (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Caramel and Chocolate Budino (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

ISOLA PIZZA BAR
1526 INDIA STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
(619) 255-4230
www.isolapizzabar.com 

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Eat Local at La Valencia

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Chef Montejano’s Vegan Spreads (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Executive Chef James Montejano returns to his hometown of San Diego, taking on the role of executive chef at the historical oceanfront landmark location of La Valencia Hotel where he caters to The MED and the new street-facing Cafe La Rue bistro.

A classically trained French chef, Montejano attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He worked at Aqua restaurant under renowned chef restaurateurs George Morrone and Michael Mina. “These chefs are my mentors,” he says. “They taught me the art of cuisine, how to utilize the products at hand, and keep dishes simple, but unique.”

At the restaurants at La Valencia, Montejano says he’s all about the local cuisine, utilizing organic and sustainable products in the kitchen. He likes to take ideas from different cultures and infuse them in the foods he makes to create a seasonal and eclectic California cuisine with a Mediterranean feel. “We celebrate the past while adapting to the needs of today’s visitor,” he says.

Montejano’s advice to up and coming chefs is to work hard, work fast, follow directions and have a culinary diary of what you make and what you do. “File your recipes and photograph your food!”

*Written by MDM
Lobster Gazpacho (Photo courtesy of Maria Desiderata Montana)
Lobster Gazpacho (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Summer Stone Fruit Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Scallop Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana
Maine Scallops (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana
Miso Chilean Sea Bass (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

About La Valencia Hotel: Owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels – a division of Pacifica Companies – La V features 112 completely renovated guest rooms and villas overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options at La V have all been enhanced with the hotel’s recent $10 million “reimagining” and include THE MED, a signature ocean facing restaurant and terrace featuring New American Cuisine, with the adjoining La Sala Lounge and the brand new street facing European bistro, Café La Rue. Ocean view banquet rooms accommodate 10 to 175 guests and the property includes terraced gardens, heated pool & spa, fitness room and business center. La V is located in the center of the Village of La Jolla and steps away to premier retail and dining.

Renowned leisure destinations are minutes away and include the La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, Scripps Ocean Institute, the Birch Aquarium as well as UCSD / La Jolla Playhouse and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.

*Courtesy information

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Pop-Up Dinner in North Park

Pop-UpsLet’s Go Clandestino (local culinary tour company) celebrates its first anniversary with a special dinner in North Park. Founder Angel Miron is bringing chef Roberto Alcocer (Malva, Tahal) up from the Valle de Guadalupe. Enjoy wine, craft cocktails and Baja craft beer, featuring a collaboration beer made for Let’s Go Clandestino by Monkey Paw and Ensenada’s Cerveceria Wendlandt.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH
5-7 COCKTAIL HOUR
7-9 FIVE COURSE DINNER BY ROBERTO ALCOCER
9-11 DJ PESO

NORTH PARK
3211 HERMAN AVE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92104
(Cross street is Thorn)

BUY TICKETS

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Ceviche Throwdown

cevicheJoin the culinary action as eight chefs compete for glory in Fat Fish Cantinagrill’s first annual Ceviche Throwdown. Enjoy unlimited ceviche and cast a vote for your favorite while sipping complimentary drinks (Milagro Tequila and Pacifico Cervezas, 5-6 PM — hosted bar provided by PacificSD).

This indoor/outdoor events/">event by the beach features live Latin beats from Cantua, and an appearance by Energy 103.7 morning show host Dorothy Tran, and a couple hundred really cool people having a blast by the beach.

Enjoy ceviche from Competing restaurants:

Baja Beach Cafe
Cafe Secret 
Ceviche House 
Duck Dive 
Old Town Mexican Cafe 
PB Alehouse 
PB Fish Shop
Prospect Bar & Grill  

Fat Fish Cantinagrill’s full food and drink menus will available. Limited complimentary parking in Fat Fish parking lot. Tickets will be $20 at the door

BUY TICKETS

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San Diego Festival of Beer

San Diego Festival of BeerThis year’s Festival will be held at a brand new location on the Broadway Pier. The indoor/outdoor events/">event will feature live music and nearly 60 different breweries serving up 120 varieties of tasty brews.

Inside the San Diego Festival of Beer, will be food items and munchies for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Each ticket includes admission into the events/">event, 10 (4 oz) beer tastes and the first 1,500 guests receive a free souvenir events/">event logo tasting mug that is theirs to use throughout the evening and to keep when they go home. Additional tastes may be purchased inside the events/">event.

Did you know the Festival is a cancer-fighting fundraiser?  Yep, it is! And it’s raised over $555,000 to date!!

The San Diego Festival of Beer is a fundraiser staffed by volunteers with all proceeds benefiting local cancer charities. The San Diego Festival of Beer is the largest fundraiser of San Diego Professionals Against Cancer, a group of local business professionals, who in 1993, decided to throw a new kind of fundraiser.  At the time, San Diego’s local beer scene was only just beginning and there were no other beer festivals in town. The newly reformed group asked some of their friends at local breweries to donate some beer and around 700 people showed up downtown at the Embarcadero to drink delicious craft beers for a great cause. Needless to say, the idea was a good one.

The festival has grown every year since, and now draws around 4,000 beer loving San Diegans. It takes an army of 300 amazing volunteers to run the events/">event. To date, over half a million dollars has been raised and donated to local charities like Rady Children’s Hospital and Cancer Angels.

PURCHASE TICKETS

 *Courtesy information
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