Hangover Brunches in San Diego

Hangover BrunchesHangover Brunches

Celebrate National Bloody Mary Day and start off 2015 right in North Park with West Coast Tavern’s Skyy Vodka Bloody Mary Bar. Build your bloody Mary with favorite toppings and hot sauces and grub on West Coast favorites like the famous Tavern Chicken ‘N Waffles and Loaded Breakfast Potatoes. Brunch starts at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day!

Encinitas’ Lumberyard Tavern has North County covered for Bloody Mary Day. Order a $3 Bloody Mary or the $5 Habanero Bloody those wanting a little extra spice) to help cure any side effects from the night before. Open at 9 a.m., complement your bloody of choice with breakfast items such as corned beef hash and crab benedict.

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San Diego Chef’s Table Wins

san diego chef's table

(Courtesy image)

San Diego Chef’s Table won first prize for Best Published Lifestyle Book/Cooking and Home at the San Diego Book Awards (June, 2014).

San Diego is a vivacious and active food community whose eating habits are unpretentious yet familiar, conspicuous yet simple.  Famous for supporting a health-conscious lifestyle, with an abundant supply of fresh and organic products at their fingertips, the attitude of the chefs and diners alike is friendly and laid-back. From celebrity top chefs and James Beard Award Winners to experienced chefs who simply just love to cook, priding themselves on being eco-conscious, using only sustainable meats and seafood, the restaurants in San Diego are quickly becoming enchanting places, suitable for even the most discerning of palates. The the colorful California modern cuisine will tempt your taste buds with fusions of imaginative textures and flavors. With recipes for the home cook from over 60 of the city’s most celebrated restaurants and showcasing around full-color photos featuring mouth-watering dishes, famous chefs, and lots of local flavor, San Diego Chef’s Table is the ultimate gift and keepsake cookbook.

  • Title: San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City
  • Author: Maria Desiderata Montana
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages

Purchase at Amazon with the popular selling Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego

Timeless French Bubbly

French BubblyFrench Bubbly

As most French bubbly is very traditional when it comes to branding, packaging and flavor profile, Le Grand Courtâge, a new gold-medal winning French sparkling wine, provides a dry, crisp, yet fruit forward with very balanced flavors. french bubbly

In addition to delighting the palate, this beautiful wine offers a timeless, yet contemporary eye-catching packaging. An innovative sparkler, Le Grand Courtâge offers a French elegance and cachet combined with an American appeal and price point.

21st-Martini21st MARTINI Recipe

  • 2 1/2 oz rum
  • 2 oz Guava juice
  • 2 oz Fresh Pressed Sugar Cane Juice
  • Champagne

Shake rum, guava juice and sugar cane juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the mixture into a guava sugar-rimmed martini glass. Top off tableside with a twirl of champagne.

This fruity drink is perfect for a night out.  It’s refreshing with its guava juice, and its presentation makes it even more appealing.  Make it at home, or ask the bartender!

Source: Cocktail Times

Truffled-Popcorn-Truffled Popcorn Recipe

A delectable easy snack or perfect for a movie night. The flavors of this popcorn will excite your taste buds, and paired with champagne the aromas will really pop.

  • 2 Tbls black truffle butter
  • 5 sprigs thyme (remove from stems)
  • 2 Tbls coconut oil (or any high heat oil)
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Fine sea salt
  1. Get out a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid to pop your popcorn.
  2. In a small skillet melt truffle butter with the fresh thyme and set aside.
  3. In heavy bottomed pot heat oil with two or three popcorn kernels, reduce heat to medium, add remaining popcorn kernels and place lid on top, leaving it slightly ajar.
  4. Occasionally shake the pot until the popping slows.
  5. Continue to shake until most kernels have popped and you can’t hear any at the bottom! (This should take about 3 – 5 minutes).
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle the truffle butter, grated parmesan cheese, and salt. (SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE).
  7. Pour a nice glass of champagne, and snack away.

Source: Gourmande in the Kitchen

Our New Years Eve 2014 Roundup

New Years Eve 2014Whether you’re looking to dance, dine or drink your way into 2015, make this New Years Eve 2014 one to remember with tons of great choices in America’s Finest City!

With a menu that stands out as a cut above the rest, treat yourself and a special someone to the ultimate lux New Years dining experience at Coronado’s chic new steakhouse. Enjoy a 4-course dinner designed by Executive Chef Tim Kolanko for $99 per person, with optional custom wine pairings courtesy of Beverage Director Greg Majors for an additional charge ($75 or $125) — topped off with a complimentary glass of Billecart Salmon Champagne to toast 2015! (Please visit opentable.com, or call 619.522.0077 to secure reservations)

See and be seen this New Year’s Eve at Little Italy’s swankiest, seaworthy restaurant, Ironside Fish & Oyster! As a playful nod to the restaurant’s nautical theme, Executive Chef Jason McLeod has put together a Titanic-inspired evening. Ironside will be encouraging guests to get dolled up and celebrate in style as Ironside invokes the spirit of the 20’s. This New Year’s Eve gala will be one to remember!

2 pre-fixe dinner seatings:

* 1st Seating | 3-course dinner, reservations available from 5pm-6pm, $65 per person
* 2nd Seating | 4-course dinner, reservations available from 9pm-10pm, $95 per person, includes midnight champagne toast

Reservations currently available by calling the restaurant at 619-269-3033 or by emailing brittany@ironsidefishandoyster.com.

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Urban Plates Del Mar

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Urban Plates is dedicated to providing guests with foods made from scratch using high quality natural and organic ingredients where it makes sense for their customers—-all at prices that won’t break the bank!

(Photo by Maria Desidertata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Urban Plates spent a great deal of time over the last few years trying to find restaurants that conveniently provide food and service that are consistent with the way we should be eating and feeding our families. They spent the better part of two years touring restaurants around the country to see who was doing food right. While many fast casual restaurants had bits and pieces right, none had evolved into the right solution that fits our lifestyles. So they took the best of what they observed, coupled with decades of their combined experience in the food industry and absolute passion for high quality food grown in a sustainable fashion, and created Urban Plates.

Urban Plates Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mexican Recipes at Romesco

Mexican Recipes

Tostada’s (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Opened in 2006 and located in San Diego’s Bonita neighborhood, Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro is part of a legendary group of family-owned restaurants, including Villa Saverios, Casa Plascencia, Caesar’s Restaurant and Giuseppi’s located in Tijuana, along with Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada. The Plascencia family offers an old-world ambiance at this hidden gem boasting a traditional wooden bar and black-and-white bistro floors.

Recipes utilizing Mediterranean techniques continue to delight food critics, locals and out-of-towners. “We opened Romesco so that our friends and family could enjoy Mediterranean-style dishes featuring the distinct flavors of Baja cuisine that we love here in San Diego,” says Executive Chef Javier Plascencia. The Tapas Bar offers a lively, casual space with an extensive happy hour menu. Favorites include Caesar’s Piquillos Rellenos De Salmon, stuffed sweet piquillo peppers topped with mango basil vinaigrette, and specialty drinks like the acclaimed Tamarindo Martini. (romescomexmed.com)

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

Romesco Baja Med Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Latin Cuisine at Indigo Grill

San Diego Food FindsOpening more than a decade ago under the direction of Chef Deborah Scott, Indigo Grill has earned a reputation as one of the city’s most recognized and celebrated dining landmarks. Now, Scott and the Cohn Restaurant Group are pleased to present an entirely fresh interpretation of the acclaimed restaurant, complete with a vibrant new look and diverse menu showcasing clever twists on modern Latin cuisine.

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12 Day Series at Karl Strauss

Karl Strauss Karl Strauss Brewing “12 Day” Holiday Series

Karl Strauss Brewing offers an eclectic collection of high alcohol, cellar-friendly beers that celebrate the season with a San Diego twist on the classic tune. Like the series itself, each annual release bucks tradition in favor of flavors that are at once familiar but uniquely KARL. Pour one for friends and stow one for years to come; these 12 limited releases are brewed to age with the best of em’.

Karl Strauss Brewing Company is a regional craft brewery based in San Diego, California

About Karl Stauss

Founded in 1989, it was the first brewery to open in San Diego in more than 50 years. Today, Karl Strauss is the 39th largest craft brewer in the United States, and one of the fastest growing craft brands in the Western Region – all with sole distribution in the Golden State. Karl Strauss brews more than 30 different styles of beer at its 60-barrel Main Brewery in San Diego’s Pacific Beach, and seven satellite Brewery Restau rants across Southern California. Beer offerings in clude perennial favorites like the multi-award-win-ning Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA, as well as innovative special releases in Karl’s Coastal Reserve Series and Imperial Collection.

As San Diego’s craft beer pioneer, Karl Strauss Brewing Company proudly serves more than 3,000 local businesses in California, including bars, restaurants, retail stores, hotels, airports, and theme parks. From grocery chains like Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons to its “Beer Truck” at Disney’s California Adventure, California craft beer-fans are always within reach of a Karl Strauss beer.

*Courtesy information

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza

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 Artisan Pizza in my new book: ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego’.

Food Lovers' Guide To San DiegoThe Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego was reprinted in 2014 and highlights the best restaurants, markets & local culinary offerings.

The ultimate guides to the food scene in their respective states or regions, these books provide the inside scoop on the best places to find, enjoy, and celebrate local culinary offerings. Engagingly written by local authorities, they are a one stop for residents and visitors alike to find producers and purveyors of tasty local specialties, as well as a rich array of other, indispensable food-related information including:

  • Favorite restaurants and landmark eateries
  • Farmers markets and farm stands
  • Specialty food shops, markets and products
  • Food festivals and culinary events
  • Places to pick your own produce
  • Recipes from top local chefs
  • The best cafes, taverns, wineries, and brewpubs

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Diamonds are Forever

NewYear'sEvePartyDiamonds are Forever

The Black Tie CEO Club is hosting a Black Tie optional New Years party at the elegant and sophisticated Westin Emerald Plaza at 400 W Broadway, in support of abused dogs. There is no advertising, and no auctions at this event. It’s all about NYE and being transported to Monaco for an evening, minus the airfare and hotel costs!

Enjoy casino (blackjack, roulette, and craps), dancing, aerial acrobatics, a, an Italian buffet, free drinks 11-12, a champagne toast, a balloon drop, door prizes, great people, and much more. Please dress to impress, and guests are encouraged to wear gold and flaunt your diamonds. Be ready to mingle with incredible people (as you have known from our previous events) and don’t worry about coming alone – they will play the NewlyMet Game – everyone has to ask everyone a theme question (what is your favorite NYE to date and why, with prizes) to ensure everyone will make new friends, and ring in the 2015 year in a way that they will never forget. No one is ever alone!

VIP Tickets include a private area that is cordoned off. You will have an unobstructed view of the aerial show. You have an upgraded buffet meal right beside you, your own bar and priority check-in.

About the menu

Caesar Salad
Caprese Salad
Antipasto with salami, capicola, pepperoni, mortadella
Provolone, Kalamata olives, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini
Chicken Marsala
Pesto Primavera
Italian green beans with pancetta and almonds
Tiramisu, cannolis, amaretto cheesecake
Starbucks coffee rolled out @ 12:00am
and for VIPs:

Caesar Salad
Caprese Salad
Antipasto with salami, capicola, pepperoni, mortadella
Provolone, Kalamata olives, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini
*Sliced Beef Tri Tip, Wild Mushroom Demi
*Local Fresh Black Gil Snapper Black Olive Tomato Relish
Chicken Marsala
Pesto Primavera
Italian green beans with pancetta and almonds
Tiramisu, cannolis, amaretto cheesecake
Starbucks coffee rolled out @ 12:00am
*Chocolate covered strawberries served table side with midnight champagne toast

As always with Black Tie CEO Club events, 100% of the profits support abused and abandoned dogs.


Italian Cannoli Recipe

Italian Cannoli Recipe

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Italian Cannoli Recipe

Cannoli are a Christmas tradition in my Italian family. However, sometimes we just can’t wait until the holidays to devour this crispy, cookie-like shell stuffed with a creamy ricotta cheese filling. The amaretto flavoring makes this cannoli a truly irresistible delight that the whole family will enjoy.

Italian Cannoli with Bing Cherries and Pistachios

Serves 8

2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 orange, juiced
1 orange, zested
1 tablespoon amaretto
¼ cup chocolate chips, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios, finely chopped
¼ cup dried Bing cherries, finely chopped
8 store-bought cannoli shells
8 maraschino cherries, halved
Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients (except shells, maraschino cherries and powdered sugar) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to let flavors set. Fill cannoli shells right before serving. Spoon the cannoli filling into a pastry bag with an open tip and stuff cannoli shells. Garnish each end with ½ of a maraschino cherry. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.

sandiegofoodfinds.com*This recipe by Maria Desiderata Montana appears in her new book: San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond.


Experience The Curious Fork Concept

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.

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Christmas Day Dinner in San Diego

No Apron Required! Check out the following 20 San Diego restaurants that make holiday gatherings easy.

Christmas Day Dinner

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Celebrate Christmas Day Dinner

On the ninth floor of Hotel Indigo, Level 9 Rooftop Bar offers views of Petco Park and the Gaslamp District. Sip on a cocktail made with house-infused Clementine vodka with blood oranges, green apple and cranberries. At street-level sits Table 509, perfect for groups and families. The menu is seasonal and locally inspired with influences from surrounding Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Don’t miss Table 509’s Baja Fish Taco’s where the fish changes daily depending on what is fresh and local.

Boasting historic San Diego charm and contemporary cuisine, West Coast Tavern in North Park offers pork belly sliders topped with house-made garlic aioli, five spiced jidori chicken wings drizzled in sauces or one-of-a-kind baked white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese. With patio or indoor seating, an extensive drink menu and phenomenal food, West Coast Tavern makes party planning easy. With patio or indoor seating available to reserve, an extensive drink menu to accompany the phenomenal food, planning your event will be a breeze at West Coast.

When you’ve got the group to decide and Chinese it is, head to Wang’s North Park for total Asian fusion in the heart of North Park. The restaurant offers gluten-free options and accommodates both small and large groups. The landmark J.C. Penney building has been transformed into a sprawling space with a steel bonsai tree sculpture at the epicenter of the bar embodying the traditional core and contemporary twists of each dish Wang’s North Park offers. The semi-private dining room on the second floor mezzanine overlooks the restaurant and can accommodate 100 guests with customized menus available.

If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro will be happy to provide it for you on the Ortega’s second floor veranda or the indoor bar/cantina area. San Diego sunshine rules on their the patio where traditional Baja cuisine is served. Ortega’s famous Baja-style grilled lobster dinner, attentive service and lovingly prepared side dishes will have your friends and family feeling right at home.

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Spike Africa’s Charts New Course


San Diegan’s can navigate their way downtown to 4th Avenue and Broadway to the Spike Africa’s Fresh Fish Grill & Bar. Named after the legendary sailor, Spike Africa, the fresh seafood restaurant incorporates modern aspects of the bustling city with classic and historical elements to create an environment that is both uplifting and familiar. Guests can expect quality food and exemplary service coupled with a comfortable, sociable setting that make Spike Africa’s a place to gather for power lunches with colleagues or unwind with friends and family.

Spike Africa’s is named after the free spirited and revered schooner boat captain, Spike Africa. Stories of this enigmatic seafarer are told in virtually every port on the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego, describing him as “President of the Pacific Ocean.” Spike is best known for his adventurous voyage with the actor Sterling Hayden and their families ending in Tahiti in 1958, and chronicled in Hayden’s classic Sea Novel “The Wanderer.” As a “Seabee” Lieutenant in WWII, Spike fought in the bloody battle of Peleliu Island as depicted in the HBO mini-series “Pacific.” The restaurant Spike Africa’s pays homage to the memory of a true sailor, the mystique surrounding his adventurous life, and the love he had for the ocean. An inviting place that mirrors the attributes of Spike himself, Spike Africa’s is a place for friends, great times and good food.

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The Air Conditioned Lounge

Just in time for the holidays, The Air Conditioned Lounge has recently renovated their VIP room from floor to ceiling.

The Air Conditioned Lounge

courtesy photo

The Air Conditioned Lounge

The Air Conditioned Lounge has disco balls hanging from the ceiling and a LED touch-activated dance floor, just like a Michael Jackson music video. This legendary bar and nightclub known for great music and service has also revamped its private room with a personal craft beer tap. Think 70s mod meets 80s dance party. The perfect intimate setting for Christmas and New Year’s parties, the option to order bottle service assures that guests never have to leave the party to order their cocktail of choice. The Air Conditioned Lounge is open seven nights a week, with live DJs spinning the hottest beats every night.

The Air Conditioned Loung

courtesy photo

Air Conditioned Lounge can be found at 4673 30th Street in the fun and upcoming University Heights neighborhood. Alternative Strategies

12 Days of Counterpoint

This season, Golden Hill neighborhood gem Counterpoint is getting into the seasonal spirit with the launch of its inaugural 12 Days of Christmas.

courtesy photos

12 Days of Counterpoint

No turtle doves or partridge in a pear tree, just a dozen different stuffed culinary creations from Executive Chef Rose Peyron. Peyron has crafted 12 unique dishes that will be served at the restaurant beginning this Saturday, December 13th and running through the 24th with highlights including a chile relleno, pop tart, ravioli and baked apple. Other stuffed dishes include pierogi, soup dumplings and steamed buns.

Prices will vary each night. While you’re there don’t miss out on Counterpoint’s The Lookout Tower cocktail – made with whiskey, honey, lemon and Douglas Fir Tips tea – it’s the perfect seasonal cocktail to warm up any chilly winter night!

Culinarian of the Year


Culinarian of the Year

San Diego Business Owner Ira Falk of International Treescapes Recognized for his Contributions to San Diego’s Hospitality Industry

On November 20th, 2014, The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival awarded Ira Falk the organization’s coveted “Culinarian of the Year” Award during the 11th annual food and wine classic. The award is given annually to one individual who has made significant contributions to scholarship growth of San Diego’s culinary, hospitality and enology students, said San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival co-producer Michelle Metter.

“To say Ira has made an impact in San Diego’s hospitality scene would be an understatement,” added Metter. “From providing fundraising for scholarship through hosted events, donations, and beyond, Ira and his wife Melissa have truly vested their time and resources into the future of our city’s hospitality professionals.”

The Culinarian of the Year Award is given annually during the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s Wine Spectator Celebrity Chef Dinner and Big Bottle Live Auction, which raises funds for scholarships to be awarded by the American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) and Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. A long time contributor to these scholarships, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs member, and former Baillage of the San Diego Chapter, Ira was selected by a judging panel consisting of wine and food festival co-producers Michelle Metter and Ken Loyst as well as past Culinarian of the Year Award Winners Steve Pagano, Manager of the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef of the Marine Room.

The 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival held November 16-23, raised a combined $50,000 in both the silent and live auctions for scholarships to be awarded in 2015. To date, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has raised more than $350,000 in scholarships for the AIWF and Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

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California Lottery Foodie Experience

Ever Eaten at a World Famous Michelin Star Restaurant? The California Lottery is Offering You the Ultimate Foodie Experience!

Beginning January 5th, 2015 the Lottery will begin its Ultimate Foodie Experience promotion that can only whet your appetite. The lucky winner will receive an 18-course tasting menu at the world renowned THE FRENCH LAUNDRY restaurant in the Napa Valley! This dining event for two starts off with a bottle of champagne. Then enjoy Chef/Owner Thomas Keller’s amazing meal paired with wines selected by THE FRENCH LAUNDRY Sommeliers.

Food aficionados are well aware that THE FRENCH LAUNDRY is a three-star Michelin Guide restaurant and it is considered one of the top 50 gourmet restaurants in the world.

“We’re pleased to give California Lottery players a chance to taste what it’s all about. Throughout our history, the California Lottery has offered our players a variety of prizes that gives them additional opportunities to win big,” said Russ Lopez, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications. “What better way to celebrate California, our farm-to-fork movement and one of the world’s best restaurants than to offer them the ultimate THE FRENCH LAUNDRY experience. If you love food, then buy a ticket, take a chance and join the ultimate ‘foodie’ club!’”

Starting January 5, participants must purchase the Lottery’s Emerald 10’s Scratchers® ticket (image below). Our (hopefully) hungry customers will then have to take a photo of themselves clearly showing off the Emerald 10’s Scratchers ticket. They must send us that photo with the best caption they’ve even written telling us who they’d share this exceptional dinner with and why. The caption must not exceed 500 characters (not words). Don’t worry, our submission form will not let you go over 500 characters! It’s that easy! Sorry creative people, the photo cannot be Photoshopped! All the final details of this exciting promotion will be unveiled at or around Jan. 1.

Hold on! If that isn’t enough to make you run out and buy an Emerald 10’s Scratchers ticket, consider that we’re throwing in a two-night stay at a Napa Valley spa and resort! You’ll be picked up from the hotel by one of THE FRENCH LAUNDRY’S custom BMW cars, and Chef Keller will wind up your night with a special personal gift!

THE FRENCH LAUNDRY is considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and has earned top honors in the prestigious Michelin Guide book. Michelin has been awarding 0-3 stars to restaurants around the world since the early 1900s, with a three-star rating considered the ultimate international recognition in the culinary world.


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Muzita Bistro on Good Food America

good food america

courtesy photo

Local San Diego restaurant, Muzita Bistro will be featured on Good Food America, the healthy food travel show which airs nationally on Z Living TV (formerly Veria Living), the TV network that showcases healthy lifestyle and wellness programming.

The segment featuring Muzita Bistro will air Sunday, December 28 at 6:00PM/PT. Host, Chef Danny Boome visits the San Diego-based Abyssinian bistro (located at 4651 Park Blvd.) to sample some of the restaurant’s popular menu offerings including Azifah FitFit: Cool lentils with injera, rice and house made toasted flax seed vinaigrette dressing. Danny will also sample Dorho Kilwa: Sauteed boneless chicken breast, white wine, house herb blend, tesmi, and serrano chili.

The Emmy®-nominated Good Food America takes viewers on a culinary adventure across America in search of the nation’s best healthy restaurants. Follow Danny on his gastronomic journey each Sunday night as he discovers regional gems, native ingredients and the homegrown talent that keeps locals coming back for more. This season, the series will make stops everywhere from Maine to California.

Danny is an internationally-acclaimed TV personality and chef. He is known to audiences for his culinary work and dynamic personality on such shows as Recipe Rehab (ABC Daytime) and Food Network Canada/The Cooking Channel’s Donut Showdown.

*Courtesy information Lipping Group

National Pizza Week Fundraiser

National Pizza WeekURBN Restaurants Inc. owner and founder, Jon Mangini, is kicking off 2015 by giving back to FOUR deserving San Diego charities through his “ROLL THE DOUGH, TO RAISE THE DOUGH” initiative.

National Pizza Week

In honor of National Pizza Week, from January 5th through January 10th, $1 from every pizza purchased at BASIC in East Village and it’s spin-off eateries URBN Coal Fired Pizza in North Park, El Cajon and Vista will directly benefit a non-profit that each restaurant feels passionately about.


 BASIC urban kitchen + bar |YWCA
◦ The largest and oldest women’s organization in the United States, the YWCA is a non-profit organization helping women, children and families break the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness, and achieve self-sufficiency. To find out more about this organization please visit ywcasandiego.org.

URBN North Park | North Park Main Street Association
◦ North Park Main Street is a private non-profit organization charged with the revitalization of the North Park Business Improvement District, North Park’s Downtown and the historic heart of the community. To find out more about this organization please visit northparkmainstreet.com.

URBN Vista | Solutions For Change
◦ Solutions for Change is a housing provider for homeless children and their parents in North San Diego County that provides housing, support services, educational and employment opportunities to residents. To find out more about this organization please visit solutionsforchange.org.

URBN St. Brewing Co. | St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center
◦ St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential through nationally recognized innovative programs. To find out more about this organization please visit: stmsc.org

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Top 5 Tailgating Picks


Chicken Wings (Courtesy photo)

Iowa Meat Farms & Siesel’s Meats, dishes out their top five picks for the GOURMET GRILLER– promising to make your tailgate spread the most talked about grub at the game!

Wings Gone Wild
Besides being the ultimate finger food, chicken wings are a staple for any self-respecting football spread. Iowa Meat Farms & Siesel’s have you covered with their abundance of flavor selections including Hot & Spicy, Sweet & Sour, Korean Style, Bourbon Dijon, and Black Pepper. Pre-seasoned and ready to grill, pop these babies right on the BBQ for instant success!


INSIDER TIP! Be sure to turn the chicken wings every few minutes until the meat is not pink in the center. This will usually take about 16 to 18 minutes total. You’ll know the wings are close to being done when you see bubbles forming underneath the skin.

Pinwheels (Courtesy photo)

Colorful & packed with flavor, these delicious easy-to-grill nuggets make for great shared appetizers and are guaranteed to be devoured by adults and children alike. Siesel’s carries a killer flank steak pinwheel rolled up with provolone cheese, prosciutto and spinach….are you hungry yet?

INSIDER TIP! Turn your sliced flank steak pinwheels after two to four minutes on med high heat for a med rare finish, but be careful not to dislodge the stuffing! For sliced pinwheels, you may want to use a spatula for turning.

Handcrafted Housemade Sausages & Brats: Nix the prepackaged weenies and grab a handful of IMF & Siesel’s authentic sausages and brats for the grill, made in house fresh by the meat masters themselves! Both stores make a mean mouthwatering Polish sausage, bratwurst, Italian sausages, bourbon sausage, chorizo, Cajun sausage, and the popular fan favorite, chicken and sun-dried tomato basil.

Bratwurst (Courtesy photo)

INSIDER TIP! Siesel’s and Iowa Meat Farms recommends pairing brats and sausages with artisanal mustards to enhance the flavor. Butcher’s picks? Champagne Garlic and Hong Kong Habanero mustards from Sono Trading company. Also available for sale at both store location.

Fresh Turducken
While raising eyebrows, the Turducken has begun to take the gourmet tailgating world by storm! In honor of legendary coach John Madden’s fixation with the de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck stuffed into a de-boned turkey, it’s safe to say that the Turducken reigns as the king of all tailgating grub. Luckily for you, IMF & Siesel’s offers San Diego’s only fresh, farm-quality Turducken made exclusively behind the counter in their specialty meat locker. IMF & Siesel’s can whip up one of their fresh Turduckens given four days notice, or you can easily pick up a frozen bird in-store on a whim!

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Make it One Stop at Aventine La Jolla

Aventine La Jolla

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Aventine La Jolla is an 11-acre upscale lifestyle and business complex that is home to the AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency hotel, an 11-story LEED Platinum Certified office building, Truluck’s, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Cafe Japengo, The Melting Pot and state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, The Sporting Club. Built in 1990 by renowned architect Michael Graves, the Aventine boasts a post-modern design inspired by Italian silhouettes. Situated in the “Golden Triangle” between the I-5 and I-805 on La Jolla Village Drive, the Aventine enjoys a central location easily accessible to La Jolla, UTC and downtown San Diego. For more information, visit www.aventine.com or socialize with them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Nutribullet Ginger Blast


photo courtesy of www.nutriliving.com

Nutribullet Ginger Blast

Correct indigestion with this ginger Blast, which contains pain-killing and anti-nausea compounds perfect for an upset stomach.

The recipe also contains pear, packed with fiber and cinnamon and nutmeg, which not only help ring in the holidays with festive flavors, but help calm stomach pain, relieve insomnia and boost mood – three holiday culprits that can ruin your celebration!

Ginger Blast


½ Tall Cup Butter Lettuce
½ Banana
1 Pear
½ inch Ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
Water to MAX LINE

Recipe courtesy of Nutriliving.

sandiegochef'stablebymariadesideratamontanaWant more recipes? San Diego is a vivacious and active food community whose eating habits are unpretentious yet familiar, conspicuous yet simple. Famous for supporting a health-conscious lifestyle, with an abundant supply of fresh and organic products at their fingertips, the attitude of the chefs and diners alike is friendly and laid-back. From kitchen celebrities and James Beard recognized chefs, to those who simply just love to cook, priding themselves on being eco-conscious, using only sustainable meats and seafood, the restaurants in San Diego are quickly becoming enchanting places, suitable for even the most discerning of palates. The colorful California modern cuisine will tempt your taste buds with fusions of imaginative textures and flavors. With recipes for the home cook from over 60 of the city’s most celebrated restaurants and showcasing around full-color photos featuring mouth-watering dishes, famous chefs, and lots of local flavor, San Diego Chef’s Table is the ultimate gift and keepsake cookbook.

Dynamic Sidebar San Diego

Sidebar San Diego

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Sidebar San Diego

Sidebar San Diego offers an intelligent combination of both ultra-lounge and nightclub, providing a dynamic aesthetic with classic sex appeal.

A mismatched array of leather booths and velvet couches lend themselves to be both lounge seating and bottle service tables. A cluster of maroon birdcages dangle from the lofted ceiling above the front lounge. The caged theme continues to the focal point of the club; a life-size birdcage that houses the DJ and doubles as a stage for go-go’s to climb in and tease the high-energy dancing crowd that gathers below.

A custom-designed ambient lighting package provides just the right mood for any given event while the unique collection of erotic paintings and decor provide subtle distractions. Side Bar offers an experience that is both stimulating and suggestive, depending upon where you are standing. sidebar san diego


JUICE SAVES in East Village

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Juice Saves

Wash away the sins of last night’s revelry with a healthy juice shot on January 1st! Lindsay Nader and the Juice Saves truck will be outside Underbelly II in North Park on Thursday, January 1st from 10am onwards with free juice samples, and a selection of blends for sale. Take advantage of some great discounts on Linday’s signature line of cleanses, or when purchased together, get 20% off her Bad Decisions Package – The Hangover & Aloe Vera Wang. You can also stop by JUICE SAVES in the East Village & pick up a delicious detox treat at the same discounted price!

* The Juice Saves New Year Special includes 10% off a 1-day cleanse, 15% off the first day of a 3-day cleanse and 20% off the first day of a 5-day cleanse.
* Please visit godblessjuice.com, or call 619.255.2653 for more details.

San Diego hottest cold-press juicery, Juice Saves, will be doing a pop up shop at UnderBelly II in North Park on New Year’s Day, where they’ll be offering hydrating juice shots and deals on their “Bad Decisions Package” to help you recover after the big night.

JUICE’s cold-pressed blends are extracted through a state-of-the-art, California manufactured hydraulic press that administers 14 tons of pressure, first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Blended for balance and nutrition, Operating Partner Lindsay Nader’s creations are cold-pressed daily to preserve essential vitamins, nutrients and enzymes, while producing a nutritionally sound, raw, unpasteurized product. Fueling CH Projects’ hyper-local credo, the juice bar’s offerings are 100% natural, with fruits and vegetables sourced from local purveyors who share in their sustainable practices. Fresh, all natural citrus juices are the foundation for CH’s nationally respected cocktail programs at Polite Provisions, Craft & Commerce and Noble Experiment—in addition to providing cold-pressed juice to the public, the shop will serve as a commissary of sorts, providing fresh product daily to CH’s restaurants and bars.

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