Visit Lucy Restaurant at Bardessono

Lucy Restaurant at Bardessono

Onsite Garden at Bardessono (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Executive Chef Victor Scargle of Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono in Yountville, Napa Valley, says he feels fortunate enough to live and work in one of the best places in the world for food and wine. “We’re able to produce, grow, and source amazing ingredients year round from both our on-site garden and other amazing local purveyors. My passion for these high quality, locally sourced ingredients is the driving force behind our menu.”

During an apprenticeship at Red Lion Resort in Florida, Scargle says he found a mentor in Executive Chef Brian Bird who encouraged him to travel east to work with chefs in Miami and New York, including Patria, Gramercy Tavern, Tribeca Grill, Park Avenue Café and East Hampton Point with Chef Gerry Hayden.

Lucy Restaurant at Bardessono

Freshly Dug Carrot Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

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Healthy Eating at Tender Greens

Healthy Eating at Tender Greens

Roasted Roma Tomato Soup (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Considered a “fast-casual organic restaurant,” Tender Greens is a great place to experience slow food at an affordable price. A significant hallmark for Tender Greens is its established partnerships with local ranchers and purveyors, as well as a handful of small local farms that use sustainable farming practices. Popular favorites include the Happy Vegan Salad, roasted Roma tomato soup and herb-brushed albacore. Tender Greens has several locations in the Southern California region, with plenty of tasteful and nutritious meals available for dining in or taking home.

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WineSellar and Brasserie

In a modest location on a corner in Sorrento Mesa, Gary Parker, owner of the WineSellar and Brasserie, encourages diners to loosen their ties in his cozy and comfortable restaurant, offering artful plates boasting innovative California French cooking par excellence.

WineSellar and Brasserie

Lobster Tartine BLT (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Not only is the service impeccable and precise at this long time eatery, Parker has built the menu around homemade, seasonal, and locally grown ingredients, offering a unique spin on American classics. A small kitchen is proof that ingredients can only be stored and used fresh daily. The only thing that is not made at the restaurant is the bread, which comes from St. Tropez Bakery.

The Lobster Tartine BLT, richly tastes of avocado butter paired with apple wood smoked bacon, melted leeks, roasted tomatoes and garlic aioli. On the advice of Parker, we savored Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2008 with this dish. “This is a good one,” says Parker. “It’s oaky, ripe, and meant for early consumption.”

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Organic Fresh Pasta In Little Italy

Organic Fresh Pasta In Little Italy

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Known for their fresh homemade pasta, Bencotto Italian Kitchen and its “little brother” restaurant next door, Monello, have made a big change this year. Both restaurants are saying arrivederci to normal pasta as they announce they will only be serving organic pasta. After extensive research and taste testing, owners Valentina and Guido selected a supplier in Parma, Italy which offers a large selection of organic flours, certified among the best in the world.

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Caroline’s Seaside Cafe

Caroline's Seaside Cafe

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Given the wide array of stunning locations to dine in San Diego, it’s nearly impossible to find a new venue tucked away from the typical tourist hotspots. There are many choices in this beautiful city, with whitewater vistas and orange sunsets every day of the week. With a kaleidoscope of cuisines representing most corners of the world, it can be somewhat of a challenge at times to find a simple menu that still provides healthy and fresh choices.

Unexpectedly nestled on the water’s edge of the UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography Seaside Forum, Caroline’s Seaside Cafe fits the bill. The restaurant is another winning concept from local culinary guru Giuseppe Ciuffa, who also owns the Museum Café located in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Sculpture Court Cafe located adjacent to The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, and his own tremendously successful Fine Catering business.

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New Chef At Balboa Bay Resort

Balboa Bay Resort is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Haggstrom to executive chef of the luxurious Newport Beach resort. Haggstrom has been serving as the property’s chef de cuisine since October 2013.  

New Chef At Balboa Bay ResortIn her new role, Haggstrom will oversee the resort’s dining restaurants, including Waterline Newport Beach, the resort’s signature bay front seafood restaurant and A&O Kitchen+Bar, the resort’s waterfront gastropub. Haggstrom will also manage the resort’s day-to-day culinary operations, including special events, galas and weddings.

“Rachel has been instrumental in spearheading the development and implementation of the resort’s culinary programs,” said Sam El-Rabaa, general manager of Balboa Bay Resort. “Her depth of knowledge and extraordinary experience, both at five star resorts and elite culinary destinations, make her the ideal candidate to lead us to new culinary heights.”

Balboa Bay Resort was previously under the culinary direction of executive chef Vincent Lesage, who is now the executive chef at the resort’s sister Meritage Collection property, Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA.

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Visit The Rancho Bernardo Inn

Visit The Rancho Bernardo InnSummertime is in full swing and Rancho Bernardo Inn is making the most of the season, with a full lineup of fun! Locals are invited to relax and enjoy San Diego’s signature sunny weather with all of the resorts amenities. Below, you will find the new and exciting summer happenings making a splash at Rancho Bernardo Inn!

Foodie Fun: (click here for specific details)

AVANT:

  • Culinary Spotlight: Enjoy exclusive off-the-menu creations every night at AVANT. From the fresh catch of the day to a unique dessert made in limited supply, you never know what our culinary team is serving up. Offerings change regularly. Ask your server for details.
  • AVANT Tableside Tastings: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month, from 6:30 – 8pm, enjoy light bites & sips from our local partnering vineyards and breweries, $25.

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International Picnic Day

International Picnic DayEnjoy some of the best weather this country has to offer and head outdoors June 18th to celebrate International Picnic Day! Instead of packing your own basket, let some of your favorite San Diego restaurants do the work. Check out these hotspots for take-out options that are perfect for a picnic!

In the heart of downtown San Diego, Le Parfait Paris is just steps away from Seaport Village. Order French-style paninis, baguette sandwiches, exquisite desserts, and coffees to go and strut right over for a picnic at the harbor. Downtown waterside picnic spots include the Children’s Park, Embarcadero Marina Park South, and Embarcadero Marina Park North.

For those looking for something healthy for International Picnic Day, find your way to the closest Fig Tree Café; the three Fig Tree branches in PB, Hillcrest and Liberty Station are located near some of San Diego’s best parks and beaches. Call in advance to order favorite menu items such as the Gluten-Free Portobello Panini, Shrimp & Mango Salad, or breakfast items like Stuffed French Toast with mascarpone cheese, mangos and strawberries before heading over to Kate Sessions in PB, Balboa Park or before finding a grassy spot in Liberty Station.

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Mustangs and Burros at Estancia

Mustangs and Burros at Estancia

Ahi Tower (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Mustangs and Burros at Estancia La Jolla marries deep tradition with modern sensibility

Accommodating an equestrian estate and training facility in the mid-1900s, the current property honors original Spanish architecture and furnishings of early-California life.  Wood-beamed ceilings, adobe walls and wrought-iron fixtures are prominent throughout the estate.  This hotel is certified green and is committed to saving the environment though extensive practices to lower its carbon footprint.

Thoughts of your stressful day dissolve quickly as you stroll along the winding paths filled with Southern California vegetation and dimly-lit candles.  It isn’t difficult to locate the signature dining destination, as voices and laughter rise through the air, generated by happy patrons warming themselves in front of the adobe fire pit outside, or cozy fireplace in the dining room.  Enter Mustangs & Burros, the warm and vibrant culinary centerpiece of Estancia, boasting finesse and beauty as well as an inspired menu by Executive Chef Kim Kramer.

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New Drinks at Draft Mission Beach

Just in time for the warmer months, Draft Mission Beach has launched their newest lineup of refreshing libations for those looking to imbibe on something invigorating this summer!

New Drinks at Draft Mission Beach

Paloma’s Travels:  Clean, crisp and refreshing, Paloma’s Travels delightfully blends Fortaleza Reposado Tequila, fresh lime, agave, egg white, fresh Serrano pepper, grapefruit bitters and Illusive Traveler Grapefruit Ale.

Island Lush:  Take a sip out of paradise with Draft’s Island Lush. Made with Bulldog Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, fresh lime, simple syrup and kiwi puree, this tropical cocktail will be the most affordable vacation you’ve ever had.

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Spirit Society Cocktail Education

Spirit Society Cocktail Education

photo credit: Let’s Frolic Together

Celebrated barkeep Erick Castro kicks off the second season of his highly lauded cocktail education series, Spirit Society, at Normal Heights’ Polite Provisions on Monday, June 22nd (with classes lined up until October). Back by popular demand, the Spirit Society wowed up-and-coming cocktail enthusiasts with its educational, hands-on learning experience into the elusive world of gin, whiskey, tequila, mezcal & more.

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Humphreys Chef of the Year

Shelter Island Chef Receives Chef of the Year Award, Announces New Summer Menus

Humphreys Chef of the Year

Food, drinks get reimagined for the summer on the iconic property

Local harborside legend Humphreys Restaurant, seated on Shelter Island with a killer view of the marina, has declared itself summer ready.  With a stunning revamped food menu by Executive Chef Paul Murphy, freshly awarded 2015 Chef of the Year by the California Restaurant Association’s San Diego Chapter, and Pastry Chef Helen Coyne. With an elevated cocktail menu by mixologist and bartending veteran David Nepone, Humphreys Restaurant and Backstage Live are greeting summer with lighter and refreshed modern global flavors.

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Pacific Beach Shore Club Special

Pacific Beach Shore Club Special

Pacific Beach Shore club partners with The Wingman Foundation for the month of June to help provide immediate post-mishap support for the Navy and Marine Corps Aviation community and their families

Planning on heading out to Pacific Beach this month for summertime fun? Pacific Beach Shore Club is offering a special this month that gives you the chance to step off the beach and use that summer partying to help raise money for a good cause!

Through the end of June, Shore Club is having a promotional drink special to help raise money for The Wingman Foundation. Guests can help the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom just by drinking a beer and taking a shot!

For just $10, you can purchase a pint of Pacifico with a shot of Cazadores Tequila or Jack Fire Whiskey and Shore Club will donate $1 of that purchase towards The Wingman Foundation. The Wingman Foundation was started in 2014, with the mission of honoring fallen airmen and providing aid to the affected families through post-mishap assistance and scholarships for dependents left behind.  

So head out to Shore Club this month, find a seat inside or on the new deck, and raise a glass in honor of those who sacrificed themselves for our freedom!

Best Places to Eat Nachos

Best Places to Eat Nachos

Mission Nachos from Sandbar Sports Bar and Grill

Baseball season is in full swing and that means it’s time to indulge in some of your favorite ballpark food! Whether you’re enjoying a game in the park or from your favorite bar, nachos are the best go-to plate to compliment your ice-cold beer.  Next time you’re looking for your cheesy fix, stray away from the average cheese and jalapeño plate and head to one of these San Diego hotspots with na-cho average nacho dishes!

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Fun Fair Food Favorites

Fair Food Favorites

Atomic Poppers at Brazen BBQ

Beginning as an agricultural fair in the 1880’s, the San Diego County Fair has become a summer staple for locals and tourists alike. A main attraction at the fair includes the 100+ food vendors and unique fair foods many visitors crave. However, as attendance has soared to record breaking numbers in recent years, we thought it was only fair (no pun intended) to provide a foodie guide as an alternative way for you to enjoy those one-of-a-kind fair food favorites without waiting in line for hours.

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Wine and Roses Charity Event

Wine And RosesDon’t Miss Our Favorite Event of The Year!

Wine and Roses Charity Wine Tasting at The Grand Del Mar Hotel on June 7th, 2015


The 32nd annual Wine and Roses Charity Wine Tasting will make a lavish return to the luxurious location of The Grand Del Mar Hotel this spring for this year’s can’t-miss charitable event. The fundraiser, put on by the Social Service Auxiliary of San Diego and the San Diego International Wine Competition, will be held from 3-6 pm on Sunday, June 7. All proceeds will benefit youth summer camp, Camp Oliver, located in Descanso, Calif. This ticketed event is open to the public, and prices begin at $100 for general admission, $150 and $250 for VIP admission, and $2,200 for a VIP Table.

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A Taste of Southern Home Cooking

A Taste of Southern Home Cooking

Seafood Poboy at Pillbox

Nothing is better for the soul than a Southern home-cooked meal.  Traditional Southern dishes are the perfect comfort food to remind us of “Momma’s home cooking.”  Although San Diego may be far from The South, you don’t have to travel all the way to Alabama to get your favorite home-cooked Southern fare.  Stop in at these five San Diego restaurants to enjoy some home-style Southern comfort.

Start off your lazy Sunday with a full belly and a content food coma.  Head to Backyard Kitchen & Tap in Pacific Beach for a home-style brunch.  Try the classic Chicken & Waffles – crispy fried, boneless, organic free range chicken breast and thigh, served on a cornmeal waffle with honey maple syrup.  If you’re looking for something that provides a little more comfort, check out the Backyard Biscuits and Gravy, consisting of two eggs any style served with buttermilk biscuits and topped with homemade sausage gravy.  Can’t choose between the two?  Get the best of both worlds and order the Backyard Chicken, Biscuit & Gravy.

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Fun Music and Dance

Music and DanceDIVE Music is back in downtown, San Diego, this Saturday for a special show celebrating those who simply want to feel the music and dance!

Put on those dapper threads and join DIVE Music at Union Kitchen & Tap in the Gaslamp this Saturday, June 6th, as they play your favorite beats with a speakeasy flair. Expect to see the usual swanky players you know and love such as DJ ALA, Mikeytown, and Omar Paraiso; all joined by special guest Wally Callerio of Dufflebag, LA. Music and Dance

This 1920’s themed party will start at 9:00 p.m. June 6th, and won’t stop until the lights turn on at 2:00 a.m. RSVP to skip the cover and head on over to the Union’s prohibition style Cask Room for this House Music rendezvous full of your favorite DJ’s and Great Gatsby era swank! Music and Dance, Music and Dance

Union Kitchen & Tap can be found at 333 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 9210, in the heart of the Gaslamp.

Mister A’s Commemorates 50 years

San Diego’s Most Iconic Restaurant to Host Series of Celebrations Throughout 2015

Mister A's

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Mister A’s

For 50 years Mister A’s, the iconic penthouse restaurant in Bankers Hill now owned by restaurateur Bertrand Hug, has been a landmark of fine dining for San Diegans and visitors alike. To celebrate a half century of success, Mister A’s has unveiled a new logo, featuring the classic styling and red hue of its famous sign and website, and will host a series of celebrations throughout the year.

“I am honored to own one of the most recognizable restaurants in San Diego and humbled by the incredible support diners have shown since I bought the restaurant in 1999,” said Bertrand Hug. “Our staff has worked hard to honor the standards set by original owner, John Alessio, who put the ‘A’ in Mister A’s so many years ago.  The restaurant has been the site of thousands of memorable moments during the past 50 years and we knew that a one night celebration just wouldn’t do.”

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