Searsucker Tequila Dinner

Searsucker Tequila DinnerIn honor of the Dia De Los Muertos holiday, Searsucker Del Mar is offering a special one-night-only event on Thursday, November 5 with Tequila Fortaleza. Enjoy a five-course dinner featuring dishes from Executive Chef Brian Malarkey’s widely-loved Searsucker specially paired with tequila’s from the 140-year-old brand Tequila Fortaleza. The first and last courses will be paired with tequila-based cocktails, while the second, third and fourth courses will be pared with Fortaleza specialty tequilas.  

The dinner will begin in the private dining room with a social reception-style ceviche table as the first course.  Diners will then move to the outdoor patio to commence the seated portion of the dinner.  

Dia de los Muertos Dinner with Tequila Fortaleza

Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 6:30PM

Price: $55 a person (please note this does not include tax or gratuity)

Reservations: Must be made by calling the restaurant directly at (858) 369-5700

Menu: Five-course tequila pairing menu. Full menu below (excluding tequila pairings).

Ceviche Table

hiramasa, scallops + shrimp

Head on Grilled Prawn Escabeche

chili + mojo + zanahorias

Confit Pork Belly

achiote + charred pineapple ash

Dry Rubbed Fillet

potato puree + smoked pepper demi + bloomsdale


ancho chocolate + crema

Searsucker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Race For The Cure

Race For The CureSusan G. Komen Race for the Cure Slated for November 1

San Diego’s largest 5K and 1 mile walk/run raises critical funds to provide women free services to fight breast cancer 

Susan G. Komen San Diego announces the 19th Annual Race for the Cure for Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 in Balboa Park. The 5K and 1 mile walk/run raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates survivors and honors those who have lost their battle. Proceeds from the event will go toward Komen San Diego, the County’s largest provider of free breast cancer treatments, services and support.

When San Diegans participate, their donations go directly to help breast cancer patients in San Diego County, as well as toward research grants internationally. With $1 million invested this year alone, Komen San Diego continues to be the County’s largest provider of free breast cancer treatments, services and support.

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New Madison Restaurant


The new Madison Restaurant and Bar will bring upscale dining, modern design, curated music, and creative cocktails to San Diego’s Park Boulevard this December.

“We look forward to introducing Madison to the University Heights neighborhood,” said Madison Managing Partner Jeffrey Fink, also owner of M-Theory Music and managing partner of FLUXX nightclub. “Located right on Park Boulevard and offering a menu with options for any occasion, Madison will be the type of place you can enjoy a beer with a friend one night, and go on a dinner date the next.” 

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San Diego Beer Week Events

San Diego Beer Week EventsWith a city filled year round with sunshine and top-notch brews, it’s time to celebrate at some great San Diego hot spots!

Thursday, November 5

Kick off San Diego Beer Week ’15 with the Boulevard Brewing Company at Neighborhood. This East Village beer mecca is brining in Kansas City’s sudsy darlings Boulevard Brewing Co. to kick off a week’s worth of hoppy festivities. Boulevard will be bringing with them some speciality brews that rarely make it down to America’s Finest City, including the Funky Pumpkin, Deep Dive Wet Hop Ale, and a Cigar City Tropical Pale Ale collaboration beer. The first barstool fillers will receive a commemorative pint glass, go head down early and get the celebration started in hop-heavy style!

URBN Brewing | Pizza Port Keep the Pint Night

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Fast Affordable Tender Greens


The acclaimed California restaurant group known for its fast, affordable, fine-dining fare, opened its 19th location at The Village at Westfield Topanga on October 21st, 2015 and will open its 20th location at Torrance’s Village Del Amo on November 6, 2015

Tender Greens, California’s innovative, chef-driven, fine-casual dining concept, is pleased to announce the opening of its 19th restaurant location in Woodland Hills at The Village at Westfield Topanga, followed closely by its 20th location opening in Torrance, Calif.

Named one of the “10 Best Chain Restaurants in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler, Tender Greens serves inspired food with friendly service and great value in a comfortable space. The executive chefs at each location focus on the use of fresh, sustainable ingredients through partnerships with local farmers, allowing the restaurant to provide fine dining quality dishes to their ever-growing fan base at an affordable price point.

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Halloween Happy Hour

San Diego Food FindsNo tricks, just treats this Halloween at BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant and Bleu Bohème.

BANKERS HILL is offering an extended “Hallow-Hour” happy hour special and a terrifying new cocktail, the Beast of Bourbon, available now until Saturday, Oct. 31. Created by bar manager Kris Rizzato, the Beast of Bourbon is made with Rittenhouse Rye, bourbon, Grand Poppy Liqueur, Alessio Vermouth and whiskey bitters, garnished with a lemon twist.

“Hallow-Hour” will extend happy hour for one hour, and making it from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The final hour will apply to Halloween-themed drinks, only, including the Beast of Bourbon, priced at $10; Alesmith Evil Dead Red, priced at $7; and Almanac Pumpkin Sour, priced at $17. Hocus Pocus Syrah will also be available for $1 off per glass and $5 off the bottle.

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Rustic Wine Pairing Dinner

In celebration of the beautiful Autumn weather, wine aficionados and food lovers alike can rejoice with The Patio on Goldfinch’s wine dinner featuring warm and inviting fall-focused cuisine. The Patio will serve a sampling of unrefined and simple dishes, all hand prepared with old-fashion techniques and ingredients, including a Grilled Apple Bruschetta, Seared Scallop Carpaccio, Braised Veal Osso Buco and Confit Pork Belly with butternut squash-mascarpone puree, sage brown butter, calabrian chili, toasted pecans and roasted brussels sprouts. The warm and inviting meal is topped off with a delectable Pear Bread Pudding with caramel, candied pistachio and fig gelato. Additionally, each course is paired with hand-selected wine ranging from a 2014 Falanghina, to a rich 2013 Cotes De Provence. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased here

Rustic specialty wine pairing dinner at The Patio on Goldfinch will take place on Tuesday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m.San Diego Food Finds

The Patio on Goldfinch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Focus On The Brew Project

The Brew Project Patio

San Diego’s newest restaurant concept, The Brew Project, opens its doors on October 26!

It’s no secret that San Diego is the mecca of the craft beer industry, and with The Brew Project’s concept offering “A San Diego Brewery Tour Under One Roof,” San Diegan’s can now enjoy the largest selection of all of their local favorites in one location!

Owners Mike Sill and Beau Schmitt developed this Hillcrest neighborhood bar and eatery with 24 rotating micro-brews on tap that focus only on regional beer brands. Beer connoisseurs can expect a draft list featuring well-known and up-and-coming breweries throughout the county. They will also be serving spirits from nearby distilleries and a robust wine selection. If you can’t stay for dinner and drinks, you can purchase beer and wine to-go at the Bottle Shop, located inside the restaurant.

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Chocolate Lovers Rejoice

Don’t miss out on National Chocolate Day on October 28th when you have an excuse to indulge on one of your guiltiest pleasures. It’s time for all you chocolate fanatics to come out and celebrate your new favorite holiday at these San Diego restaurants.

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice

If you live near Hillcrest and enjoy southern style cuisine, then swing by Brazen BBQ where dishes are served with a unique twist. Dig into the Pig Candy Brownie, a rich bacon-infused chocolate brownie topped with icy vanilla ice cream and chopped pig candy. Looking for something more classic? Enjoy Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk just like you remember it.

For those of you who love authentic French pastries, San Diego’s newest sweetshop offers a variety of chocolaty treats that will send your taste buds to heaven. Treat yourself at Le Parfait Paris and try the Éclair Au Chocolat (Chocolate Custard Filled Choux), a finger shaped biscuit filled with a delicious chocolate cream and topped with chocolate icing. Are you a chocolate fanatic? Order the Trilogie, a light brownie drenched in notorious Cacao Barry chocolate and sublimely layered into a dark, milk and white chocolate mix of mousses.

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Italian Meatball Soup Recipe

Italian Meatball Soup Recipe

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Soup with a bite: Italian meatball soup recipe is family-favorite comfort food

My Italian upbringing meant “meatballs in the house” — meatballs covered with marinara, fried meatballs, baked meatballs, meatball sandwiches, you name it. I thought making meatballs had been explored at every angle imaginable, until I discovered my mom’s meatball soup.

Italian meatball soup is comforting, delicious and easy to prepare

Back in the day, when I came home from school, a pot of simmering goodness was often waiting for me. Smelling the aroma of fresh garlic, I remember lifting up the large lid off the soup pot and seeing little meatballs floating about in a sea of greens and bright orange carrot slices. It was even more special than traditional meatballs covered with sauce, because it was a fun way to eat soup.

A tad earthy and all-around comforting, delicious, and a bit unexpected, this is one of the best soup recipes from my mother’s kitchen. It’s easy to prepare in just one pot, the ingredients are affordable, and it’s ideal for lunch or dinner now that fall is in the air.

Your family will love it so much that you’ll want to make it often.

Italian Meatball Soup With Organic Mixed Greens

Makes 8 servings

  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces organic mixed greens and spinach salad mix, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese, for garnish

1. Pour chicken broth into a large sauce pot and set aside.

2. Rinse and drain the mixed greens, set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine ground beef, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and eggs. With your hands, incorporate all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4. Roll meat mixture into meatballs, as big or as little as you like. Place meatballs on a large plate.

5. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat just a bit and carefully drop meatballs in, one at a time.

6. Add mixed greens, carrots and olive oil. Cover and let soup simmer until greens are wilted and meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

7. Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Garnish with grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.

*This story by Maria Desiderata Montana first appeared in the U-T San Diego

Italian Meatball Soup RecipeGet more of my Italian recipes in my newest book San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond

As ethnic neighborhoods in other cities assimilate to American life, the exuberant local flavor of San Diego’s Little Italy remains both culturally and culinarily distinct. Tucked between Interstate 5 and San Diego Bay southeast of San Diego International Airport, the blocks surrounding the landmark Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church contain many of the most notable eateries and gourmet cafés in “America’s Finest City.” Join Maria Desiderata Montana, a daughter of that Italian heritage and one of the city’s most notable food writers, on this savory tour through the zesty Italian food traditions, businesses and recipes both in Little Italy and across San Diego.

San Diego Goes Pink

San Diego Goes PinkIn celebration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, San Diego’s finest hotels and restaurants are going pink! From poker events to specialty cocktails, this is the perfect way to support the cause as proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Cancer Society.

The Patio on Goldfinch | Mission Hills, CA 

A neighborhood favorite, The Patio on Goldfinch is a cozy, unique and fun place to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hand crafted by in-house mixologists, the Pink Margarita is the perfect balance of sweet and salty, topped off with a splash of pink grenadine in celebration of the holiday. Locals can also stop by Goldfinch’s sister restaurant The Patio on Lamont to sip another pink cocktail, the Pretty in Pink. A refreshing concoction of muddled cucumber, fresh mint and lime pomegranate syrup and vodka. A portion of proceeds for each cocktail sold will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and anyone wearing pink can sip on either cocktail at half price! 

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Cardamom Cafe and Bakery

A Loving Dose of Sweetness at Cardamom Cafe and Bakery in North Park

I stopped by a quaint and cozy bakery in North Park one Sunday morning and caught a strong whiff of the sweet spice known as cardamom floating through the air. “I simply adore the cardamom spice and I use it in many of our baked items, especially my cinnamon rolls” said chef/owner Joanne Sherif.

It was years of cooking and baking at home that inspired Sherif to come up with a tasty food concept at this smartly designed, low-key neighborhood spot. “Owning my own bakery is a dream come true for me,” she said. “I am one of those crazy people who loves to make others happy with good food and comfortable surroundings.”

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Fast Service at Barrio Star

Fast Service at Barrio StarBankers Hill’s favorite place for modern Mexican soul food is getting bolder!  

For the first time in five years, Barrio Star, the beloved brightly-colored restaurant at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Nutmeg Street, will be introducing a fast-service concept that will revolutionize the already lively establishment.

The renovations come at a time when busy San Diegans’ appetites are more frequently seeking food that is both nutritious and easily accessible. Barrio Star will be closing on Sunday, October 18th at 3:00 p.m. for a makeover that will include an easy-to-order counter, updated menu and large garage doors that will open the restaurant up to the bustle of Balboa Park and the Bankers Hill community. On Thursday, October 22nd, Barrio Star will re-open to the public with their new counter-service design to better accommodate patrons for brunch, lunch and dinner.

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How Sweet It Is San Diego

san diego food finds

French Macaron’s at Sirena Latin Gourmet Restaurant (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Come enjoy one-of-a-kind desserts and celebrate National Dessert Day October 14th at these eight San Diego restaurants.

If your wish is to finish a hearty, Southern meal with a sugar-coated dessert, head to Brazen BBQ in Hillcrest. Order the Pig Candy Brownie infused with bacon and topped with creamy vanilla ice cream. Thinking of something more traditional? The Peach Cobbler will take you back to your grandma’s kitchen with its rich pastry lining stuffed with refreshing peaches.

How Sweet It Is San DiegoLooking for a laidback place to relax and enjoy a refreshing dessert on the beachfront? The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach offers a variety of sweet endings to enjoy, including their Cheesecake Jar-fait layered in fresh strawberries and blueberry jam. Additional indulgences include the Chocolate Lava Cake drenched in warm chocolate with a soft, fudge-filled center and The Tableside S’mores for two or four.

Do you enjoy rich Mexican sweets fused with a twist of San Diego influence? Romesco offers Tijuana’s Border Churros prepared with a dulce leche dip and ice cream on the side. In the mood for something fruity? Try the Seasonal Berry Crepes filled with berry preserves and topped with homemade berry sauce and fresh cream.

Authentic French pastries are waiting to be tasted at Gaslamp’s boulangerie, Le Parfait Paris. This sweetshop offers customers a variety of hand-made French delicacies created by oh-so-French executive chef, Jean Francois Fays. Enjoy the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich prepared with a soft, crunchy exterior and a creamy vanilla center. Or savor the taste of the Tarte Aux Fruits topped with seasonal, hand-picked fruits over an almond-flavored pastry crust.

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Mimosas And Football

Sundays are synonymous with American football…and mimosas! Touchdown with endless football spirit and champagne drinking by visiting any of these San Diego restaurants that serve bottomless mimosas while you cheer on your favorite team.

Mimosas And Football

Have you ever been to a mimosa bar? Now’s the time! The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach has its very own mimosa bar where you can craft your champagne drink with specialty purées and fresh fruit. Enjoy bottomless mimosas every Saturday and Sunday for just $15, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Grab some brunch while you’re catching your favorite college or NFL team play. A crowd favorite, The Duck, Duck, Eggs! made with two poached eggs covered in hollandaise sauce, served on top of a seared duck breast with a side of house potatoes, pairs well with the endless libations.

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Artfully Crafted At Counterpoint

Counterpoint Announces Addition of Notable New Executive Chef Fred Keller

Artfully Crafted At Counterpoint

Roughly six years after Counterpoint opened doors on the hill, the restaurant is ushering in a new chapter with the addition of accomplished Chef Fred Keller. 

A native of New Orleans, Keller relocated to San Diego at a young age.  While his family took a strong interest in the art of cooking, it wasn’t until he accepted a position at Coronado’s Bistro d’ Asia that he got his first real taste of the restaurant industry.  After graduating from Coronado High School, Keller packed his bags and moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.  After fine-tuning his culinary acumen, Keller accepted an externship at the oldest restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand.  From there, it was time for new horizons in the states at Napa Valley’s (now-closed) Michelin-starred restaurant, Martini House.  After honing his craft and training under numerous well-respected chefs, Keller took to the seas of the Caribbean as a private chef on a yacht.  Ready to come back to the U.S. but not quite wanting to settle back in San Diego, Keller then moved to the culinary hotbed of Chicago where he began working at the highly acclaimed Roka Akor before moving back to San Diego to join the team at Counterpoint.

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Veggiegrill UTC La Jolla

All Hail Kale (Photo by MAria Desiderata Montana)

All Hail Kale Salad (Photo by MAria Desiderata Montana)

Veggiegrill’s menu features a satisfying and energizing variety of hot sandwiches and burgers, entrée salads, homestyle plates, daily soups and housemade desserts made from hearty “veggie-proteins” and wholesome ingredients. With 16 locations in California, Oregon and Washington, Veggie Grill renders the impossible possible: 100-percent plant-based food that is convenient, affordable and craveable.

San Diego UTC
4353 La Jolla Village Drive #H28, La Jolla, CA 92122 | map
Daily 11am to 9pm | 858.458.0031

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Dine Out Against DV

Dine Out Against Domestic Violence on October 21st.

Dine Out Against Domestic Violence San Diego

Hosted by Karina’s Group with South Bay Community Services

On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Karina’s Group will donate 15% of proceeds from their San Diego County restaurants to support services and programs for victims of domestic violence (DV). Dine Out Against DV is the first of its kind in San Diego and will offer an opportunity for community to join together to honor survivors of domestic violence, raise our voices against abuse and work toward prevention just by enjoying a great meal with family or friends.

According to a review by California Department of Justice, San Diego County has one of the highest rates of domestic violence calls in the state to law enforcement. A SANDAG study also found that one in five homicides in San Diego County were the result of domestic violence [San Diego Violent Crimes and Suspects Report, 2013].

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Get Social At Sammys Pizza



photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill will host its next signature Sammy’s Social Club at the Scripps Ranch outpost, located at 10785 Scripps Poway Parkway, on Thursday, Oct. 22. Starting at 7 p.m., the dinner will highlight different Argentine wine varietals from Alamos and Don Miguel Gascon.

For starters, guests will dine on a balsamic grilled chicken salad, made with mixed greens, gorgonzola, walnuts, fresh organic basil and balsamic vinaigrette paired with Alamos Chardonnay. The second course features brown rice penne Bolognese with beef-tomato sauce and shaved romano, served with a glass of Don Miguel Gascon Colosal Red Blend. Flat iron steak served with roasted fingerling potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes and herb oil paired with a glass of Don Miguel Gascon Reserva Malbec will follow as the main course. Dessert will pair the restaurant’s decadent salted caramel pudding with a glass of Alamos Torrontes.

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Coachella Valley Beer Week

Coachella Valley Beer WeekNew Coachella Valley Beer Week Showcases Local Breweries and Greater Palm Springs’ Growing Craft Beer Scene

An exciting new event is on tap in Greater Palm Springs this upcoming November – The First Annual Coachella Valley Beer Week (CVBW) set to take place November 12 – November 22, 2015 at various venues throughout the nine-city resort destination.

CVBW is the brainchild of Erin Peters and Brent “Schmidy” Schmidman, both connoisseurs of the region’s craft beer scene. Peters aka “The Beer Goddess” has been regularly blogging about craft breweries since 2008. Schmidman, a self-confessed beer geek and former tavern owner, has been integral to the growth of the craft beer culture in Greater Palm Springs, introducing patrons to high quality craft beers, holding the Valley’s first sanctioned homebrewer’s competition, and starting the area’s well-known “Beer School”.

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New Look at Top of The Hyatt

Newly Renovated Top of the HyattManchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, the tallest waterfront building on the West Coast is happy to introduce its newly renovated bar and lounge, Top of the Hyatt. 

Located 40 stories above San Diego Bay, the highest waterfront venue space in California recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to echo the contemporary design aesthetic that has been introduced throughout the rest of the hotel while complementing the coastal environment. The newly refurbished space bares a modern, luxurious edge while providing guests with floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of America’s finest city, including the San Diego Bay, Coronado Island, Point Loma and the city skyline.

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Ruby’s Diner

Ruby's Diner

Oceanside is home to one of the longest wooden piers in the western US. First built in 1888, this pier is central to the beach area and offers a 1,942-foot stroll of scenic beauty above the roaring Pacific. Perched at the end of the pier is Ruby’s Diner, which is open every day and offers great American drive-in food, but without the cars! The nearby amphitheater is host to many musical and cultural events throughout the year. Approximately 1 mile north of the pier is Oceanside Marina, where you can join charter fishing and whale watching tours anytime of the year.

Open since 1982, this 1940s-style diner is famous for its great food and spectacular service in a sparkling-clean restaurant. It’s a nice walk along the Oceanside Pier, and Ruby’s is located at the very end. Inside there are two levels, all with beautiful views of the Pacific. The view is as good as you would find in a higher end restaurant, but without the high prices.

Read more about Ruby’s Diner in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego.

Ruby's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Art And Wine Festival


Art And Wine Festival

Highlighting San Diego Craft Beers, Baja Wines and Acclaimed Artists, SoCal’s Prestigious Art Event Raises Funds for Local Public Schools During Weekend Village Takeover

Transforming one of Southern California’s most picturesque coastal communities into a national destination for art, wine and culture, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival takes over La Jolla’s iconic coastal bluffs for a momentous two-day celebration on October 10th and 11th. Stretching over a 1/2 mile, through the heart of La Jolla Village, this two-day, juried art show and fundraiser has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most prestigious art & wine festivals in Southern California. 

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