Monello Captures Italian Spirit

San Diego Food Finds

Pasta Carbonara (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Monello’s design and decor mirrors a typical Milanese eatery complete with the downtown vibe of the San Diego bay and the familiar Italian neighborhood.

San-Diego-Food-Finds-Lupini-Beans

Lupini Beans (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Sophisticated, modern and rustic-chic, Chef Fabrizio Cavallini says it is one of the few Italian restaurants that dares to serve traditional home-cooking in a modern urban setting, similar to a restaurant you would find in Milano, Italy. “We undressed Italian dining of its obsolete and stereotypical look and taste,” he says. “We had a new menu in mind, our tradition is so rich. But we had no room for it at our Bencotto restaurant. So when the space next door became available, our heads were exploding with ideas after Valentina and Guido’s trip to Italy. When they go there, they eat twenty-four-seven and come back with a ton of new ideas.”

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Italian Inspired Bottega Americano

Italian Inspired Bottega Americano

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Located inside the Thomas Jefferson School of Law directly across the street from the city’s new Central Library in San Diego’s East Village, Bottega Americano is an Italian–inspired restaurant and specialty food marketplace that invites guests to dine in a fun and exciting dining hall.

Together, there are four notable Bottega owners who bring to life a new genre of dining inspired by old–world European style, including Giuseppe Ciuffa, founder and CEO of Giuseppe Fine Restaurants & Fine Catering; avid foodie, investor and East Village resident Chad Ruyle; restaurateurGreg Van de Velde, who most recently managed the iconic Bertrand at Mister A’s restaurant; and noted chef David Warner, formerly of San Diego’s beachfront hotspot JRDN. “My partners and I had a strong vision for the project from the beginning,” says Ciuffa. “Chef Warner and I work together with our culinary team on all of the menu ideas. So instead of having just one chef with only one vision, we are inspired by many different tastes, trends and experiences.”

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Authentic Mexican Taco Shop

Authentic Mexican Taco ShopLocals are going loco for the brand new taquería, The Taco Stand (La Jolla), with an additional location recently opened on B Street in the heart of downtown.

Your Baja adventure starts as soon as you step through the entrance of this fast-casual eatery. To your left, you will be greeted by a mural by the well-known, Tijuana artist “Art Pusher,” that features a Latin accordionist. To your right, you’ll find a scrap-metal, rectangular enclosure that displays the menu in bright colors, designed to resemble an authentic, south-of-the-border stand.

The Taco Stand’s menu is inspired traditional recipes found along the Baja coast, featuring top-grade meats, handmade tortillas and fresh guacamole and salsa made from scratch, daily.  Order at the counter and indulge in dishes such as the Sonora Taco, with 100% certified Angus beef, melted cheese, beans guacamole, onions, cilantro and salsa. Or go vegetarian with the Nopal Taco, filled with flame grilled cactus. The Taco Stand not only serves up appetizing tacos, but also has a large selection of burritos, quesadillas and breakfast options. If you’re in the mood for something light, try the Pescado Burrito filled with grilled Mahi Mahi or if you arrive with a bigger appetite, try the Al Pastor Burrito loaded with Rotisserie marinated pork, cilantro, onions, cilantro sauce and pineapple.

It’s no secret that Southern California is the best place to find genuine Mexican food and The Taco Stand doesn’t miss any details. Pair your meal with an ice cold, imported Mexican cerveza. And if you’re able to find more room in your stomach, enjoy a Mexican flavored popsicle or a freshly made Rosarito-style churro.

From its spicy design to its top-grade meats and hand-made tortillas, The Taco Stand is bringing a whole lot of culture to the downtown area. With another location to open in Encinitas in the next few months.

The Taco Stand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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Visit Loews Coronado Bay Resort

(Courtesy photo)

Visit Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Loews Coronado Bay Resort has the room you need!

Rooms Renovation Completes Hotel’s Multi-Year and Multi-Million Dollar Transformation

Loews Coronado Bay Resort debuted all new guestrooms completing a multi-million dollar redesign that encompassed the lobby, restaurants, public spaces, meeting space, corridors and guestroom bathrooms. Taking full advantage of the resort’s waterfront location, the new design artfully combines San Diego’s sun and surf with the casual elegance of an oceanfront home.

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What The Fung Comes To San Diego

FYI Network’s new series What the Fung is heading to San Diego to sample some of the best food that America’s finest city has to offer.

Tune into FYI Network Thursday, May 28th at 10pm PST (9pm EST) to watch the Fung brothers as they taste some of the flavors that embody San Diego’s beach vibe and experience the creativity and passion behind some of the city’s hottest restaurants. The featured restaurants in the San Diego episode include barleymash and Tavern.

What the Fung which premieres on Thursday, May 21st, follows comedians and brothers Andrew and David Fung as they experience some of America’s best culinary creations. Representing all the foodies looking for the best foods at the best prices, the Fung brothers attempt to find the most iconic dishes in each region that fit within their allotted $50 budget. You will be thoroughly entertained by the comedic journey these two foodie brothers will be taking throughout the series as they search for the ultimate food experience.

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St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro, 47 S. Coast Hwy. 101, No. 103-D, Encinitas, CA 92024; (760) 633-0084, sttropezbistro.com.

Get your share of French bistro fare without the expensive plane ticket to France. Dine indoors or take a seat outside in the large outdoor patio, which resembles a sidewalk cafe—perfect for people watching with enough room for man’s best friend. Walk by the large glass case inside, and take a long look at the traditional pastries. They also have a wide selection of filled cupcakes, cookies, patisseries, tarts, and cakes. If you’re looking for a homemade treat on a special occasion, this is the place!

Read more about St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego.

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333 Pacific Healthy Eating

333 Pacific Offers Healthy Menu

Vegetable Quiche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Oceanside’s 333 Pacific is North County’s best upscale dining destination, complete with a breathtaking view of Southern California’s shoreline from every seat in the house. A stellar California coastal menu effectively highlights local seasonal ingredients and wholesome preparations that are executed with meticulous care. Diners have a variety of options to choose from, including raw bar and sushi offerings, soups, salads, pasta, seafood, steaks, chops and vegetarian choices. “We have a number of purveyors who we source from local farms,” Executive Chef Brian Hyre said. “During the summer months, we even have a guy who grows special vegetables and herbs just for us.” 333pacific.com

Read more about 333 Pacific in the ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego‘ and get Chef Hyre’s recipe for Black Trumpet Mushroom Encrusted Lamb Sirloin in my new book: ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.’

Click to add a blog post for 333 Pacific - Steak + Sea on Zomato

Cheers to the Breweries of Baja

Breweries of BajaGuadalupe Valley has been referred to as the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” but critics have overlooked another drinking culture that is making a big rise south of the border- Baja culinary craft beer.

On Sunday, April 26th, Michelin- starred Chef Drew Deckman of renowned Deckman’s en El Mogor is joining with world-class Baja breweries, Cerveceria Agua Mala and Wendlandt, to bring a Let’s Go Clandestino tour as incredible as the Valle de Guadalupe itself.

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Mothers Day at Bleu Boheme

BLEU BOHÈME SAYS ‘SANTÈ’ TO MÈRES WITH SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY MENU

Mothers Day at Bleu Boheme

Joyeuses fêtes des mères! Bleu Bohème, located at 4090 Adams Ave. in the Kensington neighborhood, is celebrating the most important woman this Mother’s Day with a special menu exclusively on Sunday, May 10 from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

For starters, Executive Chef Ken Irvine’s three-course Mother’s Day meal will begin with a choice between several hors d’oeuvres including salade de chevre, a mixed greens salad with goat cheese, mustard vinaigrette, grapes and shaved pear; tarte chaude au Reblochon, a flaky pastry tart with caramelized Spanish onions, bacon, roasted apple and Reblochon Savoie cheese with salad greens; or a bisque de homard, a Maine lobster bisque with crème frâîche. Other appetizer options include pâté et terrine de chef or tartare de saumon fumé.

Second-course entrees include steak frites, petite filet New York steak, Bearnaise sauce, arugula salad and Bohème pommes frites; raviolis maison, a Shiitake and Oyster mushroom ravioli dish with sautéed fresh spinach and tomato relish accompanied with fine herb sauce; or the savory belgique prosciutto waffle with fig jam, arugula and Gruyere cheese topped with a fried egg.

Guests will satisfy their sweet tooth with a selection of pain d’ espice, a warm gingerbread with strawberry confiture and caramel ice cream; profiteroles, choux pastry puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate mousse; or a simple yet sweet, mousse au chocolat, made with rich dark chocolate mousse with season red berries.

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Hot Dogs and Baseball

Hot Diggity Dog! Baseball season in San Diego officially kicks off on April 9th at Petco Park with the Padres gearing up against the San Francisco Giants for the home opener.

Hot Dogs and Baseball

Nothing screams a day at the ballpark like a good ol’ fashioned frank! It’s a love affair that has spanned generations, and this year, with the new addition of RARE FORM (CH Projects’ neighborhood delicatessen located alongside Petco’s ‘Park at the Park’) fans can say goodbye to mystery meat and get their gourmet fix of this cherished, pre game staple. Executive Chef Aldo Negrete’s creative lineup of housemade ‘haute’ dogs (set to debut at Rare Form this coming Friday, March 27) playfully pays tribute to famous ballparks across the USA, while staying true to their everything made in-house credo with handcrafted hot dog buns and condiments.

THE REAL DEAL: Executive Chef and butchery mastermind, Aldo Negrete, hits a homerun using a traditional pork-and-beef formula to lend a smoky, rich dimension to the flavor profile. Rare Form’s eight-count selection (which will debut in February) will include options like the ‘Haole’ dog, which promises a taste of the islands with sweet roasted pineapple, crispy bacon and charred Jalapeño toppings, to ‘The Murph’, a riff on the classic bacon hugged TJ-style hot dog with yellow mustard, mayo, fresh tomatoes, onions and spicy jalapeño. 

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RA Sushi offers tasty ceviche

RA Sushi offers tasty ceviche

(Courtesy photo)

RA Sushi offers tasty ceviche

Known for innovative sushi combinations and a vibrant atmosphere, RA Sushi knows how to stay on the culinary cutting edge. Anything but conventional, their Japanese style Kaisen Ceviche combines cooked shrimp, scallops and squid with chilled and mixed fresh tomato, avocado and salsa and serves it in a spring roll shell. Pair it with a cucumber or mango Emperor’s Margarita from their signature drink menu, and enjoy a combo that will put a spring in your step.

474 Broadway
(619) 321-0021
http://www.rasushi.com/san-diego
Facebook: RASushi
Twitter: @rasushi

Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar

Opened in Mission Hills San Diego by owner and proprietor John Ealy, Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar is a laid back neighborhood eatery that offers a menu boasting salads, sandwiches and shareable platters. Great dinner entrees include Blackened Ribeye Steak with cajún spice, gorgonzola butter, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus, Marinated Grilled Sea Bass with miso ginger, butter sauce, island rice, and jicama salad or Seafood Stew with prawns, mussels, mahi mahi and spicy tomato, wine and clam sauce and garlic bread.

Harley Gray Kitchen And BarHarley Gray for me is a representation of everything that I have learned that is important for a restaurant to be successful. This was collaboration of the people I most admire and trust and of my own education from two decades of growing up in this industry.

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OB Warehouse

With an innovative global menu by acclaimed Chef Amiko Gubbins and exciting industrial design by Philippe Beltran, OB Warehouse’s creative interiors boasts communal seating, an expansive central bar and a chic outdoor patio.

OB Warehouse offers fresh California ingredients that mingle with influences from Asia, the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East. Serving a wide range of inventive starters, salads, flatbreads, entrees and desserts, many designed with sharing in mind, Gubbins presents several signature menu items, such as the Golden “SoCal” Crabcakes with honey red chili aioli, the Merguez Sausage Flatbread topped with oven roasted tomato, feta cheese and harissa, as well as the Royal Goan Shrimp Curry served with toasted basmati rice and crispy shallots. To perfectly complement an array of savory dishes, Gubbins has crafted several desserts such the Coconut Tapioca with crispy phyllo and lemongrass pink guava coulis, and Bittersweet Chocolate Cake finished with espresso sauce and a candied lemon twist.

The bar program features a range of hand-crafted, warehouse-themed cocktails as well as an extensive list of 50+ unusual wines from around the world and 20+ draught beer options, focusing on unique craft beers with a heavy regional emphasis.

Courtesy information

OB Warehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mexican Cuisine at Don Chido

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

Baja-Inspired Mexican Cuisine

RMD Group, Ken Lovi, and Chef/Parter Antonio Friscia join forces to bring you Don Chido, an authentic, stylish Mexican eatery in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The menu showcases regionally influenced, handcrafted Mexican cuisine that features locally sourced and quality fresh ingredients. An authentic Santa Maria grill is designed to cook mouth-watering, wood-fired meats and other dishes. To further tease the palette, they offer a rustic selection of local wines from Mexico and Spain along with a progressive variety of infused tequilas and regional mezcals. Don Chido combines a classic, home-style Mexican cuisine with a stylishly diverse and electric atmosphere that delivers a distinctive lunch, dinner, and late-night dining experience!

Don Chido will serve lunch and dinner daily from 11am to close in the restaurant and patio, and a late-night menu in the lounge. Reservations are currently available for opening night. Don Chido is located at 527 5th Avenue. Connect with Don Chido on Facebook at facebook.com/donchidosd, and follow Don Chido on Twiter @DonChidoSD and Instagram @DonChidoSD.

*Information courtesy of Don Chido

Don Chido Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tapas Tuesday at Cusp Restaurant

tapas tuesday

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Cusp Dining & Drinks is getting ready to start Tapas Tuesday, a night of live music and extended specials on drinks and shareable plates.

Tapas Tuesday

Inspired by cities like Seville and Barcelona, Cusp Dining & Drinks brings the classic flavors and light fare of Spanish tapas to the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla starting Oct. 14th. Each Tuesday, Executive Chef Donald Lockhart will create a menu of small plates like Serrano-Wrapped Watermelon with manchego cheese and marcona almonds and Lamb Albondigas with rosemary, roasted garlic and cucumber yogurt dipping sauce for $6 each. Tapas Tuesdays will replace Cusp’s regular happy hour for the evening and run until close in the bar, encouraging guests to adopt an Iberian way of life filled with good food and long conversations set to stunning views of the ocean.

Cusp’s Tapas Tuesday will start at 4 p.m. every Tuesday, with specials that run until close in the bar. Tapas selections will change regularly and will all be $6 each. Cusp will also have live music every week, and offer a select menu of wines and sherries to accompany the menu.

*Courtesy information the nth element

Restaurant Week San Diego

Restaurant WeekRestaurant Week San Diego

September 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.

Restaurant Week San Diego

Wild Salmon at NINE-TEN in La Jolla (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego and all of Montana’s books are available on her author page at AMAZON and GLOBE PEQUOT PRESS. Her books are also available at local San Diego bookstores.

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

Food Lovers' Guide To San DiegoThe 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

Enjoy the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego!

European Style Bistro in La Jolla

European Style Bistro

Executive Chef Mario Medina of Finch’s Wine Bar says cooking is his passion and, more than anything else, he likes to know that his guests are enjoying his creations. “Working with talented chefs in different cuisines and techniques has opened my eyes to a wide range of both products and cooking styles,” he explains. “I have taken the various techniques I have learned under great chefs and have made them my own; they fit my personality and style. I always keep in mind what our guests will enjoy and like the most—not just the cooking but the presentation as well.”

Read more about Finch’s Wine Bar and get Medina’s recipe for Kobe Burgers in my newest book: San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.

European Style Bistro

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Charity Wine Tasting

charity wine tasting

Presented by the Social Service Auxiliary of San Diego, the county’s longest-running charity wine event will feature award-winning wines to sip and sample at luxury hotel venue on June 1, 2014 –

The 31st annual Wine & Roses Charity Wine Tasting will make a splash this year when the extraordinary event is held at The Grand Del Mar Hotel in San Diego, California’s Carmel Valley on June 1, 2014. The charity wine event will be held from 3-6:30 p.m. and 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.

“As the longest, consecutive annual wine tasting event, Wine & Roses is so proud to continue to bring this event to the city, in the grandest way possible,” says Mary Roberts, Co-Chair of Wine & Roses. “The charity wine tasting event is an all-around magnificent night of incredible wines, delicious fare, socializing and dancing…all while raising money for Camp Oliver. It’s truly an evening that makes everyone a happy camper!”

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New Menu at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

The recent renovation of Tom Ham’s Lighthouse would not have been complete without a redesigned menu crafted by new Executive Chef Lance Repp.

New Menu at Tom Ham's Lighthouse

Fig and Burrata Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Previously the executive chef of the historic four-diamond La Valencia Hotel, Chef Repp now aims to delight guests at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse with the freshest seafood and ocean-inspired dishes. He explained, “The goal was to reflect the beauty of the restaurant’s Harbor Island location in our cuisine.” The new lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus include Mediterranean-style seafood dishes with contemporary twists. Chef Repp’s creations include Fig and Burrata Salad, Grilled Lobster, Ahi Crudo and Jidori Half Brick Chicken.

The new head of the Tom Ham’s Lighthouse kitchen ensures a perfect dining experience for guests, as they enjoy newly expanded views of the San Diego Bay and city skyline. “I love that Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is family-owned and that the Baumanns are dedicated to carrying on the legacy of Tom Ham,” said Chef Repp. “Of course, there is the best view of downtown and the bay from our restaurant. During the day there are a variety of ships and sailboats, and at night the lights of downtown are amazing.” Chef Repp also oversees the restaurant’s popular wedding, banquet and event menus.

Octopus (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Octopus (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

With a new menu based heavily on seafood with Mediterranean influences, there are other options, including dry-aged steaks, pork belly and duck. “We use as much local produce and sustainable seafood as we can, including local fishing boats for our day-boat dishes. Almost everything is made in house.” explains Chef Repp. “We also have 32 taps on hand, as we are constantly rotating through local craft brews.”

When it comes to cooking healthy meals, Chef Repp advises the home cook to use fresh ingredients. “Using minimal ingredients such as a simple grilled cauliflower with olive oil and light salt and pepper can offer great flavor. More importantly, watch portion sizes by eating or sharing a few different things instead of one large entrée.” Chef Repp also suggests eating more fish and stay away from fried foods.

One “sinful food” Chef Repp enjoys in moderation is pizza! “Pizza is definitely a weakness for me. And of course Foie Gras when traveling!”

Ahi Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Ahi Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Chef Repp has worked in restaurants and resorts across Southern California, bringing the experience required to undergo such a major restaurant transformation. Before Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, Chef Repp worked alongside restaurant consultant and two-star Michelin Chef Jason McCleod to rework the extensive menu of the Mediterranean Room at La Valencia Hotel.

He has also served as the executive sous chef of La Valencia Hotel Auberge Resorts, where he helped manage the kitchens of three restaurants and oversaw menu planning. His work at La Valencia Hotel landed him into the San Diego Chef Hall of Fame in 2009 and 2012. He has been the executive sous chef of the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa and the chef de cuisine at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Prior to coming to California, Repp worked as the banquet chef of Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club in Ohio.

Chicken (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Jidori Half Brick Chicken with Wild Mushroom Risotto (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Ohio native began his culinary career by earning a degree in applied sciences from Columbus State Community College after completing a three year American Culinary Federation apprenticeship program under Chef James Decker, CEC, ACC, at the Lakes Golf and Country Club in Ohio, where he was later made sous chef.

“I completed 3,600 hours of on-the-job training,” Chef Repp said. “During the apprenticeship, I also assisted Decker on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Culinary Team, which won gold medals in Germany.” In addition, Repp holds a degree in business management from Kent State University.

Chef Repp enjoys giving back to the community and has participated in multiple charity events, including the San Diego Food and Wine Celebration, San Diego Triathlon Challenge by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Taste of La Jolla and Mama’s Day at Mama’s Kitchen.

During his (infrequent) down time, Chef Repp relaxes by spending days with his Great Dane Cholula at his home in Crowne Point.

Tom Ham's Lighthouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste of Little Italy

The annual Taste of Little Italy is Wednesday, June 18th from 5-9 p.m.

Taste of Little Italy

(Courtesy photo)

Each year, dozens of Little Italy’s restaurants open their doors, inviting guests in to get a little taste of their menus. We hope you’ll share this news! More info below:

Ticketing: Tickets are priced at $29 per person for a single route (North or South) and $45 per person for full access. This is an all-ages food festival; however some establishments will require 21+ aged guests due to any alcohol included in their taste selection.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.littleitalysd.com/events/taste-of-little-italy/tickets.

How it works: Taste of Little Italy ticketholders can go from restaurant to restaurant with a Taste Passport, which lists participating restaurants and each location’s specific menu offering. It’s an easy walk, with no shuttles required. After each “bite,” restaurant staff will marks off the stop on the passport and then it’s off to the next stop.

Currently participating restaurants: Bencotto, Monello, Caffe Italia, Fabrison’s, Indigo Grill, Landini’s Pizza, Puerto La Boca, Buon Appetito, Craft & Commerce, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Isola Pizza Bar, Mimmo’s Italian Village, Petrini’s…and more to come!

Bake Sale Cafe and Bakery

Bake Sale Cafe and Bakery Bake Sale will open in Late May

Terryl Gavre’s love of cooking and baking led to the opening of Cafe 222 in Downtown San Diego more than 20 years ago. Now, the mother of two will bring the enjoyment of baking pastries for her children’s school and church bake sales to the opening of her own bakery with Bake Sale, set to open in late May at 815 F St. in the heart of East Village.

“I’ve always wanted a bakery. Always,” said Gavre. “After volunteering to head the bake sale committee at my kid’s school, I decided it was time to finally do it.”

This will be Gavre’s second dining spot to open in the past few months, following ACME Southern Kitchen located around the corner at 901 E St. The tiny 1,100-square-foot bakery will offer: freshly baked morning buns, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, muffins, cookies, lemon bars, assorted flavor cakes, brioche buns, biscuits, fruit pies and sandwich bread. Bake Sale will also provide freshly baked selections to Gavre’s other restaurants: ACME Southern Kitchen, Cafe 222 and BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant.

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Oceanside Broiler

Oceanside BroilerWith the last minute touches soon to be completed, Oceanside’s newest waterfront restaurant, the Oceanside Broiler, is set to begin serving savory steaks, sumptuous fresh seafood, sushi, tasty salads, cool libations and much more on Thursday, May 15. The restaurant will open to the public for cocktails and dinner that evening at the colorful waterside location at 1325 Harbor Drive North, formerly occupied by Monterey Bay Canners.

Brothers Doug and David Salisbury, who started the Monterey Bay Canners restaurant chain in 1983, own the new venture. The pair has invested more than $1,000,000 in the purchase and remodel of the 7,500-square-foot facility that will accommodate 275 guests inside and on a patio and a covered lanai expected this summer.

The airy restaurant has an upscale yet causal sophistication, with warm wooded tabletops accented by burgundy and gray tones. Richly upholstered booths make up two-thirds of the dining space, including three oversized booths that can accommodate up to 14 guests each. All new tile flooring surrounds the open, exposition-style kitchen. A centerpiece of the restaurant is a lighted 700-gallon saltwater fish tank.

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Sustainable Seafood Dinner

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

On Tuesday, May 20th Coronado’s culinary gem, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, will present a four-course Sustainable Seafood Dinner highlighting a variety of local and regional catch alongside a dynamic selection of wine pairings.

Helmed by Executive Chef Tim Kolanko and Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Schwandt, the duo will be joining forces with Chef Greg Chavez of San Diego’s Wine Vault & Bistro – who formally helped to open Leroy’s in 2011 as Executive Chef. Kolanko and Chavez’s friendship dates back to time spent serving on the opening culinary team for The Lodge at Torrey Pines. This May, all three gourmands will come together to cook and create in the same kitchen for the first time. With Kolanko’s background in fresh, ingredient-driven cuisine, as well as the training and history he shares with both Chavez and Schwandt, this “all hands on deck” four-course meal is sure to guarantee San Diego foodies a deliciously memorable dining experience.

WHO:

Blue Bridge Hospitality, Executive Chef Tim Kolanko
Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Schwandt
Wine Vault & Bistro, Executive Chef Greg Chavez

Leroy’s wine pairings will be curated by Patrick Ballow of Revel Wine and Vance Erickson portfolios. A San Diego native, Ballow has represented wineries throughout U.S. and Europe for over a decade.

COST: $60 per person. Reservations are required and can be made via opentable.com or by calling Leroy’s directly at 619.437.6087

WHEN:
Tuesday, May 20th
6:30 p.m. hors d’oeuvres reception
7 p.m. dinner

WHERE:
Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge
1015 Orange Ave. 
Coronado, CA
www.leroyskitchenandlounge.com

MENU:

Hors d’oeuvres
Bites from the sea
Wine Pairing: Seasmoke Seaspray 2011 blanc de noir, estate vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, CA

First Course
Chilled asparagus soup, spot prawn, crème fraiche, spring herbs
Wine Pairing: Weingut Tegernseerhof 2012 Grüner Veltliner Federspiel, Superin, Wachau, Austria

Second Course
Black cod with sunchoke puree, Chinese celery, kohlrabi, warm bacon vinaigrette
Wine Pairing: Ciro Picariello 2012 Greco di Tufo, Campania, Italy

Third Course
Wild king salmon, green garlic, farro, crispy mushrooms
Wine Pairing: Broc Cellars 2013 Valdiguie, Green Valley, Solano County

Dessert
Pedro Ximenez “Affogato”
Pedro Ximenez sherry over vanilla bean ice cream, Date Shortbread

ABOUT LEROY’S KITCHEN + LOUNGE
An authentic neighborhood destination with a warm and welcoming appeal, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge raises the bar on Coronado’s chef-driven dining scene by delivering a truly locavore experience. Executive Chef Tim Kolanko has crafted a passionately sustainable, ingredient-driven menu consisting of approachable, gastro-fare cuisine. Kolanko’s made-from-scratch culinary ethos presents diners with diverse flavors through a menu that changes to reflect the season’s freshest ingredients. The restaurant is named after Blue Bridge Hospitality’s well-traveled co-founder, Leroy Mossel, who alongside his Blue Bridge partner and cousin, David Spatafore—both long-time residents of Coronado— launched the restaurant group in 1998. Spatafore found his cousin’s eclectic background to be the perfect inspiration for this restaurant’s design and menu. Proudly partnering with neighboring farmers, brewers and producers, Leroy’s Kitchen + Bar also features an eclectic array of artwork from the surrounding artist’s community, presenting unique charm for locals and tourists alike. The beverage program showcases San Diego’s rich craft beer movement, highlighting the city’s best microbreweries with a diverse selection of on-tap options and craft beer flights. Leroy’s also offers a rotating menu of seasonal craft cocktails prepared with fresh herbs and spices. The restaurant boasts a private dining room that seats 10-12 and serves as the ideal space for small parties, business meetings or intimate dinners. Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge is located at 1015 Orange Avenue. More information can be found at LeroysKitchenandLounge.com or by calling 619-437-6087.

Local Restaurants Celebrate Mom

Local Restaurants Celebrate Mom

(Courtesy photo)

Jsix

There will be plenty to devour for the entire clan at Jsix this Mother’s Day, including chocolate waffles for kids and a prix fixe menu by Chef Christian Graves for adults. Mom can also relax and enjoy her own signature Bloody Mary from the mother of all Bloody Mary Bars. Jsix Lead Bartender Nate Howell will roll out the red carpet with vodka choices like his signature barbecue infused concoction that uses Chef Graves’ spice rub. Each guest can also pile their Mary high with accoutrements like house made cheeses, pickled veggies and cured meats. Jsix will serve brunch from 9a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch is $30 for adults and $10 for kids.

616 J Street
(619) 531-8744
www.jsixrestaurant.com
Facebook: JsixRestaurant
Twitter: @JsixRestaurant

Cusp Dining & Drinks

It’s an all-ages celebration this May 12 at Cusp. Brunch includes a buffet of selections by Chef Donald Lockhart and Bloody Mary specials by Head Bartender Chris Burkett. Recognized as one of the top scenic view restaurants in the country by OpenTable, Cusp Dining & Drinks’ combination of culinary finesse and ambiance will score major points with mom. Brunch will be served from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch is $35 for adults and $10 for kids.

7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
858-551-3620
www.cusprestaurant.com
Facebook: CuspRestaurant
Twitter: @CuspDiningDrink

Pacifica Del Mar

Give mom the gift of brunch at its best, a striking view of the Pacific Ocean served alongside award-winning coastal fare at Pacifica. Packed with local favorites, Pacifica’s three-course prix fixe meal includes breakfast and lunch items that will satisfy the entire clan. Chef/Partner Chris Idso has also created a special menu just for kids. Pacifica’s Mother’s Day brunch is $39 and will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

1555 Camino Del Mar
(858) 792-0467
www.pacificadelmar.com
Facebook: PacificaDelMar
Twitter: @PacificaDelMar

Dallmann Fine Chocolates

A rose by any other name wouldn’t taste as sweet. Dallmann Fine Chocolates is offering carefully designed truffle gift boxes for Mother’s Day in collections like Floral which infuses chocolate with organic flowers to create flavors like Rosewater Caramel and Hibiscus Raspberry. It’s a delicious spin on those posies you were thinking of buying for your mom this year. All truffle collections are available in 9-piece boxes for $20. Dallmann has also created a limited edition Mother’s Day Heart, a handmade chocolate heart filled with an assortment of truffles for $13. It’s the sweetest way to tell the most important woman in your life what she means to you. Dallmann’s Mother’s Day gifts are available at both the Del Mar and Seaport District at The Headquarters locations.

789 W Harbor Dr.
(619) 238-0045
www.dallmannconfections.com
Facebook: DallmannFineChocolates
Twitter: @dconfections

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