The Westgate Valentine Celebration

San Diego Food FindsSpeak the language of love this Valentine’s Day with a romantic rendezvous and fine dining at downtown San Diego’s Westgate Hotel. The hotel’s “La Vie en Rose” Valentine’s Day experiences pay homage to the hotel’s French inspired style and ambiance and the perfect setting to spark romance.

“We are capturing the essence and culture of a true Parisian escape,” said Richard Cox, general manager of the Westgate Hotel. “For one night, or a weekend, you’ll think you have escaped to Paris but with the sunshine, sights and attractions of San Diego right outside!”

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Have Dinner Under The Stars

Farmers BottegaSpend an evening outside and have dinner under the stars on the beautiful Farmer’s Bottega  patio, and enjoy one of their new farm-to-fork menu items.

Menu items are characterized as Modern Americana-Italiano cuisine, and include a simple Heirloom Tomato Flatbread to Flat Iron Pork. Farmer’s Bottega also offers a wide variety of all-natural dishes, sure to satisfy every palate. Pair your dish with a glass of wine off of the extensive wine list that highlights vinos from the vineyards of Napa Valley to the rolling hills of Tuscany and everywhere in between.

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Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Located on a rather quiet residential street just 1 block west from the South Coast Highway, this small gastropub is a hidden gem. Husband-and-wife team Rodney and Aaron Browning have deep experience in the local culinary community, working with some of the most respected chefs in Southern California.

sandiegofoodfinds.com

Grits with Bolognese Sauce (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

This eatery is dedicated to the slow-food movement, a farm-to-table philosophy utilizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Rustic American cuisine is featured throughout the menu, with a touch of Southern-style comfort. One of the signature dishes is the Durac Pork Belly served with collards, caramelized apple, and polenta spoon bread.

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Natural Gelato is Garden Fresh

Bobboi Natural Gelato‘CALI’ AND OTHER NEW GELATO FLAVORS BLOSSOMING THIS SPRING AT BOBBOI NATURAL GELATO

 Tweet It: Spring into @bobboi_gelato in #LaJolla to sample #delicious new seasonal #gelato selections #homemade #fresh #dessert 

With the beginning of spring comes a new crop of seasonal ingredients, hand-picked to create flavorful new gelato selections at Bobboi Natural Gelato. A tribute to sunny California, CALI, blends carrot, apple, avocado, Meyer lemon and ginger. The unique flavor is a summertime favorite.

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Get Your Waffle Fix Today

Brians 24 Waffle Cristo

Brian’s 24 Waffle Cristo

Whether you’re looking for stuffed waffles, healthy waffles or a waffle sandwich, these San Diego restaurants are sure to have a waffle that satisfies your craving!

It’s easy to get your waffle fix at Brian’s 24. This 24-hour diner in Gaslamp recreates the classic waffle and the French croque-monsieur with the Waffle Cristo.  Enjoy thinly-sliced ham and cheddar jack cheese between two halves of a bacon waffles topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of extra hot French fries. This all-American diner is taking a French classic and giving them a warm U.S.A twist.

Centered on University Avenue in Hillcrest, Uptown Tavern is the best place to be for some wacky waffles. The Red Velvet Waffle is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Stuffed with bacon and cheese and topped with fried sweet plantains, bacon, spiced walnuts, a coconut milk reduction, garlic butter and Woodford Reserve maple syrup. Uptown Tavern will be making your cheeks blush with these velvety waffles.

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Our Favorite Baseball Food Hot Spots

Baseball Food

Mission Nachos

Baseball season is about to be 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 complement your ice-cold beer while watching the game. Next time you’re looking for your cheesy fix, stray away from the average cheese plate and head to one of these San Diego hotspots with na-cho average nacho dishes!

Looking to watch America’s favorite past time, eating America’s favorite game-day snack? 1919 is downtown’s ultimate sports bar with 25 flat screen TVs and an equally impressive nacho recipe to boot. Hit a home run with their Perfect Nachos loaded with cheese sauce, jalapenos, pico de gallo and your choice of chicken, steak or short rib.

Big appetites call for large appetizers! Brian’s 24, located in the Gaslamp District, serves up only the best with their Chicharrachos dish that will get you and your friends through a fun night downtown!  This twist on the classic nachos includes crispy fried pork rinds topped with melted cheddar jack cheese, japalenos and chipotle ranch dressing. Stray from the norm and fill-up on this topping-stacked dish next time you’re in downtown San Diego!

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Cars and Coffee at The Lot La Jolla

Cars and CoffeeCars and Coffee

On March 26th from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., THE LOT La Jolla will hold its third Cars and Coffee event. The prestigious public event will bring together the finest automobiles in San Diego County at La Jolla’s newest luxury lifestyle destination.

Cars and Coffee, a collaboration between local luxury dealerships, including HG Motorsports/Heinz Gietz Autohaus, Cal Bike La Jolla, Ferrari & Maserati of San Diego and O’Gara Coach La Jolla, offers an elaborate showcase for all car enthusiasts. 

Guests can enjoy complimentary morning coffee from THE LOT while admiring the detail and tradition of these fine vehicles. Stay for a house-made pastry or full breakfast from THE LOT La Jolla kitchen, helmed be Chef Matt Sramek and Pastry Chef Alejandra Pitashny.

The full Cars and Coffee event will include:

  • Showcase of top tier vehicles from from San Diego’s top dealers and collectors 
  • Complimentary sustainable, organic coffee
  • Option to dine at THE LOT for a enjoyable breakfast experience. Menu here

The Lot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

Photo and recipe by Maria Desiderata Montana

Roasted Tomato and Mascarpone Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS

6 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
Extra–virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 baguette
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
Handful of pea tendrils

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Exotic Sushi Style at Cafe Japengo

Exotic Sushi Style at Cafe Japengo

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Consistently ranked among the best Japanese restaurants in San Diego for its Asian style seafood, Cafe Japengo allows guests to venture into exotic culinary territory while surrounded by warm woods, Asian–style furnishings and subdued lighting. “While some of our sushi and hot food have changed and progressed throughout the years, we have stayed true to serving the highest quality of product presented with simplistic artistry,” says Executive Chef Jerry Warner.

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Chef Leads With Heart At Savoie

Savoie

Seared Scallops (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Mikel Anthony started his culinary career by studying the classical techniques at the Art Institute of California in San Diego. After helping to facilitate the opening of four restaurants in America’s Finest City, he quickly learned several techniques and skills. “I’ve had many mentors, from culinary instructors at the Art Insitute to chefs such as Chad White, Daniel Barron and Andres Hinojosa, all of whom helped develop my skill set,” he says. “I’m still in contact with them and often ask for advice. It’s important to have wise counsel.”

Savoie

Pulpo (Braised Octopus) (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Currently the executive chef at Savoie restaurant in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego, Anthony has created a menu that he believes is a solid interpretation of the owners vision, also taking the guests and demographics into consideration. He enhances his dishes with exciting flavors from France, Italy, and Spain, sourcing produce and meats from some of the best purveyors who work with local farmers across the United States. “I like to frequent Specialty Produce and check out all the goodies in the farmers market section.”

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Perfectly Baked Lasagna Recipe

lasagna

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

When it comes to the perfect casserole dish, baked lasagna tops my list. This dish of alternating layers of pasta sheets, topped with a flavorful sauce and cheese, is easy to assemble, tastes delicious and is always a crowd-pleaser.

There are a number of theories on where the popular name was born, but most references agree the word originated in the Greek language for flat, unleavened bread or pasta dough cut in sheets. The Romans used a similar word lasanum, the Latin word for “cooking pot,” to describe the pan in which the dish is made. Later, the name was adopted for the food itself.Different regions in Italy serve lasagna in various ways. In Northern Italy, a typical lasagna recipe has a Béchamel sauce as its base, with the addition of vegetables such as spinach, eggplant or mushrooms. I prefer the Southern Italian version with its hallmark use of ricotta cheese and a traditional Bolognese sauce that can include ground beef, pork sausage or veal.

I serve my lasagna with red wine and a crusty Italian bread. Add a fresh green salad of escarole and romaine lettuces dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and dinner is served.

Buon Appetito!

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Top 5 Health Conscious Restaurants

With health-conscious New Year’s resolutions in full swing, opt for our 5 best delicious and guilt-free dishes that won’t have you breaking your resolution or depriving your taste buds.

health conscious restuarants

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Italian food is notorious for its starchy and carb-filled meals, but Monello knows that authentic Italian should be light and fresh. Their Alla Griglia is the perfect example of this. Made with grilled octopus, arugula, fennel and tomatoes, this delicious dish will leave you feeling satisfied and guilt-free.

Monello
750 W. Fir Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-0030
www.lovemonello.com

health conscious restaurants

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Mister A’s
2550 5th Ave. #406
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-1377
www.bertrandatmisteras.com

Mister A’s not only has a great selection of healthful food options, but offers an assortment of “skinny cocktails” as well! Sip without shame on a Smoked Kiwi Margarita made with La Nina Mezcal, kiwi puree, Triple Sec, fresh lime and agave syrup or the Dreams of Green, a delicious blend of Hendricks Gin, cucumber, basil and fresh lime.

Rooftop 600

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RoofTop600 knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that’s why they dedicated an entire section of their menu to dishes that are “Significantly Less Bad For You”. Have no fear for these nutritious dishes do not compromise taste in the name of health. Treat yourself to Malt Roasted Almond Muesli or Steel Cut Oatmeal served with brown sugar, raisins and your choice of fresh berries or apple compote for the perfect start to a positive day.

RoofTop600 at Andaz San Diego
600 F Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 849-1234
www.rooftop600.com

Bottega Americano

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Although brunch is notorious for being a decadent and indulgent meal that can sacrifice an entire week of healthy eating, Bottega Americano provides health-conscious diners with plenty of delicious dishes to choose from! Sip on a Garden Variety (capurro pisco, meyer lemon, celery juice, cynar, cumin) as you enjoy the Power Frittata, a hearty combination of egg whites, five herb pesto, crescenza cheese, oven roasted tomatoes, quinoa and arugula or the Slow Cooked Farro Oatmeal served with Temecula honeycomb, caramel apples, dates, cinnamon and seasonal fruit.

Bottega Americano
1195 Island Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-7800
www.bottegaamericano.com

TheWestgateHotel

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Created by renowned San Diego food writer, Jeanne Jones, The Westgate Room’s Curried Chicken Salad is the ideal dish for those looking to keep their New Year’s resolution intact while dining out. This grilled chicken breast salad comes with Granny Smith apples, celery, pine nuts, golden raisins, mango chutney and seasonal fruits.

The Westgate Hotel
1055 2nd Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619)238-1818
www.westgatehotel.comCourtesy information PR Chemistry

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

SEA180 Coastal Tavern

Sea 180

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

SEA180 Coastal Tavern

With sweeping “180 degree” views of Los Coronados (the Coronado Islands), South Bay and Mexico, the name SEA180° was coined from the expansive ocean views visible from every corner of the establishment. Located just steps from the stunning Imperial Beach sand, SEA 180 is upscale but accessible.

The restaurant is a gorgeous 10,000 square foot space comprised of both indoor and outdoor dining–including a banquet room, a rooftop deck with unparalleled coastal and inland views, and several private dining rooms throughout. Philippe Beltran, an avid world traveler who was born and raised in Paris, is best known in San Diego as the creative mind behind the Cohn’s BO-beau kitchen + bar in Ocean Beach and 100 Wines in Hillcrest. Beltran headed up the interior design of SEA 180 with an all-new design aesthetic, by combining natural and organic elements, fashioning a light and airy environment in with mixed stone and reclaimed wood. A soft palette bolsters the sky-high glass windows which highlight the restaurant’s design focal point, the picturesque sea views.

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Oceana Offers a Sense of Place

Oceana Restaurant

Auda Photography

Oceana Coastal Kitchen, a new multi-million dollar restaurant located at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in Pacific Beach embodies what San Diego is all about: the ocean, great views, beach vibes, and upscale beach food. “Mission Bay is right outside our window,” says Executive Chef Steven Reimer. “I want to evoke a sense of place, giving the menu a California feeling that’s also innovative and fresh.”

www.sandiegofoodfinds.com

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

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Civico 1845 In Little Italy

The Next Generation of Italian Cuisine In Little Italy San Diego

Civico 1845 Little Italy

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Straight-from-Italy brothers Dario and Pietro Gallo are serving up authentic Italian cuisine that is anything but “old school.” Situated in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy, Civico 1845 (pronounced CHEE-vee-ko), provides a modernized Italian dining experience – with an array of vegan dishes included.

Located at 1845 India Street, Civico 1845 is a contemporary Italian restaurant that features fresh flavors and revamped versions of Italian classics. The Gallos’ southern Italian roots serve as the inspiration for much of the restaurant, both in its cuisine and design.

Civico 1845

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

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Fun Fall Baking Classes

SUMMER TURNS TO FALL AND THERE IS BAKING FOR ALL!

Fun Fall Baking Classes

BAKE SALE BAKERY ANNNOUNCES NEW SEASONAL BAKE CLASSES 

Pies, pumpkin and Pinterest-perfect cakes are just a few of the items bakers will be discovering this fall at the popular BAKE! classes at Bake Sale Bakery, extended through November.

Led by head baker, Jenn Reinhart, and proprietor, Terryl Gavre, BAKE! will allow bakers of all levels to learn recipes, instructions and professional tips in a fun and friendly environment. BAKE! classes start at $75 per person and will include all of the ingredients and take-away goodies. Classes can also be customized for groups for any occasion including birthday parties, business building, networking, showers and more. The classes run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on select dates and the announced fall schedule currently includes:

All Things Yeasted – Wednesday, Aug. 19

Students will learn the basics of home bread baking including mixing, proofing tips and popular baking techniques. Sandwich loaves, flatbreads, pizza dough, doughnuts and Bake Sale’s famous English muffins are on board for this fast-moving class.

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Jake’s Del Mar

Jake's Del Mar

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Jakes on the water’s edge in Del Mar is where you’ll want to spend a romantic day or evening with your special someone. The place embodies the coastal living and lifestyle that is envied by anyone outside of Southern California. Where else can you enjoy a meal in the dead of winter and gaze at a multitude of beach activities in the warm sunshine? Take pleasure in upscale beachside eats for lunch, or relax and savor dinner and a dazzling sunset view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Read more about Jakes Del Mar in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego, by Maria Desiderata Montana.

Jake's Del Mar

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Jakes Del Mar, 1660 Coast Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014; (858) 755-2002; jakesdelmar.com; California Modern.

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National Oyster Day Competition

To celebrate  National Oyster Day  on  Wednesday,  August 5th,  Executive Chef Jason McLeod  welcomes six of the area’s most notable female chefs  to join him and take a turn behind the raw bar for an epic  SHUCK-A-THON.  For those who like it raw, Ironside Fish & Oyster will be serving up their signature Ironside Select for  just a buck apiece  from 4 to 10 p.m.  Though more convincing is probably not necessary, let us remind you that it’s all for charity, for shuck’s sake. These noted chefs are putting their busy schedules on ice for one evening only in order to raise money for their respective charities of choice.  During each chef’s hour,  100% of the proceeds from oyster sales  will go to their chosen organization.  

National Oyster Day Competition

Check out the all-star lineup of chefs and their chosen charities below, along with some additional details regarding the August 5th event. 

There is no cost to attend this event and walk-ins are welcome.  

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2GOOD2B Encinitas Expands

2GOOD2B® to Expand into Fast Casual Café and Bakery

2good2b encinitas

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Award-winning gluten-free café and bakery becomes stylish live action eatery with open kitchen 

2GOOD2B®, 204 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, the award-winning fast casual, slow food bakery and café providing delicious savory dishes and desserts, announces its expansion into a modern stations-style eatery. With a slow-food-done-fast approach, the revamped cafe now offers an ever-revolving menu of handcrafted, made-from-scratch food that’s made with such care that even people with gluten, corn and soy allergies can enjoy every bite.

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Gourmet Fare At The Front Porch

THE FRONT PORCH ANNOUNCES NEWEST LOCATION OF ITS GOURMET SPECIALTY MARKET AND TASTING ROOM

The Front PorchSuccessful Retail Concept Set to Expand, Bring Gourmet Goods and Specialty Items from Around the World, and Around the Corner, to Coronado 

The Front Porch, one of San Diego’s favorite neighborhood retail shops, known for its curated collection of handcrafted, gourmet food and specialty goods from around the world and around the corner, today announced it has expanded with a second location of its successful retail shop and tasting room, in scenic Coronado. The Front Porch Coronado, set to open in early July 2015, will bring gourmet pantry items, kitchenware, luxe home décor, garden, and vintage finds specially selected from both local purveyors as well as from some of the world’s most exciting locales, to San Diego’s most renowned resort city.

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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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One Day Only Triple Napkin Burger

Triple Napkin Burger

In honor of National Burger Day, the Triple Napkin Burger will be offered for one day only on May 28th at Whisknladle and all three Prepkitchen locations.

The Whisknadle Hospitality Group is already well known for its signature burger served year-round, but they’re really upping the ante with this one. The Triple Napkin Burger consists of two four-ounce patties topped with house made porchetta, dijonaise, caramelized onions, American cheese, crispy cheddar, fried pickles and secret sauce all on an herb buttered bun. 

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Spice Up Your Taste Buds

Getting Hot, Hot, Hot, For Summer!

Spice Up Your Taste Buds

People from around the world flock to the gorgeous climate and sunny beaches of San Diego in the summertime. Temperatures reach the 80’s and 90’s during the peak months, giving ample time for sunbathing, swimming and basking in the glorious coastal weather. But the weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot. Spice up your taste buds and try these local San Diego restaurants for a delicious way to turn up the heat!

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Sunset Jazz Series at the Westgate

SUNSET POOLSIDE JAZZ SERIES RETURNS TO THE WESTGATE HOTEL

Sunset Jazz Series at the Westgate

Live Jazz Performances at Hotel Rooftop Pool from June 4 to August 27

Every Thursday night this summer from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., The Westgate Hotel’s rooftop will once again transforms itself into a breezy and lively space with unforgettable poolside jazz performances.

Guests are invited to the ongoing Sunset Poolside Jazz Series kicking-off June 4, with an incredible musical lineup, vast selection of specialty cocktails, fine whiskey, wine, beer and an array of gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Those in attendance of the popular jazz series can also bask in the Westgate’s expansive living wall, sparkling pool and modern furnishings, all with San Diego’s skyline as the backdrop.

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Easy to Learn Baking Classes

Easy to Learn Baking ClassesLed by proprietor, Terryl Gavre, and head baker, Kathleen Shen, BAKE! will allow bakers of all levels to learn recipes, instructions and professional tips in a fun and friendly environment. BAKE! classes start at $75 per person and will include all of the ingredients and take-away goodies. Classes can also be customized for groups for any occasion including birthday parties, business building, networking, showers and more.

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