The Cork and Craft, North County San Diego’s talk of the town, might be located in a business park, but once you walk in the door, you’ll find yourself in a lively space with an up close and personal view of an open kitchen, wine vats and brewery in-cased in glass. “We are the only concept in San Diego and on the west coast with an urban brewery, winery and restaurant all under one roof, ” says Executive chef Phillip Esteban. “The closest similar concept is located in Florida.”
It was clear to me as soon as I entered the restaurant that Esteban is hugely influential in his kitchen, possessing an intuitive characteristic that enables him to serve carefully orchestrated and natural presentations of modern Californian cuisine with an emphasis on French techniques. He believes that educating his staff is one of the core values of being a chef. “Watching my kitchen team learn, grow and succeed in our industry is really amazing, but the one thing I HATE is that everyone is a “chef” these days. The term has been so loosely used and romanticized that the position itself has been watered down. Anyone can be a cook, not everyone can be a chef.”
Let’s face it, with each year, comes a new standard. The stakes get higher, the competition soars, and once again the bar is set higher. Have you ever wondered which San Diego restaurants are pushing these limits, shattering standards, and mastering the art of the dining scene? Look no further than these six restaurants that are, once again, raising the bar.
This prime piece of North Park real estate, Encontro , has people raving about the chic and sleek interior and relaxed atmosphere. Adorned with wood and metal accents, LED lighting, big windows and trendy barstools, the design is enough to get you in the door. Once you’re there, enjoy your choice of 21 rotating craft beers or hard root beer, while satisfying your early or late-night food cravings with one of their signature sausage plates, portobello fries, or a fresh and hearty salad.
America is rooted in giving people freedom of choice, and why should craft beer be any different? Barrel Republic has mastered this concept of self-serve with their “Freedom to Pour” motto, freedom to compare, and freedom to be amongst other like-minded craft beer enthusiasts. This is not your typical bar. At Barrel Republic in Pacific Beach or Oceanside, you are your own bartender and can sample from over 40 different rotating taps that line the wall of this vintage barrel-themed bar.
Bellamy’s Restaurant, Escondido’s hidden dining gem, is pleased to announce its new fall menu featuring must-have dishes in addition to Chef Jonathan’s Inspirational menu. Available September 28th, the fall menu will be served Monday through Saturday, making it the perfect complement to the autumn season.
Bellamy’s new menu features crave-worthy appetizers including Spanish Octopus and Seared Foie Gras. Highlighting the season’s best offerings, a Butternut Squash Soup and a Wild Arugula and roasted Figs salad have been added to the bill of fare. Entrees include delectable plates such as Ponsaty’s Seafood Paella, Cornish Hen and Squash Gnocchi and Moulard Duck Breast. Venture out of the normal and try Chef Jonathan’s Inspirational menu; ask you server for the carte du jour for the chef’s unique daily creation.
The fall dishes feature the finest ingredients from local seafood and fresh herbs, to farmers and winemakers. Cuisine is headed by Chef Patrick Ponsaty and Jonathan Freyberg and service and wine are managed by Derry Van Nortwick and Kristina Miller.
This September, San Diego Restaurant Week will CELEBRATE LOCAL by showcasing the fresh and delicious ingredients that our region is known for, from Sunday, September 25th through Sunday, October 2nd, 2016. San Diego residents and tourists’ alike benefit from San Diego’s year-round growing season, providing access to seasonal, nutritious, local food that will be featured this September during San Diego Restaurant Week.
For EIGHT DAYS ONLY enjoy dishes compiled of local products and ingredients at over 180 participating restaurants throughout San Diego County. Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person.
The San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative Teams with San Diego County Grocery Stores, Encourage Shoppers to Stock Up on Fresh, Healthy Options
As summer comes to an end and normal school and work routines ramp back up, Carnival Supermarkets in San Diego County are encouraging shoppers to get their nutrition routines back on track too by holding a 10 Cent Fruit and Vegetable Sale at its three locations, Saturday, Oct. 1st through Sunday, Oct. 2nd. Carnival Supermarkets have partnered with The San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative’s REACH Chula Vista to promote healthy eating.
Fruits and vegetables featured in the sale include gala apples, bananas, plums, Valencia oranges, cactus, pears, limes, chayote squash, Anaheim peppers, Persian cucumbers, Italian squash, Mexican squash and bags of carrots.
Owner John Resnick is thrilled to introduce his first solo project, Campfire, to the burgeoning San Diego culinary landscape. In his debut restaurant, Resnick, a Consortium Holdings alum instrumental in the openings of Ironside Fish & Oyster and the original Craft & Commerce, delivers an innovative new dining and cocktail concept to the heart of Carlsbad, capturing the spirit of the campfire through live fire cooking techniques. To elevate the experience, Resnick has culled some of San Diego’s most recognizable industry vets including Executive Chef Andrew Bachelier (CUCINA enoteca and Addison) and Bar Manager Leigh Lacap (Ironside Fish & Oyster, Sycamore Den and Coin-Op). Collectively the team plans to present San Diegans with an original concept comprised of a vast 6,000 square foot indoor/outdoor space aimed at engaging guests and inciting conversations among strangers. Designed by award-winning firm Bells and Whistles (Broken Spanish, Bracero, Sycamore Den, Starlite), diners can expect whimsical references throughout – a welcoming space to enjoy classic cocktails and honest food, all reminiscent of the camping experience. Along with neighbors Carruth Cellars and Baba Coffee, Resnick hopes to play a pivotal role in fostering an organic extension of the already vibrant culture of North County while building an engaging environment that he hopes will become a forward-thinking community hub.
As the seasons change and the summer heat disappears, there’s one thing that is sure to keep brightening everyone’s day… dessert! Every meal should be concluded with something to satisfy your sweet tooth so here are our six stunning dessert recommendations to make this upcoming fall as sweet as can be.
Whether they’re carved, painted or made of plastic, pumpkins will surely be found everywhere as fall approaches… especially on your plate! Ignore the traditional pumpkin pie and head over to barleymash in the Gaslamp for their Pumpkin Crème Brulee served with brown butter cream cheese, whipped cream and chocolate-dipped pumpkin seed brittle.
The Cravory, a San Diego-based gourmet cookie shop known for its unique and inspired cookie flavors has made its debut in North County, San Diego. The new shop, located in Bressi Ranch Village Center, introduces a custom cookie menu, flavored milks and epicurean coffee.
The 1,300 square foot space, designed by San Diego based firm Colkitt & Co., features two expansive white marble counters, “floating shelve” cookie displays, a sampling station, coffee bar and indoor/outdoor seating. The store is perfectly suited for guests to relax or grab on the go a favorite cookie and coffee. Custom-designed cookie-inspired graphics, pop-art, hopscotch floor, menu-wall and neon design bearing the phrase “The Sweet Life” are placed throughout the store’s crisp blue and white aesthetic.
Located at 2690 Via De La Valle in the Flower Hill Promenade, Flower Child is a fast-casual restaurant that makes local sourcing a priority, serving “healthy food for a happy world”. Food is cooked fresh, proteins are all raised naturally, and organic produce is guided by the wisdom of the Environmental Working Group. Flower Child is slated to open in December, 2016.
With extreme popularity in Spain, Portugal, France and the Philippines, the churro is a dessert that’s enjoyed around the world! Associated with days-gone-by at the county fair, churros have gained popularity around the United States and we’ve compiled a list of San Diego’s best churro dishes to satisfy your fix for this doughy treat all-year-round.
Brian’s 24 is rolling out some brand new dishes and with them comes a delicious churro-inspired creation presented in an unlikely presentation….Tot Churros! These crispy tots are tossed in cinnamon and sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. The best part? Brian’s 24 is opened 24-7 to feed your churro cravings anytime of night or day.
For people who love San Diego and its restaurants, Maria Desiderata Montana’s new book, “San Diego Chef’s Table,” will be one tasty morsel. With recipes from established restaurants and new names, this uniquely San Diego collection offers highlights from all the region’s culinary offerings. She answered questions about her book, her love of food and her passion for this city.
Q: How did you get the idea for this book?
A: I am very fortunate in that my publisher first discovered me by reading my published food stories in various outlets online and through my blog sandiegofoodfinds.com, which started out as a fun hobby.
I came home from yoga class one morning, and there was an email waiting for me from my publisher at Globe Pequot Press. She (said) that she liked my writing style and asked me if I was interested in writing the “Food Lovers” Guide to San Diego’ (First Edition). After I finished that book, the publisher contacted me to write (this book).
Quad AleHouse and Gaslamp Tavern, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and E Street, will celebrate National Cheeseburger Day with a special price on cheeseburgers exclusively on Sunday, Sept. 18. Both venues will offer the popular sandwiches for $3 off the regular menu price for the holiday.
At Quad AleHouse, located on the third floor above Gaslamp Tavern, the featured cheeseburger selection is the White BBQ Burger: a beef patty topped with hickory-smoked pulled pork, tomato, lettuce, crispy fried onion and house-made white barbecue sauce on a brioche bun, with the option of Gruyere, American or cheddar cheese.
In celebration of Munich’s iconic Oktoberfest, ManchesterGrand Hyatt will host its first annual OktoBIERfest on September 24 & 25 from 2-7 p.m. As the front patio of Sally’s Fish House & Bar transforms into Hofbrauhaus Sally’s, guests will enjoy free admission to the celebration and speciality pricing on craft brews, German wines and traditional brats.
Grand Hyatt San Diego invites locals and tourists alike to dance the night away to live music, partake in lawn games and enjoy beautiful waterfront lawn views in celebration of one of the world’s biggest parties. OktoBIERfest is open to all ages and is dog-friendly, and there is validation for three hours of free parking in Grand Hyatt San Diego’s garage.
What: Manchester Grand Hyatt’s first annual OktoBIERfest
When: September 24 & 25 from 2-7 p.m.
Where: Marina Courtyard in front of Sally’s Fish House & Bar
Traditional Oktoberfest food, craft brews, German wines and more
Trust us, there’s nothing wrong with the classic Buffalo Wing. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to say “buffalo” without immediately thinking “wing”. However, every now and then it’s time to try new takes on a traditional staple and San Diego restaurants are shaking things up with their out-of-the-box buffalo-inspired recipes. Check them out and rediscover your love for that famous sauce incorporated into unexpected dishes.
Are you and your friend trying to watch the football game? Head over to 1919, a sports bar in Gaslamp that offers elevated renditions of American classics. If wings just won’t cut it for you, try their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. They start with crispy chicken, slather it in their house buffalo hot sauce, then top it off with bleu cheese crumbles on an airy pretzel roll.
Two slices of bread and a world of possibilities in-between, give these places a chance and they’ll make the finest sandwiches you’ve ever seen!
The lively California eatery, Fig Tree Café Pacific Beach is serving up California-style sandwiches. The Grilled Turkey Sandwich, is piled high with turkey, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar and mozzarella cheese on grilled sourdough with garlic aioli. It doesn’t get any more California than this sandwich!
In one of San Diego’s most trendy neighborhoods, you will find Encontro. Whipping up house-made, custom grinds on an open-flame grill; you know sandwich magic is happening in the kitchen. Mary’s Chicken Sandwich made with all-natural chicken breast topped with parmigiana-reggiano, heirloom tomato, arugula on a ciabatta roll with white balsamic vinaigrette and basil aioli spread. This chic eatery is bringing back classic American food.