David Spatafore, the local hospitality maestro behind Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality (MooTime Creamery, Village Pizzeria, Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, Coronado Coffee Company, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge) is behind Liberty Public Market, a public arena for local artisans, handcrafted food and specialty items, all under one roof. The 22,000-square-foot space will house more than 30 purveyors, allowing brick-and-mortar opportunities for small businesses. Acting as a one-stop specialty shop, as well as a daily farmers' market, Liberty Public Market is similar to Napa’s progressive Oxbow Public Market. The market will be set in sprawling Liberty Station, adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. It is expected to open in fall 2015. Liberty Public Market, Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106, no phone.
A new brewery and tasting room has descended upon the Miramar brewing scene. Duck Foot Brewing Company sets itself apart from San Diego’s other craft beer breweries in that it’s producing only gluten-free beer. Anyone, including those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, can enjoy their craft beer. The core line-up includes Blonde Ale, Red Ale, IPA, White Double IPA and Chocolate Hazelnut Porter; seasonal offerings include a Honey Ale and Coconut Molasses Brown Ale. Enjoy tasting flights or grab a growler of your favorite flavor. Duck Foot Brewing Company, 8920 Kenamar Dr., Ste 210, San Diego, CA 92121, 858-433-7916.
SoCal BBQ joint Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill has opened at the Hazard Center in Mission Valley. Executive chef Alex Benes, the "Sultan of Smoke," has created a menu that features hand-cut, certified Angus beef steaks grilled over a live oak fire, as well as slow-roasted and grilled-to-order barbecue chicken, tri tip, St. Louis-style short ribs and baby-back ribs. Among sauces is the chipotle-cherry barbecue sauce. Lunch & dinner daily. Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, 7510 Hazard Center Dr #215, San Diego, CA 92108, 619-764-4411.
The team from George's at the Cove is launching Galaxy Taco in the former La Jolla Shores Market space. The 4,500-square-foot, indoor/outdoor eatery is expected to attract an equal mix of locals and visitors looking for that quintessential San Diego experience of beers, beaches and tacos. The short menu will feature Baja-inspired foods with local seasonal ingredients, ranging from cold seafood dishes and salads to seasonal hot appetizers, family-style entrées and eight varieties of tacos. (Galaxy Taco will grind its own corn for these soft-style tacos.) Look for a full bar with an excellent selection of tequila and mezcal. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Galaxy Taco, 2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, no phone.
L’Auberge Del Mar reinvents its patio dining scene with Coastline, an open-air restaurant featuring a seafood-centric menu that spotlights coastal Californian cuisine. Diners enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific while enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner. Standout dishes include blackened shrimp tacos with buttermilk-lime ranch and Fresno chilies; the red romaine "wedge" with crispy prosciutto and Truffle Tremor cheese; and a salmon burger with Asian influences. Southern Californian craft beers, international wines and in-house mixology add flair to the ocean-view dining. Coastline, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, 858-259-1515, 800-553-1336.
One of Tijuana's most celebrated chefs, Javier Plascencia, will open Bracero: Cocina de Raiz on Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy. Named for the 1940s Bracero program, which brought in many Mexican agricultural workers to the U.S., the bi-level eatery will allow San Diego diners to savor the famed chef's modern Mexican fare, without crossing the border. The lower level will be a casual, no-reservations eatery, while the upper floor will offer a more formal dining experience. Plascencia also has Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro in Bonita, in addition to a slew of eateries in Tijuana (Mision 19) and Guadalupe Valley (Finca Altozano). Bracero: Cocina de Raiz, 1490 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101, no phone.
The team behind Union Kitchen & Tap, located in both Encinitas and the Gaslamp, rolled out a new gastropub in Pacific Beach called Backyard Kitchen & Tap. The modern-styled, beer-centric eatery has cabanas, fire pits and living walls of greenery. Backyard Kitchen & Tap, 832 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, CA 92109, 858-859-2593.
Executive chef Steven Riemer, the culinary talent from The Lodge at Torrey Pines and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, is overseeing the new 8,200-square-foot, indoor/outdoor restaurant Oceana Coastal Kitchen located at the iconic Catamaran Resort Hotel. Guests can enjoy Riemer’s California comfort cuisine, along with sweeping, unobstructed views of Mission Bay. Oceana Coastal Kitchen, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA 92109, 858-539-8635.
Café Gratitude, which serves up gourmet 100 percent, plant-based cuisine, is arriving in San Diego. The popular vegan restaurant has outposts in Downtown L.A., Venice Beach, Santa Cruz, Berkeley and more, and will now descend upon Little Italy in 2015. Café Gratitude focuses on organic, healthy eats and environmentally friendly products. The menu features dishes like chia seed pudding, gluten-free buckwheat-flax pancakes and Portobello mushroom tostados with cashew queso fresca and avocado.
Summer Cooking Classes at Hotel Solamar's Jsix
Executive chef Christian Graves is hosting summertime cooking classes at Jsix’s Lounge during July. These casual and fun lessons will include a meal and two “dealer’s choice” cocktails. Topics include cures, cultures and canning (July 6), pickles three ways (July 13), preserves (July 20), and spices and rubs (July 27). Each class is $40 per person. Jsix, Hotel Solamar, 616 J St., San Diego, CA 92101, 619-531-8744.
Arterra has a new chef and a redesigned, seasonally driven menu. Evan Cruz, born and raised in San Diego, worked side by side with Roy Yamaguchi exploring Asia and Hawaii and directing the company’s creative operations. Locally, Cruz also worked at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club with Bernard Guilles, and served as sous chef at L’Auberge Del Mar. His new small plates menu is influenced by his travels around the world, with dishes like savory short rib bulgogi with kimchi and toasted rice on a mung bean cake or smoky Padrón peppers served with black garlic, pork belly and chives. Arterra is launching a new craft cocktail program, starting with a well-curated Bourbon menu featuring 15 premium, handcrafted selections, two Bourbon-infused cocktails and Bourbon flights. The restaurant still serves sushi as well. Arterra, San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130, 858-369-6032.
JRDN Restaurant at Tower 23 Hotel has tagged Danilo “DJ” Tangalin as its new executive chef, overseeing the chic beachfront restaurant known for its fresh take on California cuisine. DJ worked as chef de cuisine at Prepkitchen Del Mar, before joining the team at JRDN as a sous chef. JRDN Restaurant, Tower23 Hotel, 723 Felspar St., San Diego, CA 92109, 858-270-5736.
Coronado’s iconic seaside retreat has appointed Meredith Manee as its new chef de cuisine at the property's signature restaurant 1500 Ocean. Classically trained at California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu program, Manee has worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for the duration of her career. She served as the executive restaurant chef of Edge Restaurant & Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver and also had stints at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Four Seasons Resort Hawaii - Lanai at Manele Bay, Four Seasons Newport Beach and Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara. At 1500 Ocean, Manee will present a California Coastal menu and will make use of The Del’s on-site herb garden year-round for garden-to-table flavors, while also integrating artisanal products from local purveyors and farms. 1500 Ocean, Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118, 619-522-8490.
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