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News for Restaurants in San Diego
August 2012 Archive

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Cohn Restaurant Group has another eatery launching this summer, a new European-style Bistro called 100 Wines, located in the heart of Hillcrest. The project reunites the dynamic duo behind Bo Beau Kitchen + Bar and Ocean Beach Bungalow --- Philippe Beltrain and Katherine Humphus. Parisian designer Beltran, makes magic with reclaimed and repurposed accents picked up from his travels to create a wine den with old-world design, while executive chef Humphus will serve up sumptuous shared plates with modern flavors inspired by her own travels to Spain, France, Italy and Greece. Items include bone marrow with brandied cherries; spanakopita pizza with dill cream cheese, spinach, feta, phyllo and a fried egg; seared scallops with blueberry reduction; and freeform ravioli with pecorino, pear and butter sage sauce. Clearly, good wine will be a key element here, and their unique program will put a vast array of California and international styles in price categories of $20, $30 and $40+ per bottle. 100 Wines, 1027 University Ave., Hillcrest, CA 92103, 619-491-0100.
Tender Greens, known for its farmer’s market-fresh, casual cuisine, has opened a new location at Westfield UTC. Chef Peter Balistreri, who polished his fine dining skills at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and at the prestigious Lodge at Torrey Pines, helms the eatery that features locally grown produce, humanely raised meats, sustainably-caught fish, local wines and microbrews. Exciting edibles include "daily steamers" --- mussels and clams from Carlsbad Aquafarm, SoCal’s only eco-friendly aquafarm. The mollusks will be beer-braised with local craft beer and mixed with spicy chorizo, herbs and heirloom tomatoes. Look for seasonal daily specials and a cheese and charcuterie plate, in addition to the salads and rotating hot plates. Tender Greens, 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, CA 92122, 858-455-9395.
Dining room of Vintana Wine + Dine Vintana Wine + Dine is located in an unlikely glass-box penthouse setting above an Escondido Lexus dealership. There's a colorful bar with more than 100 vodka selections and flat-screens; al fresco patio dining with fire pits; and a sizeable room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, dangling bubbly chandeliers and cozy booths. The menu uses a mix of seasonal and local ingredients with interesting flavor combinations, such as Maryland crab cakes with crispy pork belly and blackberry watercress salad. Vintana Wine + Dine, Lexus Centre, 1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA 92029, 760-745-7777.
Tucked in the Lomas Santa Fe shopping mall is The Habit Burger Grill that generally has a line out the door. On offer are fresh ground-beef char-burgers, crisp fries, and shakes at affordable prices. If you're not in the mood for a burger, there's tri-tip and grilled chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers or a barbecued chicken salad. The Habit Burger Grill, 909 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Solana Beach, CA 92075, 858-523-9697 .

News Bytes

Del Mar Highland Restos Celebrate National Chicken Month
With the month of September being designated National Chicken Month (who knew?), Del Mar Highland restos Mia Francesca and Davanti are hosting a neighborly cook-off on September 15, with Rimel's, Burlap and Sammy's Woodfired Pizza also participating. Each eatery will present their finest fowl dishes, so the public can judge and pick a winner. The event is free and will be held at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Mia Francesca, Del Mar Highlands, 12955 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130, 858-519-5055.
Creative Cuisine and Festive Weekly Fun at Gingham
Chef Brian Malarkey’s Gingham restaurant in La Mesa, deemed San Diego’s “urban cowboy diner,” has a notable lineup of great weekly specials and fun events. On Mondays, it’s Burger of the Week & Beer Night, where chef Ryan Studebaker reinvents his already popular dry-aged burger and pairs it with a local San Diego craft beer, all for $15. Tuesdays are Date Night, meaning a four-course prix-fixe menu for two to share for $45, as well as half-priced wines and no corkage fees. Wednesdays are Backyard Movie Night for a flick with fine food and potables. Saturdays are Backyard BBQ & Biergarten, featuring all-you-can-eat pulled pork and corn for 15 bucks. At their Sunday brunch, enjoy bottomless Mimosas and their Bloody Mary bar. Gingham, 8384 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942, 619-797-1922.
Happy Hour at Burlap
Brian Malarkey’s Burlap has started happy hour from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Drink specials include $5 Snake Oil Infusion cocktails, $3 Snake Oil Hunter draft beers and half off selected wines by the glass. There are also appetizers available, such as $1 oysters, $5 chicken satay, and $8 Cobb salad cups. Burlap, 12995 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130, 858-369-5700.

Chef Shuffle

Robert Hohmann has been named chef de cuisine of 1500 Ocean Robert Hohmann, previously of Michael Chiarello's Bottega in Napa Valley, has been named chef de cuisine of 1500 Ocean at Hotel del Coronado. He has worked under such culinary names as Jonathan Benno, Mario Batali, Jaques Pepin and Thomas Keller. Hohmann plans to bring a taste of the Mediterranean with his new menu. 1500 Ocean, Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118, 619-522-8490.
Consortium Holdings has announced its new executive chef, Jason McLeod. McLeod, formerly of The Grand Del Mar and Ria, will be in charge of the culinary programs at Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, UnderBelly and more. Craft & Commerce, 675 W. Beech St., San Diego, CA 92101, 619-269-2202.
La Jolla’s “Pink Lady,” the chic La Valencia Hotel’s, has reconceived its signature restaurant, The Sky Room. While those stunning coastline views remain, the menu and wine program have been transformed. Chef Luke Johnson has implemented exciting, progressive Cal-American dishes and his multi-course menu, which ranges from five to eight courses, celebrates the bounty of nearby-grown produce, as well as specialty products from around the world. Think raw scallop with watermelon, radish and cucumber; chilled tomato soup with heirloom beans, basil and manchego; and pork belly ravioli with corn and blueberry. The Sky Room is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. The tasting menu is $95, with an optional wine pairing for $55. For reservations, please call 858-551-3761. The Sky Room, La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037, 858-454-0771.
Amanda Baumgarten, a Top Chef alum whose last stint was at Water Grill in downtown L.A., is executive chef at Herringbone, from chef Brian Malarkey and his business partner James Brennan. They also operate Searsucker (Gaslamp), Burlap (Del Mar), Gingham (La Mesa), and Garbadine (Point Loma). Herringbone, 7837 Herschel Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037, 858-459-0221.


Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for San Diego to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. Mr. Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, R.I.P.

Serenity Restaurant & Lounge, which served Asian fusion cuisine in a two-story space near the Convention Center, has shuttered. Serenity Restaurant & Lounge, 201 J. St., San Diego, CA 92101, no phone.
The Hillcrest nightclub and restaurant EDEN closed its doors at the end of July. EDEN, 1202 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103, no phone.
Seau's The Restaurant, which was owned by San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau, closed its doors not long after the death of the former NFL player. No word on what will take over the Mission Valley space. Seau's The Restaurant, Mission Valley Center, 1640 Camino del Rio N., San Diego, CA 92108, no phone.

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