Opening in spring 2019 and featuring world-renowned celebrity chef Akira Back, Lumi is an energetic and upscale rooftop venue serving modern Japanese fare and sushi accompanied by handcrafted libations. Akira Back is a two-time Michelin-starred chef behind restaurants spanning across nine countries. Lumi will feature adventurous flavors with a California twist, using local ingredients throughout the menu and influences from around the world for an immersive dining experience. Guests will enjoy views of the city paired with punchy pops of color and three-dimensional art features at this eclectic and chic space in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. A dedicated private dining area, The Grand Pacific Room, located on the 3rd level of the historic, newly renovated Grand Pacific Hotel building, offers a highly imaginative space that can accommodate a variety of functions.
Also opening in spring 2019 within the historic Grand Pacific Hotel building is Huntress, an innovative steakhouse and whiskey venue. The kitchen will be helmed by Executive Chef James Montejano, a San Diego native who has worked at several award-winning restaurants. Menu highlights include beef sashimi with picked kohlrabi, ponzu demi vinaigrette and shiso, scallop and foie gras trio tasting, signature steaks including Japanese wagyu, 45-day, dry-aged porterhouse, Imperial Farms eye of the ribeye, a wagyu trio tasting, and a lobster trio including a lobster citrus avocado salad, lobster grilled cheese and sunchoke cauliflower lobster soup. The Huntress mezzanine on the second level offers a more intimate, relaxed feel, with a bar showcasing a collection of rare Japanese whiskies. The space will boast a catwalk overlooking the entire main dining room, a floor-to-ceiling wine display and a private wine tasting and dining table that cantilevers over the restaurant entry.
In May 2019, celebrated chef Michael Mina joins with partner Ayesha Curry to bring their globally-inspired barbeque restaurant, International Smoke, to San Diego’s affluent Carmel Valley neighborhood. Spanning more than 8,000 square feet, the stylish venue will serve international dishes by acclaimed chefs from Mina’s slate of award-winning restaurants, such as Indian fry bread with spice-crusted snapper and turmeric pickles, grilled lobster with Japanese curry yakiudon, and duck wings with jerk spices. Chef Mina earned two Michelin stars in 2006 for his Michael Mina restaurant in San Francisco.
Also opening in May 2019, Il Dandy is the latest culinary venture from Dario and Pietro Gallo, the Calabrian-born brothers behind the lauded Civico 1845 in San Diego’s vibrant Little Italy neighborhood. The brothers will be joined by father and son duo, Antonio and Luca Abbruzzino, who will be relocating to San Diego to helm the kitchen. Located in the uptown Bankers Hill neighborhood, Il Dandy will offer a contemporary approach to cuisine rooted in Calabria, showcasing the talents and mindful technique of the chefs while educating guests on the healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet. A thoughtfully curated cocktail program featuring Italian aperitifs and wine and beer selections from the Calabria region will complement the menu. Chefs Antonio and Luca Abbruzzino earned Michelin stars in 2013 for their eponymous restaurant in Calabria.
In May 2019, Executive Chef Matt Sramek, an alum of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon restaurant, opens Little Frenchie bistro in Coronado. The 1,600-square-foot restaurant is located in the historic 1911 Pacific Western Bank building and celebrates the Nouvelle French cuisine of Sramek’s early culinary training as a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu (Pasadena) and his work alongside many of southern California’s culinary icons over the last decade. The restaurant will offer French bistro classics like steak frites, niçoise salad and escargots on the shell, alongside lighter adaptations of cassoulet and short rib pot au feu to cater to local palates. Little Frenchie’s ambitious cheese program will highlight an extensive rotating array of cheeses atop the restaurant’s aptly named “cheese altar.”
San Diego is adding another speakeasy to its cocktail scene, and possibly the world’s only speakeasy located next door to a cemetery. New mezcal bar and restaurant Tahona, opened in Old Town in November 2018, will add on a speakeasy called Oculto 477 in June 2019. Cocktail enthusiasts will have to wander through Tahona to discover the entrance to Oculto 477. The intimate space will seat 25 guests and be lit by candlelight―specifically, 477 candles to represent the 477 souls buried next door in the historic El Campo Santo Cemetery. The speakeasy plans to provide an elevated level of craft cocktails, many incorporating artisanal mezcal and all designed to provide multi-sensory experiences.
In April 2019, Orfila Vineyards & Winery in San Diego’s North County opened a new tasting room near the beach in the coastal community of Oceanside. In addition to award-winning wine, Orfila is offering small plates created by Executive Chef Luke Morganstern. The dishes are made up of locally sourced products such as artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards, crispy Brussels sprouts, tortilla flatbreads, and a selection of desserts. Orfila offers 19 of their wines in the tasting room, including: Ambassador’s Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Element 119 Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese. Wine tasting options range from flights of six, eight or by the glass or bottle and includes a logo wine glass to keep. Family owned Orfila Vineyards & Winery celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 and is one of the leading producers of San Diego wines, with the production of over 20,000 cases annually. The original Escondido location offers the full winery and vineyard experience with seating options on the patio or in the park overlooking the grape vines.
In March 2019, shops and dining tenants began opening at One Paseo in San Diego’s affluent Carmel Valley neighborhood, near the coastal village of Del Mar. This upscale retail and multiuse indoor-outdoor center is home to more than 40 concepts, featuring popular San Diego-based companies from Marrow Fine, Parakeet Cafe, URBN, Pigment and Shop Good and well-known national brands like Michael Mina’s International Smoke. With chic barn structures, state of the art amenities, and unique artwork throughout, One Paseo combines high-design with a country-coastal vibe.
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