In November 2017, Fishmonger’s Market & Seafood Bar, a European-style fish market and restaurant helmed by Top Chef Frank Tezoli opened within 57 Degrees, Mission Hills’ expansive wine retail and storage facility and event space. Fishmonger’s Market offers fresh raw seafood for purchase to go at the counter or guests can enjoy lunch or dinner within the restaurant, and at the crudo bar or on the patio. The dining menu ranges from comfort items like rich clam chowder and lobster mac ’n’ cheese to delicate hamachi served with cherry or mango, king crab with cucumber, or chocolate smoked salmon. Fishmonger’s offers cooking classes and has space for parties and corporate events. (1/18)
In early 2018, Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins will open El Jardin restaurant at San Diego’s Liberty Station. Chef Zepeda-Wilkins is currently competing on season 15 of BRAVO’s “Top Chef.” El Jardin will boast a fusion of traditional Guadalajara-style cuisine and modern Baja-Mediterranean food, and feature an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal, all indicative of Zepeda-Wilkens’ trove of culinary expertise. The restaurant will have 8,800 square feet of space with an additional 5,500-square-foot patio located within San Diego’s newest culinary destination, Liberty Station. (1/18)
In February 2018, Mavericks Beach Club will open in Pacific Beach as an indoor and outdoor bar, perfect for cocktails and bites by the beach. Located in a 15,000-square-foot property, Mavericks Beach Club will feature five full bars, Baja-inspired food for lunch and dinner, and live entertainment. Outfitted with coastal California décor, round tables for community seating, and cozy spots by an outdoor fireplace, Mavericks provides a laidback atmosphere along with an exciting lineup of entertainment planned for 2018, including block parties with DJs and national touring bands. Mavericks will offer a bike valet for beach cruisers along with outdoor games, a dance club, and plenty of space to enjoy the California beach lifestyle. (1/18)
Overlooking Pacific Beach’s bustling boardwalk, Waterbar opened in January 2018 and offers coastal dishes infused with Baja influences, such as whitefish ceviche with citrus, aguachili verde with cucumber, and octopus served ajo blanco with green grapes, cilantro and almonds. Corn fritters, avocado pork belly toast, filet mignon and a Waterbar (crab) burger round out the seafood menu. Featuring a diverse craft cocktail list, a variety of wines and local craft brews, this 6,700-square-foot dining destination offers breathtaking ocean views. (1/18)
In January 2018, a new Japanese restaurant, Cloak & Petal, opened in Little Italy, the dining-centric neighborhood that is expanding beyond Italian fare. Cloak & Petal inhabits 7,500 square feet and specializes in traditional crudo, sushi and Japanese small plates, along with a craft cocktail list that includes a variety of sake and craft Japanese beers. The interior is Instagram worthy with cherry blossom trees surrounding the bar and edgy artwork on the wall. (1/18)
In November 2018, Burgerim opened in Horton Plaza Park, serving gourmet burgers in a fast-casual setting. The burgers can be purchased in various packs from an uno, duo, or trio, to a 16-pack of burgers that can be customized with 11 types of patties. The restaurant on the park also serves chicken wings or strips, a variety of sandwiches and salads including their basket salad made with arugula, strawberry and candied pecans with goat cheese. (1/18)
In December 2017, George’s at the Cove released a new cocktail menu featuring 23 unique libations each named for and inspired by a San Diego neighborhood. A sample of the cocktails available include the “La Jolla” with Cimarrón Blanco, dried mangos, lime zest and juice, chili and agave syrup served with a saline ice cube with suspended seaweed, and the “Balboa Park” cocktail, composed of Botanist Gin, Campo de Encanto Grand & Noble Pisco, hibiscus blackberry honey, fresh lime juice, an egg white, saline solution and atomized sweet orange essential oils. The idea for the menu being served at George’s Level 2 bar came to Stephen Kurpinsky, head barman and director of spirits and beer, and he worked with the staff at George’s Level 2 to create the recipes that would encapsulate the essence of each neighborhood. Visitors wishing to recreate the cocktails can bring home a copy of the Neighborhoods of San Diego book that showcases the 23 new cocktails, with photography of the drink shot in the specific neighborhood and the recipe of the libation included, available for purchase at the restaurant. (1/18)
In February 2018, JRDN at Tower23 hotel, one of San Diego’s premier beachfront dining destinations located on the vibrant Pacific Beach boardwalk, will reopen after a month-long refresh. The seaside spot will complete an update that includes the addition of a glass enclosed sushi kitchen as well as other aesthetic and kitchen enhancements along with the installation of new indoor and outdoor furnishings. Diners can expect an elevated beach chic vibe in the dining room while the culinary team will enjoy an enhanced space from which to create steak and seafood focused dishes. The all-new sushi menu and other items are in development and will be revealed with the re-opening of the restaurant. (1/18)
In January 2018, a modern American brewpub, The Bell Marker, opened in downtown San Diego. The 8,000-square-foot restaurant, named after the mission bell markers found along the historic El Camino Real, offers on-site brewing, an expansive bar, seating for 212, and a private event space with A/V capabilities in the upstairs area. An extensive copper clad 15-barrel brewing system will be used to make classic American, English, German and an occasional Belgian-style beer. The Bell Marker’s first offerings are a brewed-in-house cream ale, hefeweizen, pale ale, IPA and brown ale on tap, with a selection of guest beers that will rotate frequently. Culinary Director Trevor Faris created a California-centric menu including inventive spins on pizza classics, such as the vegan salad pie with marinara and California chopped salad; the squash pie with fresh cream, winter squash, red wax gouda, pomegranate molasses and red onion; or the fennel sausage pizza made in house with crushed tomatoes, Impossible meat or pork fennel sausage, mozzarella and shallots. In addition to the expansive pizza menu, guests can choose from a variety of smaller items such as smoked fish dip with fresh Idaho River trout, green garlic, tabasco and crackers; ricotta fritters with housemade ricotta and chili jam; or mushroom pâté with pickled mustard seeds, horseradish cream and toast. The menu offers sandwiches and large entrees as well. The cocktail program provides a nod to historical moments in bell marker history such as the Daisy Anna, a cocktail named after Anna Pitcher, who initiated an effort to preserve the route of Alta California’s Camino Real. The remainder of the craft cocktail list will play on iconic San Diego pop culture. (1/18)
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