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New & Notable - North County Edition

Restaurant débuts, menu changes, and trend tracking


Chef Brian Redzikowski, formerly of Thompson Hotel (Beverly Hills) and Nobu (Aspen), has taken the helm at Flavor Del Mar. Must try: his seared Maine Diver scallops with potato foam.

Addison’s executive chef William Bradley is offering an understudy program to a lucky few.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center welcomes Italian eatery Davanti Enoteca and its sister resto, Mia Francesca (the brainchildren of Chicago restaurateur Scott Harris).

Firenze Trattoria in Encinitas has a new spacious bar lounge area for more casual dining—which includes new specialty martinis and Perevi’s latest, polpette  di pollo: oversized chicken meatballs plump with porcini mushrooms, Parmesan, onions, and sundried tomatoes nestled in marinara and spaghetti. Amore.

With the $20-million renovation planned for Rancho Valencia, chef Eric Bauer will have a new rustic-chic setting to showcase his garden-to-table talents. In addition, a new casual cantina bar will serve up tapas and seductive sippers.

[ New in town ] Twisted Vine Bistro

Twisted Vine garners points for its name alone and for adding a little culinary punch to Santaluz, an area in dire need of good eats. Chef Mia Sailing champions a daring, eclectic global menu that speaks to her love of intense flavors, sustainable products, and twists on traditional dishes. At age 15, Sailing jumped right onto the line at a cafe in Montana. After 16 years of hands-on experience she attended The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes of California, San Diego. Twisted’s owner, Tammy Moore, veteran restaurateur and daughter of Pat & Oscar’s proprietors, envisioned a lively bistro with unique wines, so she hired Luciano Leonardo, a fifth generation Italian from a family of wine growers, who swears he’s got wine coursing through his veins.

Together, this triumvirate, as eclectic as the menu, helms the bistro, whose hodgepodge design evokes a quirky neighborhood feel. The food has heart. Sustainable fish like sea bass and yellowtail is locally sourced from Catalina Offshore. Diners can opt for casual fare like Cubano sandwiches, chili-passion fruit chicken wings, or a trio of hummus with flavors like roasted beet, curried white bean, and colorful crudités like watermelon radish. Sailing’s spicy Duroc pork sings with orange-achiote-chipotle marinade, while her tender short ribs are cleverly braised in beer and hoisin. Her twist on shrimp “curry” features simmered coconut and tomato sauce with habaneros tucked in for a piquant finish. A few dishes, like the yellowtail tostados, are overloaded with too many flavors, but the zealous Sailing will find her stride. The wine list features 40-plus limited production, yet affordable, wines that Leonardo plans to expand as Twisted evolves. 

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