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New & Notable - North County Edition

Restaurant débuts, menu changes, and trend tracking


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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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