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The Best Food & Drink Events in August and September

Ferragosto Wine Dinner, Farm Dinner at Juniper & Ivy, and Culture Through Cuisine


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August 18: Farm Dinner at Juniper & Ivy. | Photo: Luis Garcia

Ferragosto Wine Dinner

WHEN: August 15, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Piazza 1909, 7731 Fay Avenue, La Jolla

A few of my favorite Italian chefs in San Diego—Mario Cassineri and Francesca Penoncelli (Bice), Accursio Lotá (Solare)—are teaming up with one I’m not familiar with, chef Stefano Ceresoli of Piazza 1909, for a summer Italian feast. It’s a four-course Italian meal with wine pairings in honor of the annual Italian summer eatathon, Ferragosto.

COST: $85
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Farm Dinner at Juniper & Ivy

WHEN: August 18, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Juniper & Ivy, 2228 Kettner Blvd, Little Italy

Exec chef Richard Blais (Top Chef All-Stars winner) has a hell of a staff at Juniper & Ivy with exec chef Jon Sloan (ex-Roy’s) and chef de cuisine Anthony Wells (ex-Per Se, Meadowood). For this seven-course meal on the restaurant’s patio, they’ll focus on lamb raised locally at Teralta Ranch in El Cajon, pairing with wines from Italy’s Grattamacco Estate. It won’t be lamb dish after lamb dish, of course. Expect plenty of local in-season produce. I had a tasting with Sloan and Wells last year, and it was phenomenal.

COST: $175
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Best of San Diego Party

WHEN: August 26, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Liberty Station, 2460 Historic Decatur Rd. Suite 200, Point Loma

San Diego Magazine throws a hell of a party. Sure, I’m biased and this post just got me an extra zero dollars on my paycheck. But I’ve said it since my first official SD Mag party after joining the magazine in 2011. I’ve been with a hundred thousand media organizations in this city, and none had the all-out party organization that SDM does. So, this is our “Best Of” party. The biggie. The one not to miss. Sells out every year. If an event is subpar, that doesn’t happen. Word gets round. Attrition would befall us. Eat, drink, and be media. The restaurants include some of the best in the area: Buona Forchetta, Cowboy Star, Deckman’s en el Mogor, George’s, Herringbone, Juniper & Ivy, Monello, Puesto, Solare, Suppanee, Tajima, Tidal, Whisknladle… the list goes on. Plus, wineries, breweries, cocktails, live entertainment, DJs, and other various wild entertainment.

COST: $80-$120
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Culture Through Cuisine

WHEN: September 9-11 (lunches and dinners, brunch on Sunday)
WHERE: Harrah’s Resort Southern California

Need a good reason to go to a casino aside from the fact that there’s gambling and a pool and drinks and music and well-orchestrated sin? Well here’s one. Chef Javier Plascencia, the cross-border chef behind Mision 19, Bracero, Romesco, and many others, will be taking over ‘ritas Cantina at Harrah’s for three days, serving off-menu, prix-fixe lunch, dinner and then a brunch on Sunday. There are many, many chefs who are leading this explosion of Baja-San Diego cuisine, and Plascencia is among the top. Plus, blackjack.

COST: Lunch $30, Dinner $55, Brunch $45
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