The Best Food and Drink Events in September and October
Mezcal Week at Tahona, Cork & Craft 5-year Anniversary Dinner, and Fall Harvest Wine Dinner at Fort Oak
Fort Oak | Photo by Jim Sullivan
When: Sept. 10-15
Where: Tahona, 2414 San Diego Ave., Old Town
As I explored in my review of Old Town’s mezcal house and restaurant, Tahona is bringing some much needed new blood to San Diego’s historic center. The cozy, candle-lit space is run by a talented team that includes bar men from George’s Level 2 and chef Adrian Villareal, a Baja chef who did a stint at Noma in Denmark. But it’s their mezcal collection and tasting room that really brings a new experience, and they’re obsessive about it. A tasting there blew my appreciation for the spirit wide open. For this weeklong celebration of the spirit will include a bunch of events, from the launch of Tahona’s Mezcal Society, brunches, live music, etc.
When: September 16, 6-9PM
Where: Cork & Craft, 16990 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo
It took a brewery to really up the food game in the Rancho Bernardo area. Which makes sense, because having an ancillary revenue stream allows you to take risks with the kitchen. And Cork & Craft has repeatedly done that, giving north county residents an option they’d usually have to commute for. For this celebration dinner, they’ve partnered with Firestone Walker craft brewers and invited some of the chefs who’ve passed through the restaurant back into the kitchen for a seven-course beer-pairing feast that includes: smoked trout dip with avocado and sauce ravigote (chef Tony Guan, Underbelly); maced stracciatella with mugolio pine syrup, dukkah almond butter (chef Arica Ianni, Juniper Table); Uni & chicken liver mousse with squid ink foccacia (chef Scott Cannon, Cork & Craft); scallop and prawn sausage with shiso, stone fruit sauce nantau (chef Mike Arquines, The Lab Dining Sessions); pork loin with hazelnut and white chocolate demi glace (Cannon); duck with sunchokes, grapes, sorrel, and vanilla (chef Phillip Esteban, Consortium Holdings); and peaches ‘n’ cream (chef Michael McKee, former C&C pastry chef).
When: Sept. 26, 5:30-9PM
Where: Fort Oak, 1011 Fort Stockton Drive
In places other than San Diego, fall means moody weather and gorgeously dying leaves and the coming march of winter’s cruel rule. In San Diego, it mostly means summer part two, but there is a nip in the air and we start to crave wood fires. Which is perfect for Fort Oak, where chef Brad Wise does everything with smoke and flame and char. For this launch of their wine dinner series he’s bringing in chef Travis Swikard—San Diego native who became Daniel Boulud’s right hand man for 10 years, and is now opening his own restaurant in East Village next year. They’ll be cooking a six-course Italian menu for the night, paired with Piedmont winery, G.D. Vajra.