Main Dish for August
Notes, news, must-taste events, and more!
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Pan Seared Seabass @ Pacific Coast Grill.
After what seemed like years, the new Pacific Coast Grill is finally open. The location couldn’t be better at the long-abandoned Charlie O’s in Cardiff, with front-row views of pro surfer Rob Machado’s home break. Sit on the porch, sniff the salt air, and don’t order beef. Get the seabass in a light white wine sauce with sautéed spinach, tomato and basil. It just fits.
437 S. Coast Hwy., Cardiff. pacificcoastgrill.com
Gateau Aileen @ Michele Coulon Dessertier.
Coulon is a master when it comes to anything sweet, baked or both. If you’ve never been to her quaint bakery, it’s a crime. If you haven’t been in a while, now is a great time to go back for her Gateau Aileen—a hot milk sponge cake, loaded with summer-ripe berries and buttercream. Let it warm for a few minutes to let the buttercream soften and release all of its lovely sins.
7556 Fay Ave., La Jolla, dessertier.com
Sangria @ Vintana.
Yes, it’s strange. A restaurant atop a car dealership. But the outdoor patio at Vintana is not short on wow-factor, with the sun setting over the Escondido hills (choose your seat wisely, because from the wrong angle it’s all parking lot). They make a good sangria, which should properly be enjoyed by their massive fire feature on the deck. The problem most make with the Spanish classic is cloying sweetness from the Brandy and fruit sugar. But Vintana’s is understated, smooth and reason enough to see this fascinating new restaurant for yourself.
1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido. Dinevintana.com
Top Food Events
San Diego Wine Country Festival
August 11, 1-5PM
San Diego’s wine region still has a ways to go, but it’s very quickly getting better. Bernardo Winery itself will be pouring, of course. Currently 20 other local wineries are confirmed, including Woof’n Rose from Ramona, one of the most award-winning wineries in the city (Gold Medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, two Gold Medals at the SD County Fair Commercial Wine Competition). Two other standouts include Hacienda de las Rosas from Ramona and Beach House Winery from Oceanside (their Petite Syrah is remarkably good). Admission includes tastings of 10 wines, a logo glass, plus of course a baguette and some olive oil and vinegar.
Cost: $25 pre-order; $30 at door
Location: Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo del Verano, Rancho Bernardo, CA. Bernardowinery.com
Foshee & Kostow Dinner
August 19, 6PM
Chef Trey Foshee
Chef Trey Foshee of Georges California Modern is one of the best in the US, not just San Diego. In his long tenure, he’s trained a few stars along the way, including Chris Kostow. Foshee’s one-time sous chef is now the head toque at Meadowood, three-star Michelin restaurant in Napa Valley. And for one night the two will reunite and cook their duffs off to raise money for literacy in San Diego. It’s a six-course feast, with wine pairings, to benefit Words Alive. It’s no small ticket price; but it’s also a rare grouping of talent. Plus, literacy kind of matters.
Location: George’s at the Cove, 1250 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA. http://www.wordsalive.org/events_alunchsum.html
San Diego Spirits Festival
August 25-26, 1-6PM
If you’re the sort who lovingly gazes at the line of bottles behind the bar, this is your event. And oh is it a show—serious spirits makers (including internationals like Glennfiddich and locals like 619 Vodka) mix with the saucier side of the liquid industry. Mixologists for this year include locals Mike Yen (ex-Nine-Ten), Adam Stemmler (Vin de Syrah) and Jennfier Queen (Snake Oil Cocktal Co.). The two-day fest includes tastings, food from local chefs (including Bo Beau’s Katherine Humphus), musicians like local jazz singer Sacha Boutros at the end of the Broadway pier, all the bells and party whistles.
Cost: $80 for single-day; $175 all-inclusve
Location: Port Pier Pavilion on Broadway, 1000 N. Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA. Sdspiritsfestival.com