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New & Notable - July 2011

Restaurant débuts, menu changes, and trend tracking


Leroy’s: The old diner in Coronado on the southern corner of Orange Avenue is soon to reopen as a family-style pub called Leroy’s. Craft beers, simple menu, local vibe. Sounds like just what the neighborhood needs.

98 Bottles: Follow the progress of this new bar and lounge opening this summer in Little Italy at 98bottles.blogspot.com. It joins beer tasting room Bottle Craft (now open) on the burgeoning, northern stretch of the neighborhood in between Mona Lisa and hip Mexican food joint El Camino.

Eddie V’s: The upscale, American food chain is giving it a go on what seems like a cursed section of Prospect Street, opening this summer in the space where the Chart House once was. It’s not the most local or most innovative, but here’s hoping it lights a fire under someone’s palate, so we get some bodies back to the sleepy village.

Mia Francesca is getting closer to opening in Little Italy, from one of the partners in Purple Pig in Chicago (which Bon Appétit named one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in the Country, last year).

If you thought Beachside was the only place to sip adult beverages with an adult crowd in Encinitas, think again. Union Kitchen opened to huge crowds in Encinitas recently in the former When in Rome space. On first bite, we felt the food needed a bit more figuring out (simple seasoning, please), but the vibe is there.

Locavore chef Christian Graves’ new dishes for summer at JSix downtown are making our mouths water. In the pappardelle dish, he’s using guanciale, also known as pig jowl. It’s like bacon, but richer (technically it’s pork cheek), and he’s also added a fresh Maine lobster salad and so-summery compressed strawberry shortcake. 

Karl Strauss launches two new releases in their Coastal Reserve Series this summer. The Whistler Imperial Pils stands out with more floral bitterness than your average pilsner (available in bottles since June 1) and the new Boardwalk Black Rye shines as a spicy black ale, available in stores August 1.

Local wholesaler Isabella Valencia goes retail this summer, opening a sweet shop Dallmann Chocolate Boutique in Flower Hill Mall. Expect truffles, gourmet chocolate bars, and a series of candy-making classes.

El Take it Easy in North Park launched a new cocktail program this summer, designed by San Francisco star mixologist Dean James and organized around tequila, mescal, and American whiskey. Sit on one of the new window seats with views out onto 30th Street.

As the most well-publicized food zone of the year, Del Mar Highlands Town Center gets set for a slew of openings this month (and yes, we’re reporting on them again), including Asian-cowboy influenced Burlap from celebrichef Brian Malarkey, a third installation of Rimel’s Rotisserie, a Greek gastropub called Taverna Blu and a new Counter Burger joint.

Restaurant Rumors

Scott Watkins is out of the partnership and day-to-day operations at Urban Solace. No word yet on where or if he’s landed somewhere else.

The folks behind Bencotto are scouting potential locations for a second restaurant
in coastal North County.

Within one block of each other in Point Loma’s Roseville neighborhood, Harbor Town and Lighthouse are both nearing construction. With similar sizes and approaches (casual atmosphere, local food and brews), we’re thinking they may also be nearing a friendly neighborhood rivalry.


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