Tuesday, November 11, 2008

San Diego Foodstuff Miscellany

There's just so much going on in town, what with special food events and new restaurant openings. So, another edition of San Diego Foodstuff Miscellany.

  • The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is here! Nov. 12 through 16. There will be 15 celebrity chef food and wine classes (held at Macy's School of Cooking in Mission Valley and the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center downtown) featuring Sam (the Cooking Guy) Zien, the Top Chef All Stars (including our own Brian Malarkey), Ted Allen, and Chuao Chocolatier's Michael Antonorsi. A Celebrity Chef Luncheon and Big Bottle Auction will be held on Friday at the San Diego Marriott and Marina. Saturday brings the day-long Grand Tasting Event at the Embarcadero Marina Park North (behind Seaport Village, featuring 60 top San Diego chefs and 160 top wine purveyors. Finally, Sunday wraps up the event with a Hornblower Cruise Champagne Tasting Brunch. For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, go to www.worldofwineevents.com.
  • If you enjoyed the recent Celebrate the Craft event earlier this month, you'll love the Cooks' Dinner Meets Artisan Table at A. R. Valentien held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20. Birds are the theme for this multi-course dinner featuring an array of San Diego culinary talent: Timothy Kolanko of A.R. Valentien, Jack Fisher (Jack Fisher Confections), Antonio Friscia (Stingaree, Dish), JSix's Christian Graves, Nine-Ten's Jason Knibb, Brian Sinnott of 1500 Ocean and Andrew Spurgin and Donald Coffman of Waters Catering. Dinner is $95, including wine for the first two courses. For reservations, call 858-777-6635.
  • Tender Greens at Liberty Station has its own pastry chef, Susanna Brandenburg, mother to chef Rian Brandenburg. What's on the menu for the holidays? French apple pies, pumpkin pies and black mission fig tarts. Of course, this being a family affair, Rian's grandmother, Maria Balistreri, is also doing some baking. She's making homemade cannoli from a century-old secret recipe.
  • Bankers Hill has a new French-style restaurant. Hexagone, at the corner of Laurel and 5th, just opened at the end of last month, offering an array of dishes that meld traditional French cuisine with California-style flair. The creation of Rancho Bernardo's French Market Grille's Patrick Halcewicz, Hexagone is featuring a large menu - over 40 dishes - created by France native Chef Daniel Durfort (formerly of Los Angeles' La Parisienne) and Chef Matt Smith (formerly of JSix). Hexagone is open for lunch Monday through Friday and daily for dinner.
  • North Park's Sea Rocket Bistro is introducing a $20 prix fixe menu on their Thursday movie nights. Yes, they show movies every Thursday at 8 p.m. (kid-friendly movies will have an additional early 6 p.m. start for interested families) This week's film? The fabulous Ratatouille! The prix fixe meal deal includes either a glass of draft beer or one of their house wines, a starter not exceeding $10 and any entree not exceeding $16. It doesn't include tax and gratuity. Sea Rocket Bistro is located at 3382 30th St.
  • The Marine Room is offering a "Passport to the Senses" special menu (by request only) through Nov. 26, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. $40 per person (tax, gratuity and bevs not included). The Marine Room is at 2000 Spindrift Dr. in La Jolla. Sister restaurant The Shores is offering a three-course "Dine and Splash" menu from 5 to 7 p.m. for $24 per person. Build your own ice cream sundae for dessert. They're also offering an Ocean Garden Sustainable Shrimp Tasting menu on Fridays and Saturdays in November. $55 per person (including sustainable wine pairings). The Shores is at 8110 Camino del Oro in La Jolla.
  • Whole Foods is doing a Thanksgiving Tasting this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. You can get tastes of Mary's brined turkey, spiral cut ham, traditional stuffing and many other prepared dishes. Folks in the meat department and elsewhere in the store can also answer your cooking questions.
  • Venissimo Cheese has opened a shop in Belmont Shore in Long Beach. They're also doing a holiday special on shipping: a flat rate of $20 for up to 10 pounds. And, if you're a blue cheese fan, try their new Verdecapra, a very tangy, extra creamy goat milk blue made by the same Italian producers of Taleggio.
  • Finally, Sbicca restaurant in Del Mar is offering all bottles of wine on their menu at half price during November. What's on their seasonal menu these days? 3X mac and cheese with lobster, shrimp, and scallops; a grilled flat iron steak with a cabernet fig ragout; a pecan roasted maple leaf duck breast; and maple roasted pork prime rib.

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