Quality Social (site under construction) opened and Buzz expects it to be a hit.  Where else in town can you get a very good gin and tonic (with housemade tonic) or a tasty Brandt beef  hot dog  that Chicago transplant and executive chef Jared Van Camp makes and smokes at the restaurant?  These were two tasting items served at their opening party.  Located in the former EXY space downtown at F & 6th, the room includes two bars, lots of open space with high top seating and a very comfortable vibe.   Buzz can’t wait to try the housemade charcuterie that includes pastrami, chicken liver pate and coppa, served with housemade pickles and mustard or goose fat fries for a change of pace.  Local is the name of the game for ingredients:  Crow’s Pass greens and Monterey Bay squid are but a few of the featured names. Oh, and forget about those frou frou drinks…not here.   Open daily from 4pm to 2am.

Wine bars are a dime a dozen, each with their particular personality meant to attract a certain patron.  Should you be the casual Wine Steals customer, their newest soon-to-open location is downtown on J Street between 7th and 8th in Petco Park.  They’re also opening a separate gastro pub called Proper.  And don’t forget the casual new Fifty-Seven Degrees (as noted here) on Hancock at Washington where you’ll find a large round bar, good wines and friendly and knowledgeable  wine tenders.  Closed Monday.

If, however, you want a contemporary, sophisticated experience, with top-notch service, a knowledgeable sommelier (Katie Brookshire who buys unusual and interesting wines), and a chef (Luke Johnson) who shops the farmers market for his weekly menu creations,  then this is your spot.  Buzz popped into Red Velvet for a bite and can’t wait to return.  The tiny menu included fresh morels from Northern California with bite-size light gnocchi, fresh favas and Meyer lemon ($8) that paired well with a Saint- Veran  and a delicate pork belly spiked with dots of tangelo puree and a subtle undertone of cocoa and  jalapeno ($11) melded with  a glass of Reisling.  This gem  seats just 30 people.  From 5pm to 11pm, closed Monday.

Buzz is hearing that one of San Diego’s top chefs,  Amy DiBiase, a member of Cooks Confab and executive chef at the popular Roseville in Point Loma, will be moving on in the near future.  Stay tuned.

Donovan’s owners take over the Bondi space land will open later this summer with a new dining concept–possibly seafood or Italian so not to compete with their namesake steakhouse just a block away.

Lobster lovers, mark your calendar for May.  That’s when King’s Fish House will feature live Maine lobsters in nine sizes and multiple dishes from bisque to rolls.  Locations in Mission Valley, Chula Vista and Carlsbad.

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