Those of you who remember Jason Seibert (chef/owner of the closed Cafe Cerise) might want to catch up with him on Tuesday, December 7 from 6pm on.   You’ll find him at the Stout Public House (site of Cafe Cerise) as he bids goodbye to San Diego for a position as executive sous chef at Eventi, a Kimpton hotel property in New York City.

Au Revoir Bistro finally opened in the old La Vache site in Hillcrest (Robinson and Fourth).  This is the latest venture from the group that owns Arrivederci Ristorante among others in Hillcrest, North Park, La Jolla and Point Loma.

If you’re looking for unusual Italian and American small food and wine producer, Corti Brothers in Sacramento is worth checking out.  Should you want Delamain Grande Champagne Cognac 1982, or panettone from two of Italy’s well-known bakeries, Loison and Bardi, or aged aceto balsamico, be sure to read the newsletters on the website.  Owner Darrell Corti is renowned for his food and wine knowledge and this well-established  family business has been around since 1947.  5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95819, 800-509-3663 and the website for more information.

Congratulations to Lisa Redwine (General Manager, The Shores Restaurant) and Ted Glennon (Wine Director, 1500 Ocean) two of San Diego’s well-known wine directors who just passed The Court of Master Sommeliers Level 3 Advanced course and tests on their way to Master Sommelier.  They join advanced sommelier  Jesse Rodriguez (Wine Director, The Grand Del Mar) and hope to become master sommeliers, an august group of just 174 worldwide.  The first American Master Sommelier is another San Diegan, Eddie Osterland.

Foodbuzzsd will take a short break until the New Year unless there is breaking news. Happy Holidays to you all

For the those of you looking for a different type of  meal, check out where the various food trucks of San Diego are serving up everything from cupcakes (Corner Cupcakes) and Asian fusion (Tabe BBQ) to espresso (Joes on the Nose) and ice cream (Sweet Treats).

The Hillcrest corner of Fifth  and Washington that housed Sushi Itto will soon become Brazen BBQ on a ten-year lease for the  3300 square foot space.  Two young guys, John Bracamonte and Brad Thomas, who are winners of some major barbecue competitions, including those sanctioned by the  prestigious Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), are the minds behind Brazen BBQ.  Sounds like they may give Phil’s a good run for the money…San Diego could use some really swell and authentic barbecue.

And in case you missed it, also in Hillcrest, Kemo Sabe closed to relocate at some point to a coastal site in North County.  The Cohn Restaurant Group will launch their food truck Chop Soo-ey in January at the Little Italy farmers market.  In the meantime, they have their launch party in November and are doing private gigs.  Their competition as recently seen on local NBC tv, is Miho Gastrotruck with creative food including pork belly sammy and lots of other goodies.

While we’re talking Cohn restaurants, they recently installed a hot new chef, Daniel Barron, at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.  This restaurant gets a huge share of convention business, and the place was full on a early weeknight.  Barron has cooked around the country.  However, there was disappointment in what was touted as one of his signature dishes, a 60 hour boneless short rib ($35).  As explained by the server, this chunk of meat is cooked sous-vide and comes out melting in your mouth.  Not.  This was one tough hunk that needed lots more time, though it apparently was meant to be what was served.  The horseradish hash browns were yummy, crisp and with a bite.  Perhaps one needs to stick to the seafood.

There’s still time to join the fun at the San Diego Wine & Food Festival that runs from November 17 to 21.  Famous chefs, lots of wine and a good crowd to boot.

If beer is your drink of choice, the annual San Diego Beer Week has many many options for you…Check out the schedule here.

Spoke to Chris Walsh who closed his Hillcrest restaurant, Bite, August 30.  The reason?  It’s the economy stupid…and it seems that area diners love to drink more than to eat–so even though his menu was well-priced and good, it just was not enough to keep people coming back.

He mentioned also a few facts that many diners  don’t realize when it comes to eating out:  Most restaurants top costs are:  Labor, then rent, food and all the other costs such as  license fees, utilities, etc.  Most diners also don’t factor into the price of a meal the ability of the chef to create and deliver dishes based on their expertise and training.  When asked what he will do, he replied, “I’ll get a job.”

In Point Loma, the long running La Scala Italian Restaurant at Scott and Canon, will soon become Lighthouse Grill a concept from Fabio Speziali (Pomodoro and others) and Antonio Mastellone (Arrivederci and others).  Whatever these two create, we know it will likely be a hit here in Point Loma as Pomodoro has taken off with solid Italian food, nothing fancy, but well-priced and always good in a cozy, bustling room (and enclosed patio).

Charlie’s Best Bread opens Labor Day weekend in the old Con Pane space.  One thing Buzz already knows from buying their challah at the Hillcrest Farmers Market is that it is more expensive and a much denser, less satisfying loaf than that of the artisan bakery, Con Pane, now in Liberty Station on Historic Decatur and Dewey Roads.  Buzz will give their breads and other menu items a try.

Back in April, Buzz reported on Point Loma’s  Dolphin Motel’s expansion of a steakhouse and then heard it would be a coffee shop.  Lately, nothing seems to be happening…as the restaurant seems to be stuck in the Coastal Commission’s review.



**All three locations of The 3rd Corner (with the very cool redesigned website…) now offer happy hour from 3 to 6pm in the bar only, Tuesday through Saturday.  Note the three venues are closed on Monday.

**That venerable group of local chefs known as CooksConfab will host Camp Confab, a sleep-over at Susie’s Farm in Imperial Beach on September 11 and 12.  Dinner and breakfast the next morning will be prepared by many of the confab chefs.  And you will be able to participate in harvesting, cleaning and preparing the produce from the farm.  Sounds like a hoot with a host of activities that include guest appearances and tastings from such luminaries in their field as Gina Frieze from Venissimo Cheese, MIHO Gastgrotruck, and beers from Lost Abbey and master brewer Tomme Arthur and evening cocktails (after you help harvest) with mixologist Ian Ward of Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Lest you think it’s all veggies, the protein part of the meal is barbacoa of local goat and stick fire roasted local fish.  There’s lots more for the $225 per person. Reservations are limited and so, at 9am September 1, get on the CooksConfab website to register.  100% of the proceeds go to Slow Food Urban San Diego.

**Jeff Rossman, owner/chef of Terra Restaurant, a hidden gem in Hillcrest (on Vermont near the east side of  Trader Joe’s), has finished his cookbook, From Terra’s Table.  Just in time for a holiday gift, the book publishes in November and sells for $32.95 online and at bookstores.  The focus is on Jeff’s passion for local ingredients and the many farms and vendors that supply his restaurant.  You can receive a 20% discount as a foodbuzzsd reader when you buy the book online here and use the code foodbuzzsd20 .

**Gordy’s Bakery sounds yummy and a place Buzz needs to try as she travels the 5 back and forth to LA.  Just east off the freeway at Encinitas Boulevard in the Smart & Final center.  Owner Gordy is born and raised in Encinitas and had a wholesale bakery business years ago.  Sold the business and took a break and worked at the Running Shoes store and trained the track team at San Dieguito Academy.  He has now gone back to his love of baking and has opened a retail bakery in the previous Baskin-Robbins space.


In Mission Hills, Philippe Beltran (of Bleu Boheme in Kensington) gave up on a place next door to Lefty’s Pizza.  The building will now be a beauty salon: Cut.  Instead, Beltran will focus on redoing a former flower shop on Adams Avenue where he will then turn out pizzas.

At the corner of Rosecrans and Talbot in Point Loma, the nearly finished box of a building (certain to be nominated for an Onion award in design) will house La Playa Bistro due to open this June or July.  Expect traffic congestion–it’s a very busy intersection as the entrance to La Playa and the sub base.

Also in Point Loma, according to workers on the construction site next to the Dolphin Motel, the buzz is that the restaurant will be a coffee shop, not a steakhouse.  Stay tuned.

The Arrivederci restaurant group has been busy.  Along with their Ristorante Arrivederci and Arrivederci Pizza on Fourth Avenue, the group also owns the soon-to-open Au Revoir Bistro in the former La Vache location at Fourth Avenue and Robinson. They’ve just about made Monopoly on those few blocks of Fourth. The long awaited Il Postino by Arrivederci opened in North Park.  Haven’t been, but will as it is next door to Buzz favorite, Caffe Calabria.

East Village Asian Diner just opened in Encinitas.  With a chef trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, the casual menu looks good and well priced.  Open for lunch and dinner. 628 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, 760-753-8700.

Luna Grill Neighborhood Kabobery opens its second location in Mission Valley—in the same complex as IKEA and Costco. The 65-seat restaurant features modern fast casual Near East/Mediterranean food, including the freshest kabobs, salads, wraps and sandwiches.  2245 Fenton Parkway, Suite 105, 619-516-5862.  Their first location is in the Albertson’s shopping center at the 56 Freeway and Torrey Highlands. Haven’t been, but Buzz loves their well-designed website.

Worth getting on the email list for the Hotel del Coronado for specials and coupons such as one that takes $25 off a the dinner bill (over $100) at 1500 Ocean, that Sheerwater now has a $30 tasting menu with lots of choices or that Eno has bubbly Thursdays and $5 Fridays.

**We’re hearing that Five Guys Burgers & Fries will be opening a second San Diego location in Liberty Station near Vons.  North Island Naval Station already enjoys these burgers—the franchise began in Virginia.  No opening date set for the new site.

**Smashburger, chose La Jolla as its first entry into the soon-to-be saturated San Diego market.  Expect the store to open in the next few weeks. Note to Smashburger…Do we really need three daily teaser tweets before you’ve sold your first burger in this market?

**In the space next to the empty Jack’s La Jolla on Girard, Cups serves organic cupcakes in two sizes: petite (three-bites) and large (six plus bites). Buy five get the sixth free—$2 each for small, $4 for large.  For a treat anytime, the flourless chocolate decadence is moist and worth every crumb.  Flavors change daily (the website has the weekly schedule) and they’re open late

**In Hillcrest, The Big Easy takes over in the The Better Half space while just around the corner on Fourth next to Tapas Picasso, Kips Café has reopened after relocating from El Cajon.  Haven’t tried either yet, as both opened in the past few weeks.  Down the road on Adams Avenue, Café 21 now offers dinner in addition to breakfast and lunch.

**Bankers Hill will soon welcome Isabel Cruz and Barrio Star in the space that housed the short lived Mukashi at Nutmeg and Fifth.   And down the hill on Fourth and Ivy, Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant opens in March, the second venue for Market Restaurant + Bar’s Carl Schroeder (Buzz noted in October).

**Love lasagna, live in Scripps Ranch and hate to cook?  You’re in luck  as Lady Lasagna opens in Scripps Ranch with another location soon in the North County Mall.  Various lasagnas include Genova (pesto) and Alba (with truffles).  Check out the pictures on their website.  Haven’t tried it yet.

The word is out (and the sign is up) that the popular Point Loma Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café will soon have a new home in Liberty Station.  It is in the same complex as Joao’s Tin Fish Eatery & Pub, Ace Hardware and backs up to the Point Loma Sports Grill & Pub.  The greater access with lots of parking and a big patio should be a boon to bakery goers far and near. And yes, the place is a Buzz favorite.

As mentioned in a September 8, 2009 post, wine lovers who might have wondered where Bryan Ferris landed after his many years downtown at The Wine Bank, can now sip and smooze with him at the new Fifty-Seven Degrees on Washington in the building that was the Pier 1 outlet store. The wine store is open along with the wine storage facilities and the center of the room wine bar is just about finished.  1735 Hancock Street, San Diego, 619-234-5757

Assuming you’re rooting for the Saints and watching the game with friends, plan and theme a  Super Bowl party with food from Mardi Gras Café and Marketplace. You’ll find the place on Midway, two blocks off Rosecrans at Riley in small mall that includes a Punjab Indian restaurant (haven’t tried it, looks good) and a 7-Eleven. The café features sausage subs, po’boys and entrees such as red beans and rice, gumbos and jambalaya, all under $10. The market in this tiny space carries pickled pig’s cheeks, crayfish, all variations of sausage, spices, hot sauces (they boast nearly 300) and alligator tail meat, Zapp’s chips, and Café du Monde coffee and beignet mix.  Open daily: 3185 Midway Dr., Point Loma, 619-223-5501.

Closed:  Bondi in the Gaslamp  and SanFilippo’s on Fifth in Hillcrest and according to their new phone number: 619-850-4802, they are looking for a new location.

For those of you who have enjoyed the food at California Cuisine under the 25 year ownership of  Dean Kalamaras, there’s a big change coming soon.  Buzz spoke with Kalamaras who confirmed that he sold the Hillcrest restaurant and the last supper was Saturday, August 29.  The new owners, an Italian group with two restaurants in Torino, Italy will reopen in about a month and a half with a new name, Benissimo , and redone interior.

Kalamaras will continue his catering business at the Cypress Room down the street at 3665 Park Boulevard, 619-543-0790.  For those of you who follow chefs, Chris Walsh worked at California Cuisine before moving on to open Cafe W, Confidential and his current Bite watch tripping the rift the movie in divx

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, on University, just a few blocks from his former employer.

If you’re in the market for a restaurant space, Modus in Bankers Hill quietly closed its doors. The space is for lease along with La Vache in HIllcrest.  For information:  858-792-5521.

Also with a “not in service” phone:  Lucky Buck’s in Hillcrest. CORRECTION: Drove by there today, and the new owners as of June 1 have had a devil of a time getting that phone number changed.  They are open and the number is 619-487-9379.

French 101 opens in the old Hard Rock space in La Jolla.

Winesellar & Brasserie’s new chef Matt Smith is slowly updating the menu and we’re hearing regulars are happy for the change.

Want to be the next star on the Food Network?  If so, there is an Open Casting Call in San Diego on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at the W Hotel.   They are looking for people who are full of life, passionate about cooking, and knowledgeable about food to meet in person at the open casting call. You can be a chef, home cook, caterer or culinary enthusiast to answer the call from 12pm-5pm at the W San Diego, 421 W. B Street, San Diego, CA 92101.  Questions:  nfns6sd@yahoo.com

You’re missing out on some great food events if you’ve not heard of Cooks Confab a group of  fourteen local chefs.  All are passionate about cooking and believe in the farm to table concept as well (they give a portion of event proceeds to Slow Food Urban San Diego.  Recently Stingaree’s executive chef Antonio Friscia hosted local craft beers paired with morsels by the chefs. It was a fabulous tasting walkabout. Their next event is Pig, on October 4  with executive chef Paul McCabe at Kitchen 1540.  Reservations at 858-793-6460 and the cost is $90.

San Diego Restaurant Week starts September 13 and runs until the 18th.  It’s a good time to try new places (you’ll have 180 to choose from) and, depending on the restaurant, tasting menus priced at $20, $30 or $40 (plus tax and tip).