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Food and Drink Blotter: Aug. 2017

Posted: August 4th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Blotter | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Food and Drink Blotter

San Diego County native Sean McCart was recently appointed chef de cuisine at Mister A’s, the fine-dining penthouse restaurant lauded for its urban views and ever-changing seasonal menus.

McCart is a 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry and previously served as sous chef at Juniper & Ivy.

He will work in collaboration with Mister A’s longtime executive chef, Stephane Voitzwinkler. 2550 Fifth Ave., 12th floor, 619-239-1377, asrestaurant.com.

Chef Sean McCart joins the kitchen team at Mister A’s. (Courtesy Bay Bird Inc.)


A tiki cocktail competition will be held Aug. 14, from 1 to 6 p.m., at Level Four, the rooftop pool deck and lounge at Hotel Palomar. The free event, co-presented by Cutwater Spirits, features bartender teams from popular San Diego establishments such as Curadero, Sycamore Den, Coin-Op Game Room and more. Attendees can sample the tropical concoctions and vote on their favorite at no cost. Tacos from Curadero and other cocktails will be available for sale throughout the day. The event is for those 21 years and older. 1047 Fifth Ave., fourth floor, 619-515-3000, hotelpalomar-sandiego.com.

Local bartenders will compete this month in a tiki cocktail showdown. (The Nth Element)

In other tiki-culture news, False Idol in Little Italy has launched a rum club called “The Mystics of Alkala,” curated by rum and tiki historian Martin Cate. Enrollees will venture through 35 lessons focusing on the history and making of rum, its varied styles, and its uses in tiki cocktails. Afterwards, they will ascend through four levels of rum and cocktail tastings. Those interested must visit False Idol in person to obtain further details and sign up. 675 W. Beech St., falseidoltiki.com.


Big culinary changes are occurring at The Glass Door since the recent hiring of head chef Dominick Scott, who has revised the brunch, dinner and happy hour menus with scratch-made dishes while securing contracts with local farms for ingredients. New items include a chicken and waffle tower for brunch and gorgonzola rib eye for dinner.

Scott previously worked as sous chef for Cannonball and Draft in Belmont Park.

The Glass Door is on the fourth floor of the Porto Vista Hotel and offers views of Little Italy, Downtown and San Diego Bay. 1835 Columbia St., 619-564-3755, glassdoorsd.com.

Dominick Scott is the new head chef at Porto Vista’s restaurant. (Courtesy The
Glass Door)


The second annual lunar feast dinner series takes place under the light of the full moon from 4 to 8 p.m., Aug. 6 and 27, at The Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa.

The first dinner will be co-hosted by Saiko Sushi on the resort’s private pier. The cost is $125 per person, which includes cocktail pairings.

The second dinner features a barbecue buffet and beverages from Coronado Brewing Co. and Liberty Call Distilling Co. Live music by Andrew Johns will also take place. The cost is $80 per person.

Prices for both events include parking, tax and gratuity. 200 Second St., Coronado, 619-435-3000, marriott.com.


Look for a new menu of organic cocktails at Café 21 in the Gaslamp Quarter. Created by chef-owner Leyla Javadov and reps from Greenbar Distillery, the drinks mix assorted organic liquors with various ingredients such as rose petals, watermelon, bell peppers, turmeric, herbs and other natural enhancements. 802 Fifth Ave., 619-795-0721, cafe-21.com.

The tequila-spiked “Jalisco Rose” with lime and rose petals, plus other organic libations have debuted at Café 21. (Courtesy Katalyst Public Relations)


Chef-about-town Stephen Gage has filled the vacancy of executive chef at Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen.

The position was last held by Giselle Wellman, who began working at the Hilton-owned restaurant after competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef” television series (season 13).

Gage will revamp the menu with a heavier seafood focus.

He previously cooked for all three kitchens at the La Valencia Hotel, and worked also at Blind Lady Ale House and Underbelly. 2137 Pacific Highway, 619-819-0010, pacificstandardkitchen.com.

Local chef Stephen Gage takes over a bayside kitchen on Pacific Highway. (Courtesy H2 Public Relations)


For nine years it was lauded for its refined Italian cuisine and dazzling cheese bar. Sadly, BICE Ristorante in the Gaslamp Quarter closed Aug. 3. Its owner, Mario Cassineri, cited in statement “unforgiving leases and rising cost of labor” as the primary reasons for shutting down.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever made, but it has become an unfortunate reality for so many in our industry,” he said.

Cassineri remains in partnership with Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, and he’s the consulting chef for Madison in University Heights. BICE was located at 425 Island Ave.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com

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