By Frank Sabatini Jr.
New England transplant Steve Hamilton has been hired as executive chef for Jsix Restaurant. Located inside Kimpton Hotel Solamar, he will also oversee the culinary program for the hotel’s banquet and in-room dining options as well as for the property’s Upper East Bar.
His arrival this summer from Kimpton’s Nine Zero Hotel in Boston fills an overdue void for the position. Look for menu newcomers such as lobster mac-n-cheese, smoked chicken wings, and pasta tossed with crab and local vegetables. 616 J St., 619-531-8744, jsixrestaurant.com.
Little Italy Food Hall will host its first scavenger hunt around Beech and Grape streets starting at 3 p.m., Aug. 24. Teams of two will search the area for historical elements and signs, and they will be required to take selfies upon finding them. First-place winners will receive a $200 gift card to the food hall. Second and third-place winners will be given cards for $100 and $50 respectively. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at littleitalyfoodhall.com. 5500 W. Date St., 619-269-7187.
Good news for thirsty vegans. Puesto has introduced a plant-based version of its popular frozen horchata drink, which can be ordered with or without Malahat rum. The recipe came about through a partnership with Califia Farms, which furnishes the drink with unsweetened oak milk instead of standard whole milk. Through August, for every frozen horchata sold, Puesto will donate $1 to Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry. 789 W. Harbor Drive, 619-233-8880, eatpuesto.com.
Touted as Little Italy’s “biggest party,” the annual Ferragosto celebration will hold its final gala from 6 p.m. to midnight, Aug. 17, in Amici Park.
During its 10-year run, the event has raised $2 million for three local non-profit organizations: the Little Italy Association, the Washington Elementary School Foundation, and Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
This year’s closing theme is “Pirates Invade Sicily.”
Nearly 20 neighborhood restaurants and drinking establishments will provide hors d’oeuvres, main dishes, desserts, drinks and cocktails. They include Civico 1845, Queenstown, Bar One, Davanti Enoteca, Mission Brewery, and more. The event will also feature casino games, live music and dancing. Attendees can dress in theme costumes, cocktail attire or summer clothing.
Tickets start at $115 for early-bird purchases (before Aug. 4) and increase to $125 and higher for singles and groups. 1660 Union St., 619-888-9399, ferragostosd.com.
A restaurant with a “sister” of the same name in Stamford, CT has opened in the Gaslamp Quarter, in the tri-level space that formerly housed Florent Restaurant & Lounge.
Sign of the Whale is a restaurant and bar offering “approachable New American dishes with a seafood touch,” according to its promoters. A seasonally driven menu includes Baja fish tacos, burgers, flat breads, and entrees such as frenched pork chops and lobster-shrimp ravioli.
Many of the building’s design elements from the late 1800s have been retained. And the basement, which long ago served as a jailhouse, has been transformed into a late-night club named The Brig. 672 Fifth Ave., 619-756-7333, signofthewhaleca.com.
Brunch alert: You & Yours Distilling Co. in the East Village recently debuted brunch service featuring several unique dishes. The menu is available from noon to 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, and includes bruléed grapefruit with maple-pecan granola; a fried chicken biscuit with a quail egg and roasted jalapeno gravy; and cherry-cream cheese French toast with a corn flake crust. Equally creative cocktails made with the distillery’s vodka and gin are part of the experience. 1495 G St., 619-955-8755, youandyours.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.