Food and Drink Blotter: June 2017

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Food and Drink Blotter

What was formerly Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy is now Romesco’s Mexiterranean Cocina. The re-branded project opens June 6 to a new design and menu featuring bullfighting décor, rustic tables, tapas, paella, and pasta dishes with Baja twists.

Paella lands on the menu at the new Romesco’s Mexiterranean Cocinia (Alternative Strategies)

In addition to discounts on tacos, tostadas and drinks during weekday happy hour (4–6 p.m.), daily deals include half-off tapas on Tuesdays; half-off all bottles of wine on Wednesdays; and specials on Mexican stews, paella and pastas on Sundays. 1490 Kettner Blvd., 619-756-7864,

The San Diego Oysterfest Music Festival featuring a “shuck and suck” contest and more than a dozen bands and live DJs will be held June 9–10 at Embarcadero Marina Park North.

Oysters from America’s shores will be in abundance at a bayside music festival (Courtesy Everfest)

The gates open each day at 2 p.m. as oyster vendors from both coasts sell assorted varieties of the bivalves. In addition, patrons slurping an oyster for the first time can record the moment in the “My First Oyster Booth.”

Beers from Sierra Nevada, cocktails and wine will also be sold. Bands include Ghostland Observatory, The Schizophrenics, Matisyahu and more.

Attendees must be 21 years or older. Tickets range from $30 to $200 and do not include food and beverages. For more information, visit 400 Kettner Blvd.

The Spanish-inspired Bar Bodega has replaced The Cheese Store in Little Italy.

Squid ink aracini at the new Bar Bodega (by Kathryn Caudle)

Launched recently by business partners Ken Karlan, who owned a restaurant in Connecticut, and Marci Flores, who ran The Cheese Store with her husband, the café offers more than a dozen tapas in addition to a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards, plus a wine list focusing on Spanish and Southern American labels.

Helming the kitchen is David Lopez Gutierrez, an alum of the Culinary Art School in Tijuana. Flores says he will start adding seasonal specials to the menu this month. 1980 Kettner Blvd., 619-544-0500,

Salvucci’s turns a year old (Courtesy JPublic Relations)

Salvucci’s in the East Village celebrates it first anniversary this month with $5 glasses of Chianti and complimentary cannoli offered until June 11.

The restaurant is known for its house-made pastas and other Italian dishes originating from family recipes. 935 J St., 619-255-1112,

Drink for a good cause from June 5–11 at Kettner Exchange as the establishment’s managers and bartenders put their creative spins on the classic negroni, made normally with gin, Campari and vermouth.

Proceeds from sales of the drinks will be donated to One More Wave, a local nonprofit that provides customized surfing equipment to wounded and disabled veterans. 2001 Kettner Blvd., 619-255-2001,

A celebrity chef rolls out a new cookbook (Courtesy Bay Bird Inc.)

Celebrity Chef Richard Blais of the Crack Shack and Juniper & Ivy will conduct a cooking demonstration and also send guests home with signed copies of his new cookbook, “So Good.”

The event will be held from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., June 11 at Juniper & Ivy. Admission is $75 per person; $120 per couple; and $30 for kids 12 and under. 2228 Kettner Blvd., 619-269-9036,

—Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at

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