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Food and Drink Blotter: Nov. 2017

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Blotter | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Whiskey Girl recently added to its blueprint a game room replete with a separate bar, flat screen TVs and digital arcade games dating back to the 1980s such as Pac Man, Photo Booth and Big Buck Hunter. 702 Fifth Ave., 619-236-1616, whiskeygirl.com.

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Tableside preparations of pasta rolled in a jumbo wheel of Parmesan cheese are conducted for diners every Thursday at Salvucci’s in the East Village. Once the steaming hot pasta is coated in the cheese, guests can request sauces and toppings for their noodles. 935 J St., 619-255-1112, salvuccissd.com.

An interactive pasta experience was recently introduced at a family-run Italian restaurant. (Photo by Alexa Watkins)

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The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival marks its 14th year with eight days of epicurean events taking place at various local venues and restaurants Nov. 12-19.

Highlights include a screening of celebrity chef Ed Lee’s new documentary, “Fermented,” at 8 p.m., Nov. 13 at The LOT Liberty Station (2620 Truxtun Road). The film will be followed by a panel discussion and a party featuring cocktails, beer, wine and food stations. The cost is $65.

The festival’s Fish Taco TKO competition kicks off at 6 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Broadway Pier (1000 N. Harbor Drive) amid beer and tequila stations. The battle will include chefs from The Blind Burro, Beerfish, Tavern + Bowl and a dozen other local establishments. Admission is $45.

A five-course dinner spotlighting whiskey and wagyu beef will be held at 9 p.m., Nov. 15 at Little Italy’s Born & Raised (1909 India St.) The cost is $189 per person.

Learn the ins and outs of Spanish tapas, paella and wines in an instructional tasting class lead by chefs Deborah Scott, Rick Moonen and James Campbell Caruso. The event will be held at noon, Nov. 16, at Coasterra (880 Harbor Island Drive.) The cost is $65.

The festival’s biggest and splashiest public event is the Grand Tasting, to be held from noon to 3 p.m., Nov. 18, at Embarcadero Marina Park North (400 Kettner Blvd.). The outdoor grounds give way to more than 150 wine, beer and spirits purveyors doling out samples of their latest and greatest products, in addition to at least 120 local chefs and regional gourmet food companies offering tastings as well. General admission is $145, or $85 for designated drivers. (Tickets allowing for 11 a.m. entry are $185.)

Gourmet bites take center stage at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. (Photo by Joey Hernandez)

For a complete schedule and ticket purchases, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.

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The Odin of Asgard is among several Viking-themed cocktails available at the Grant Grill. (Courtesy J Public Relations)

The fabled and celebrated “hall of the slain,” known in Norse mythology as Valhalla, is the theme for the Grant Grill’s new, seasonal cocktail menu, which ties into The History Channel’s new season of “Vikings” kicking off in late November.

The cocktails were conceived by chef de bar Cory Alberto, who utilizes various ingredients and serving vessels common to northern Europe’s Viking era. The “Odin of Asgard” made with Venus Aquavit and Lindisfarne Imperial Mead, for example, is flavored with an Old World herb mixture called gruit and presented in a crafty goblet.

For the “Kiss from Freya,” Icelandic Gin is combined with sparkling Lingonberry Domaine Chandon Rosé and Kronan Swedish Punsch, a sugarcane liquor dating back centuries.

Several others are in the offing through December for $13 each. 326 Broadway, 619-744-2077, grantgrill.com.

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A new restaurant-bar in the Gaslamp Quarter designed to “send guests to Hemmingway’s Cuba” has opened under the name Havana 1920. Launched by GBOD Hospitality Group, which also operates Meze Greek Fusion and Prohibition in Downtown San Diego, the 1,000-square-foot space features cigar boxes, Cuban-style chairs and a machine used for making fresh-pressed sugarcane juice for cocktails.

Assorted empanadas at the new Havana 1920 (Courtesy Wicked Creative)

The kitchen is headed by chef Anthony Porras, who has created a menu of classic Cuban fare that includes ham-filled croquettes, Cubano sandwiches with slow-roasted pork, and shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce with peppers and onions. 548 Fifth Ave., 619-501-1919, havana1920.com.

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The new 19-story Hotel Republic in Little Italy, due to open Nov. 8, has partnered with San Diego’s ever-expanding Patio Group for bringing to the property three different dining concepts.

Topside Terrance Kitchen & Bar is a rooftop perch offering cocktails, Baja-inspired fare and weekend brunch.

Classic cocktails and seasonal cuisine will rule the day at Trade, a chic and spacious restaurant positioned off the lobby.

Also at street level is The Patio Marketplace, which will offer casual fare and pre-packed items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 421 W. B St., 619-398-3100, hotelrepublicsd.com.

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

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