By Frank Sabatini Jr.
In the ongoing revitalization of Seaport Village, the Port of San Diego recently announced several incoming culinary concepts. They include a still-unnamed restaurant by television chef Sam Zien (a.k.a. Sam the Cooking Guy), and a convenience store called Seaport Market, which will sell beer, wine and prepared salads and sandwiches. Both are slated to open this summer.
Zien’s full-service restaurant will feature a courtyard for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and musical entertainment. It will operate in partnership with Grain & Grit Collective, which runs Carnitas Snack Shack and the Little Italy Food Hall. The latter is home to Zien’s Not Not Tacos stall.
Other food-and-beverage vendors due in 2020 are Mr. Moto Pizza, Spill the Beans, Mike Hess Brewery and San Pasqual Wine Tasting Room. 849 W. Harbor Drive, seaportvillage.com.
In an effort to reignite the dining experience at the Glass Door, which offers views of the bay and skyline from the fourth floor of Little Italy’s Porto Vista Hotel, a new breakfast and dinner menu has just rolled out.
The menus were created by food and beverage director Josh Weast, who arrived several months ago from the Silverado Resort and Country Club in Napa Valley.
Since opening in 2008, the restaurant’s momentum has fluctuated with a fleeting roster of chefs, general managers and culinary concepts. Now it’s all about coastal-American cuisine for breakfast/brunch and French-inspired dishes for dinner — both relying on locally sourced ingredients.
New items include pork belly Benedict, egg-white frittatas, avocado-asparagus salad, beef bourguignon, and pan-seared salmon. In addition, happy hour featuring discounts on drinks and share plates is held from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. 1835 Columbia St., 619-564-3755, portovistasd.com/eats.
The Los Angeles-based Mendocino Farms salad and sandwich shop opens Feb. 13 in the Gaslamp Quarter. With 32 locations in California and Texas, its downtown debut marks the company’s fourth outlet within San Diego County.
The fast-casual eatery offers a chef-driven menu featuring playful takes on cobb, taco and Chinese chicken salads, as well as hearty tuna melts, turkey clubs, vegan burgers and more.
Totaling 2,700 square feet, the restaurant will fill the lower level of Tower 180 and feature live greenery, floor-to-ceiling windows and a raised patio. 1010 Second Ave., mendocinofarms.com.
After a 26-year run, Indigo Grill in Little Italy will close. The modern-Latin restaurant, founded by chef Deborah Scott and later run in partnership with the Cohn Restaurant Group, will conduct its last day of service on Feb. 8.
Scott is still in partnership with the Cohn Group at Coasterra and Island Prime/C Level, both perched along the waterfront. In a statement issued announcing the end of Indigo Grill, she offered no explanation, but said in part: “It feels like the end of an era. I will always remember and appreciate the opportunities this landmark as afforded me.” 1536 India St., 619-234-6802, cohnrestaurants.com.
Nearly two dozen restaurants and bars are taking part in the “Gaslamp Mardi Gras Big Easy Bites & Booze Tour.” The self-guided tour takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 along several blocks inside the Gaslamp Quarter.
Food and drink samples will be doled out by the participating establishments, which include The Smoking Gun, Spill the Beans, The Field, Tropical Savor, Brian’s 24, and more.
The cost is $25 per person, which includes 20 “bites,” 20 cocktail “sips” and beads at every stop. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Tickets can be purchased online at sdmardigras.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.