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New Restaurants in San Diego: Summer 2016

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Herb & Wood {2210 Kettner Boulevard, 619.955.8495}

What happens when you get the best in San Diego culinary talent to collaborate on a new concept? Herb & Wood. The brainchild of celebrated talents Brian Malarkey (Searsucker and Herringbone), GM and restaurant designer Chris Puffer, co-chef Shane McIntyre, pastry maestro Adrian Mendoza (Spago Beverly Hills), and operations vet Alisha Stoun (Green Acre), Herb & Wood is a California/Med creation centered on wood-fired fare. Think Local Tuna with uni crudo, Grilled Pork with apple mostarda, and pizza for days—not to mention house-baked breads and desserts. Cocktails crafted by Head Bartender William Van Leuven are herbaceous and innovative, while the wine list skews Old World with a certain rustic charm. Neo-classic design—marked by a few fresh twists—brings the concept together in North Little Italy for an experience that is familiar and deliciously adventurous. herbandwood.com

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Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream {1418 Garnet Avenue; 858.230.7433}

A beloved ice cream shop in San Diego since 2014, Hammond’s recently opened a third location in Pacific Beach—with even more “super premium” scoops, offered in 32 flavors. All of the delish dairy is churned in Hawaii and processed to ensure very little air is incorporated into final batches. What does that mean for us? Dense, rich, impossibly flavorful ice cream. Favorites include Chocolate-Coconut with macadamia nuts, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreos, Kona Coffee Cream, and Banana Storm. They even offer mini waffle flights so you can try several flavors. How’s that for dairy-licious? hammondsgourmet.com

Campfire {2725 State Street, Carlsbad; phone TBD}

Perhaps one of the longest-standing human traditions is sitting around a campfire and sharing a meal. This innate human desire is at the heart of Carlsbad’s newest restaurant, Campfire, slated to open in the summer of 2016. John Resnick, former general manager of Ironside, is teaming up with Executive Chef Andrew Bachelier to create the new open-flame eatery which will focus on locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and use the open flames to add the flavors of charcoal, wood, and ash to almost every dish. thisiscampfire.com

Tribute Pizza {3077 North Park Way; phone TBD}

The acclaimed Tribute Pizza pop-up is opening its first restaurant in the former North Park Post Office this July. Paying homage to the pie, Tribute creates each pizza with carefully crafted dough and premium toppings, then crisps them in the wood-fired oven. Executive Chef Brian La Bonte also plans to serve salads, sandwiches built on wood-fired focaccia, housemade charcuterie, and wood-roasted meats. On the beverage side, expect a thoughtful beer and wine list with ample California brews and bottles. tributepizza.com

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cucina SORELLA {4055 Adams Avenue; 619.281.4014}

From the crea­tive mind of Res­t­au­ra­teur Tracy Bor­kum comes a fresh take on Urban Kitchen Restaurant Group’s CUCINA concept. The original CUCINA focused on a seamless blend of design and cuisine, rooted in Italian flavors and culinary traditions. cucina SORELLA follows a similar path, but with a pasta-forward menu. Unique additions like polenta boards and a bevy of Italian entrées pair with an Italian-first wine list and a cadre of sweets. Also, keep an eye on the website for details on the dedicated takeout program, as well as interactive classes. urbankitchengroup.com/cucina-sorella-kensington

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One Door North {3422 30th Street; 619-618-1285}

From Piehl Restaurant Group (The Smoking Goat) comes One Door North, a fresh new American restaurant opened in North Park this May. The 5,000-square-foot space is designed like an urban oasis, woven together with wood, steel, and brick. Handpainted mountainscapes serve as backdrop to banquettes, safari-style tents, and a central bar backed by flatscreen TVs. On the menu, Executive Chef Fred Piehl is crafting “campfire cuisine”—à la Campfire Trout and Slow-Roasted Tri-Tip Steak—complemented by small plates, pizza, and classic American desserts (read: S’mores and Fruit Crisp). Domestic brews (20 on tap), boutique wine, and craft cocktails round out the concept. If you love the idea of camping, but love gourmet food and drink even more, One Door North is a must. onedoornorthsd.com

Tasting Room Del Mar {1435 Camino del Mar, Del Mar; 858.461.0124}

Tasting Room Del Mar is the brainchild of father-and-son duo David and Evan Taylor, and serves as the area’s new go-to for vino and beer lovers alike. Indoor and outdoor bars decorated with wine and bourbon barrels serve more than 100 wines and craft beers, while a menu from Executive Chef Steven Lona highlights ingredients sourced within a 300-mile radius. No pretension here—just good taste. tastingroomdelmar.com

THE LOT at Liberty Station {2620 Truxtun Road; 619-566-0069}

If you’re looking for the perfect dinner and a movie experience, The Lot is sure to deliver. Its second location at Liberty Station offers a full dining experience in both the onsite restaurant and in the adjacent theater, fitted with luxury leather recliners and top-of-the-line audio/visual features. Chef Matt Sramek will be dishing up international classics like flatbreads, shared plates, and sandwiches. Is there a better way to catch the latest blockbusters? thelotent.com/home

Parc Bistro-Brasserie {2760 Fifth Avenue; 619.795.1501}

Chef/Owner Garo Minassian’s latest project in Bankers Hill highlights classical French cuisine informed by the flavors of the California coast. Chef de Cuisine Donald Lockhart (formerly of Cusp Dining & Drinks) presents a menu stocked with bistro staples and modern, seasonal fare like Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Coq au Vin, and Candy Cane Beet Salad. Expect elegance and quality complete with classic bistro design at this new must-try. parcbb.com

—Sterling Stowe