My office is in the area where Interstate 5 and Palomar Airport Road intersect and there are no shortages of chain dining options around there, which is OK for a quick fix but not always a desired option for a healthy lunch or dinner.
It was nice to recently discover Seafire Restaurant & Bar, an independent, family-owned restaurant serving up food that satisfies yet does not weigh me down and includes plenty of healthy options.
Kostas Manassakis and his wife Aimilia along with their two daughters Anna and Anthoula own Seafire. It is their second effort in this location as they established the Greek Village Restaurant and Night Club where Seafire stands today.
The Greek Village was an authentic family-owned and operated Greek restaurant with a large dance floor, featuring belly dancing, traditional Greek dancing, live music and a fire dance featuring Kostas himself.
Prior to that the family had established Olympic Burgers in San Diego, and Kostas was the proprietor of Zorbas Nightclub in Matala, Crete before moving to the United States. That said, they have some experience doing this and Seafire appears to be the best of those experiences.
Kostas completely remodeled and modernized the building, creating a new and innovative fresh concept with Mediterranean flair. The remodel took over a year to complete and the end result was a beautiful, modern, stylish and cozy new restaurant, which is perfect for all occasions, be it a family dinner, business meeting, date night or a casual neighborhood place to meet and get together.
The remodel includes a fire pit, inside/outside bar which opens to the patio, and a wood-fired pizza oven in the window-encased open kitchen complete with dining bar. The wood-fired oven is a nice option for the pizza portion of the menu along with several other dishes.
I’ve had lunch several times recently at Seafire and was never disappointed. The menu will take you to the Mediterranean with standouts that include grilled octopus, saganaki (flaming cheese), nice sized scallops, mussels, rack of lamb and really good gyros. I also love the Greek salad with gyro meat on top.
The hummus is delicious and the pita bread served along side it is fresh and warm. I’m a big fan of kabobs and the chicken kabob served with rice, pita and tzatziki and pita bread is a perfect light lunch.
Tzatziki is one of my favorite Greek sauces and they make a really good version. For those that are unfamiliar, tzatziki is a sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip and is made of strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sometimes dill.
There is a nice selection of Greek staples including spanakopita, dolmas, meat pies, lamb loin chops and baklava. Seafood options are plentiful as well with a daily fresh catch, grilled white bass, crispy skin salmon, and a whole sea bass.
The menu also ventures off into several pasta selections with an interesting looking rigatoni with a lamb merguez, spinach, roasted tomato and dalmatia tapenade. As mentioned there is a nice wood fired oven that produces some tasty pizzas including Margarita, Greek, Artichoke, Mediterranean, salami and seafood. A soup of the day is offered along with their special house made butternut squash soup with balsamic reduction and hazelnut oil.
It’s a great looking space and Seafire’s full indoor/outdoor bar features 14 local craft beers on draft, a variety of wines from California and Greece as well as specialty cocktails. There is a lively after work bar scene going on and keeping with the tradition of live music, Seafire features local musicians Tuesday – Saturday nights. They offer full catering services available for events of any size and it’s a great place to bring the office for a lunch or after work dinner.
Seafire Restaurant + Bar is located at 6030 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, 92011 (760) 603-9672 or seafirerestaurantandbar.com.
David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at email@example.com or (858) 395-6905.