Here and there in food and wine

Here and there in food and wine
Coastline is the al fresco fresh food restaurant at L’Auberge Del Mar, with endless summer dishes developed by new Chef de cuisine Collin Leaver. My favorite is the starter plate headliner Burrata Cheese, above. Photo by Frank Mangio

It’s an endless summer at Coastline al fresco restaurant in L’Auberge Del Mar. This celebrated beach coastal location has always delivered a resort experience over the years and with the new upscale improvements, it is the SoCal stay-place along the coast.

L’Auberge Del Mar has 121 recently refurbished rooms and suites, a large spa and dining options led by the fresh, light and airy Coastline.

I dined in the poolside veranda as sunset was making itself present. The Pacific Ocean never looked grander for poolside dining. In scanning the menu, it was clear that Coastline was showcasing the Southern California sunny-style menu so popular and trendy these days. The food is light, delicious and healthy. 

Cristina Mariani-May. Courtesy photo

The Burrata Cheese is the house choice, with white peaches, Prosciutto speck, Saba balsamic vinegar with Upland cress. Other examples of this trendy menu include: Cured Yellowtail crudo, Arugula salad and the amusing Little Gem salad. Pastas, fish and beef add to the extraordinary choices.

It was announced that Collin Leaver has been appointed chef de cuisine at Coastline.  He’ll collaborate with the resort’s executive chef Nathan Lingle on menu development with a plan to increase fresh influences going forward.

I found the wines by the glass menu full of light reds, whites and bubbles. There were lots of familiar established names, and I would recommend a discovery from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the Patton Valley 2014 Pinot Noir. It was perfect to match up with the breezy, casual tasty menu that Coastline showcases.

See more at LAubergeDelMar.com.

Woman of the Year

Our congratulations go out to a remarkable Woman of Wine, Cristina Mariani-May, CEO and president of fine wine importer Banfi Vintners worldwide and Castello Banfi of Tuscany Italy, most honored vineyard estate in the country. Readers should be familiar with Mariani-May. She triumphantly came to San Diego earlier this year to herald the 40th anniversary of the Castello Banfi brand, known internationally for developing Brunello di Montalcino to world-class stature.

When she is not conquering new markets for her wines, she is an accomplished long distance runner. “The pursuit of excellence,” is the family business model and it has played out well over the years. She is also the proud mother of three and lives in Tuscany close to her Banfi empire. Visit banfi.com.

Superior in socal

San Diego urban winery Gianni Buonomo Vinters recently earned a 94 rating and a Gold Medal in the New York International Wine Competition. The winning wine was their 2014 Maestrale, a Meritage/Bordeaux blend of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Owner Keith Rolle said that “we are a universe away from New York. To think we have won gold is very cool. It’s all about the grapes and these come from Yakima Washington.” For more information, contact GBVintners.com.

Up in Temecula, congratulations go to Robert Renzoni winery and vineyards for their high marks in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Three wines did amazingly well: the Robert Renzoni 2014 Sonata Red Blend received 91 points, a 91 point “Editor’s Choice” went to the 2015 Estate Sangiovese, and 90 points went to the 2015 Tempranillo. Visit the winery at robertrenzonivineyards.com.

Wine Bytes

• Seasalt Seafood and Steak in Del Mar has another premiere wine and dinner event starting at 6 p.m. Aug. 23 and Aug 24. It will be A Night in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, the best wine country in Mexico. Learn about El Cielo winery and their Chardonnay, red blends, Merlot and Cabernet, while feasting on an exclusive six-course menu by Chef Hilario. Cost is $70 per person. RSVP at (858) 755-7100.

• It’s Grape Stomp time at Ponte Winery in Temecula Aug. 19. Check in at 3 p.m., food and bar starts at 4 p.m. Competition at 5 p.m. Cost is $125. for the public, $112.50 for club members. Check out pontewinery.com.

• The San Diego Spirits Festival happens Sat. Aug. 25 and Sun. Aug. 26 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier in San Diego. It’s a cocktail, culinary and cultural extravaganza. Lots of entertainment and celebrity chefs. Admission starts at $65. Details at sandiegospiritsfestival.com.

• The Carlsbad Brewfest is from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 with some of the finest craft beers in San Diego County as well as music, games and food vendors. All proceeds go to local charities. Managed by the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club. Held at Holiday Park, next to I-5 in Carlsbad. Admission starts at $55. Go to carlsbadbrewfest.org.

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