The opening of Culina, Modern Italian at the Four Seasons has the town abuzz as chef Victor Casanova gives authentic Italian cuisine a modern twist in this new highly popular enoteca. A “live action” crudo bar spotlights raw delights like yellow tail in star anise oil, while antipasti may mean a tasty grilled baby octopus on frisee. Paper-thin pizzas are pulled out piping hot from a brick oven while homemade pasta like gnocchi di patate marries lobster knuckles with pea shoots and black truffle. In keeping with the boot-shaped country’s culinary theme, dessert calls for olive oil gelato. A 200-year old Magnolia tree serves as a communal table and calls for wine tastings from the Italian-centric list and socializing with the BH crowd.
Behold the ice cream wizard in San Francisco’s Mission district who’s whipping up over-the-top gourmet flavors at Humphry Slocombe. Chef/owner Jay Godby offers 10 to twelve new choices seven days a week, rotating flavors like foie gras, red hot banana, skull splitter root beer, Guinness gingerbread, and strawberry candied jalapeño. Sorbets also prove compelling with golden beet saffron and Thai chile lime as standouts. Cash only.
New York City
This neighborhood Italian tavern in Tribeca, Locanda Verde, spotlights savvy chef Andrew Carmellini’s talents. Must-trys include the roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and pecorino cheese, Piedmont-style beer tartare, pillowy-soft burrata with eggplant calabrese, dandelion and fried rosemary, and fire-roasted garlic chicken for two. Down-to-earth rustic food, spot on service, reasonably priced wine, and the energetic hum of people enjoying themselves closes the loop for a great meal.
Rancho Santa Fe
Attention wine connoisseurs, fine diners and iPad aficionados: Delicias, the local favorite in San Diego’s swankiest neighborhood, has embraced technology and leads the charge in launching an E-Wine list. Guests now receive an iPad tableside so they can browse the extensive wine list electronically with added bonuses like chef notes on specific bottles and suggested food pairings. The iPad also features “Wines of the Day”, “Top Picks”, and reviews from WineSpectactor.com. Delicias also has plans for a 5000-bottle wine cellar in the near future under the expertise of Advanced Sommelier and general manager Gene “Gino” Campbell.
Charleston, South Carolina
Look for refined Southern cuisine at Sazerac in the heart of downtown this fall. Sazerac will be helmed by Sean Brock, the 2010 James Beard Best Chef Southeast, who plans to only feature food indigenous to the South. According to Chef Brock, “If it ain’t Southern, it ain’t walkin’ in the door.” Think smoky Mississippi catfish with Choppee Indian okra or sarsparilla-glazed Crossabaw pork ribs with pickled peaches with cornbread fresh form the oven. Culinary treasures from local farmers, artisans, fishermen will highlight the menu. The restaurant even has its own private Thornhill Farm, a 100-acre spread, that will deliver fresh produce to the plate. Classic cocktails and fine wines make for a complete Southern-styled charming evening. For more info, follow them on Twitter @SazeracCHS.