By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes
“No borders!” is the theme of this year’s fourth annual Ceviche Showdown, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Aug. 13, at Fifty Seven Degrees in Middletown.
The event includes for the first time restaurants from Mexico that will compete against chefs from several local establishments such as Old Town Tequila Factory, Red Card Café, Coasterra, Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant, The Blind Burro and more.
South-of-the-border challengers include Villa Saverios from Tijuana and Finca Altozano from Ensenada.
Attendees can roam the venue freely to sample the ceviches and vote on them. The creations run the gamut from traditional to nouveau. A people’s choice award will be given in addition to “best ceviche” honors decided by a panel of judges.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. 1735 Hancock St., 619-234-5757, fiftysevendegrees.com.
Novel spins on traditional brunch dishes were recently introduced at The Rail in Hillcrest by two chefs who worked at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas: Chad Brunette and John Hamaker.
Their brunch service, which is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, feature donuts made with coffee-cured bacon; fig-prosciutto flatbread; Cajun shrimp Benedict with cornbread waffles; and more.
The chefs are in the process of developing a daily lunch menu, due to roll out in the next month or two. 3796 Fifth Ave., 619-298-2233, thebrassrailsd.com.
Hanna’s Gourmet in Normal Heights recently obtained a full liquor license and has since introduced a selection of internationally inspired cocktails and small plates. The new drinks include a rum-based “bashful Havana” with coconut and pureed cherries; a Bangkok pear martini; a Peruvian pisco sour and more.
The list is complemented by dishes such as Turkish lamb kofta; B’stilla Moroccan chicken with dates and almond triangles; and fried mussels brochettes. 2864 Adams Ave., 619-280-5600, hannasgourmetcatering.com.
Del Mar’s first craft brewery has arrived with a tasting room, restaurant and views of the San Dieguito Wetlands. Founded by local chef and home brewer Charles Koll, the new Viewpoint Brewing Co. features signature pale ales, IPAs and a saison, in addition to several beers on tap from local, boutique breweries such as Duck Foot, Eppig, and Societe.
Set within a 7,000-square-foot space that previously housed a commercial pottery studio, the food offerings include pretzel bao buns, steak frites with coffee stout demi glace, and steelhead trout with roasted tomatoes and soybean puree.
Heading the kitchen is Gunnar Planter, who trained under acclaimed chef Martin Woesle at Mille Fleurs. Many of Planter’s recipes incorporate beer from Viewpoint. 2201 San Dieguito Drive, Del Mar, 858-356-9346, viewpointbrewing.com.
Due to open July 27 in Liberty Station is Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant spotlighting Peruvian cuisine and cocktails, as well as wines and beers from several South American regions.
The venture is backed by restaurateur Sami Ladeki of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and executive chef Emmanuel Piqueras, who last worked at Panca in New York City and is an occasional host of “Sabor y Fusion,” a popular cooking show aired throughout Latin America. 2401 Truxton Road, #102, 619-222-3111. piscorotisserie.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.