By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes
Napizza in the HUB Hillcrest Market has closed, but it will soon restructure under the same ownership as a sit-down modern Italian restaurant called Casa Maestoso. Co-founder Christopher Antinucci said he partnered with a “high-end chef from Rome” for the project, which is slated to debut in March.
Napizza has existing locations in Little Italy, the 4S Commons Town Center, and Encinitas. Another will open in December in University Town Center.
“All of those stores are healthy, but the Hillcrest location wasn’t making much money. It was way too big for our concept,” he added. “We have high hopes for the new concept and banners will start going up soon.” 1040 University Ave., na-pizza.com.
The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival marks its 14th year with eight days of epicurean events taking place at various local venues and restaurants Nov. 12-19.
Highlights include a screening of celebrity chef Ed Lee’s new documentary, “Fermented” at 8 p.m., Nov. 13 at The LOT Liberty Station (2620 Truxtun Road). The film will be followed by a panel discussion and a party featuring cocktails, beer, wine and food stations. The cost is $65.
The festival’s Fish Taco TKO competition kicks off at 6 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Broadway Pier (1000 N. Harbor Drive) amid beer and tequila stations. The battle will include chefs from The Blind Burro, Beerfish, Tavern + Bowl and a dozen other local establishments. Admission is $45.
A five-course dinner spotlighting whiskey and wagyu beef will be held at 9 p.m., Nov. 15 at Little Italy’s Born & Raised (1909 India St.) The cost is $189 per person.
Learn the ins and outs of Spanish tapas, paella and wines in an instructional tasting class lead by chefs Deborah Scott, Rick Moonen and James Campbell Caruso. The event will be held at noon, Nov. 16, at Coasterra (880 Harbor Island Drive.) The cost is $65.
The festival’s biggest and splashiest public event is the Grand Tasting, to be held from noon to 3 p.m., Nov. 18, at Embarcadero Marina Park North (400 Kettner Blvd.). The outdoor grounds give way to more than 150 wine, beer and spirits purveyors doling out samples of their latest and greatest products, in addition to at least 120 local chefs and regional gourmet food companies offering tastings as well. General admission is $145 or $85 for designated drivers. (Tickets allowing for 11 a.m. entry are $185.)
For a complete schedule and ticket purchases, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.
In its first expansion since opening in 2004, the wildly popular Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill in Mission Hills will branch into Ocean Beach with a second location slated to open this spring.
Known for its fresh, local seafood served in a fast-casual atmosphere, founders (and siblings) Matt and Judd Braun teamed up with the locally based restaurant development group, Social Syndicate, which operates Wonderland Ocean Pub and OB Surf Lodge. Blue Water will be located adjacent to them as part of a revitalization project to the plaza in which they reside.
The eatery will be similar to the one in Mission Hills, featuring seafood-stocked display cases and a menu that allows diners to choose marinades, cooking styles and presentations of their fish – in sandwiches, tacos, bowls or plates. 5083 Santa Monica Ave. Suite B, bluewaterseafoodsandiego.com.
Local restaurateur Matteo Cattaneo is on a roll. Since opening the beloved Buona Forchetta restaurant in South Park four years ago, the Italian native has introduced his Neapolitan-style pizzas and comforting pasta dishes to locations in Liberty Station and Encinitas, as well. Now he’s headed to Coronado, where he’ll take over a 1940s-era car dealership to open Garage Buona Forchetta in early 2019.
The pizzas, however, will be of the Romana-Teglia variety, which are baked in rectangular sheet pans and distinguished by thicker crusts. Diners can also expect pasta, calzones and entrees served within a 2,900-square-foot space that will pay homage to its historical character. 1000 C St., Coronado, buonaforchettasd.com.
Monday evenings in November are all about pizza and pinot at Vom Fass in Hillcrest. The shop, which specializes in oils, vinegars and spirits, affords guests a bottle of pinot noir paired to a select style of pizza, such as the “figgy piggy” pie on Nov. 13 and a Greek veggie pizza on Nov. 20. Seatings each week are at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per person. Reservations are required. 1050 University Ave., 619-534-5034, vomfasshillcrest.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.