Post Date: December 13, 2014
Categories: Essence Restaurant Group
Our partnership team recently returned from a trip to San Diego where we explored the latest culinary trends. In the last few years, the eighth largest city in the U.S. has had a significant food and wine transition due to a renewed commitment by chefs and restaurant owners to local, sustainable farming practices.
When you take a closer look, San Diego and West Michigan restaurants are not so different. As areas rich with local and independent restaurants, we have the shared responsibility of helping maintain and build a local food culture that fosters a regional and transparent food system.
We visited many different restaurants during our trip and here are a few of my favorites:
I was most excited about Juniper and Ivy from a creative perspective. While only in their eighth month, this restaurant is creating some of the most progressive cuisine in San Diego. Their steak tartare was topped with three, over-easy quail eggs… delicious. They also had a crazy creative take on a cheeseburger with cheesy fries.
Cowboy Star, as the name denotes, had interesting and delicious preparations for steak. Its ambiance was set by a stunning display in the center of the space that offered an intriguing perspective of the kitchen.
We also dined at Stake, an inventive, high-end steakhouse, on their opening night. Chef Pat grew up with their Executive Chef, Tim Kolanko, here in Michigan. It is impressive to see Michiganders making their mark in the culinary world.
The beverage trends were just as impressive as the food. We witnessed the classic cocktail scene blowing up in San Diego, with every top-notch restaurant offering their own creative play on the classic cocktails.
Trips like these are multifaceted—they serve as inspiration on how we become better than we are today, and challenging the norms and perceptions while also bringing our partnership closer together. Great food and great friends—what more could you ask for?