Gaetano Cicciotti, the restaurateur behind Cicciotti Trattorias in Carlsbad and Cardiff and Mexican restaurant Cocina del Rancho in Rancho Santa Fe, recently opened a fourth North County restaurant exploring Mediterranean cuisine.
Cicciotti opened Village Kabob on June 26 in the 2,000-square-foot space once occupied by his now-closed Italian cafe, Café Ground Up, in the village of Carlsbad. Cicciotti said he decided to reinvent the cafe space last fall because after opening the cafe in 2018, eight more cafes opened in the surrounding area. After researching the market, he came up with the idea of a kebab shop as there were no other Mediterranean restaurants serving the area.
The menu was created by veteran Lebanese chef Fouad Choker, who cooks everything from scratch, including pita bread, hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki sauce and shawarma rotisserie meats. The kitchen is managed by Berkay Jason Çentinkaya and the restaurant is overseen by Ilayda Maltaci, both of Turkish descent. House specialties include ground beef, chicken and brisket shawarma, beef, chicken and shrimp skewers, falafel, a trio of hummus, tabbouleh, dolma, fattoush salad and desserts, including baklava dough and muhallebi cream. Appetizers range from $14 to $25, with a braised lamb shank main course for $30.
Village Kabob is at 550 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad. Visit village-kabob.com.
Coco Maya opens in Little Italy
Coco Maya by Miss B’s, a rooftop restaurant and bar serving Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, opened earlier this month in Little Italy. Located in the former PrepKitchen space at 1660 India St., Coco Maya is the latest project from San Diego’s Grind & Prosper Hospitality Group. Coco Maya is a Yucatan-inspired spinoff of the company’s Miss B’s Coconut Club restaurant/bar in Mission Beach.
The restaurant serves a daily brunch menu as well as dinner service after 4 p.m. banana leaves and presented in a clay pot that cracks next to the table. There are also fresh seafood dishes, charcoal roasted meats, salads, potato tostones and empanadillas. Visit inlovewiththecoco.com.
Carruth Cellars opens a Liberty Station outlet
Carruth Cellars, an urban winery headquartered in Solana Beach, opened its fourth tasting room Monday at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
The new 12,000 square foot indoor-outdoor vineyard garden will replace the company’s other San Diego location in Little Italy, which recently closed after five years due to the end of the property’s lease. The new venue joins other Carruth locations in Solana Beach, Carlsbad and Oceanside.
The new location offers wines by the glass and by the bottle, as well as a menu of appetizers, paninis, salads, charcuterie boards and desserts to share. There is also a market area selling wines, cheeses, olive oils, tapenades and charcuterie. The new location offers 90-minute five-wine tasting sessions. The new location is at 2710 Historic Decatur Road, Barrack 17, San Diego. Visit carruthcellars.com.
Wine Spectator spotlights local restaurants
Wine Spectator honored 27 San Diego County restaurants this summer as part of its 2022 Restaurant Awards, which recognize venues with no outstanding wine list and service.
The two-star Michelin restaurant Addison in Carmel Valley is the only local restaurant to win Wine Spectator’s Grand Winner award.
San Diego Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Island Prime, Stake Chophouse & Bar, Marine Room, Nine-Ten, WineSellar & Brasserie, Pony Room in Rancho Santa Fe, and Paon restaurants take second place in the Best of Award of Excellence. Restaurant & Wine Bar in Carlsbad.
And winning the third prize of excellence are STK San Diego, Fogo de Chão, Morton’s steakhouse, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Juniper and Ivy, Solare Ristorante, JRDN restaurant, the Fishery, Seasons 52, Truluck’s, AR Valentien, Avant in Rancho Bernardo , Prime Cut at Jamul Casino, Firenze Trattoria in Encinitas, Barona Oaks Steakhouse in Lakeside, Grove Steakhouse in Alpine, and Privateer Coal Fire Pizza in Oceanside.
For more details on the winners, visit winespectator.com/restaurants.
New locations alert
Three restaurant chains have announced the opening of new establishments in San Diego County in recent days.
El Tianguis, a San Diego-based fast food restaurant chain better known as “El T,” has opened its fourth location at 7995 Civita Blvd. in the Mission Valley. Visit eltianguisrt.com.
Broken Yolk Café, a San Diego-based breakfast restaurant chain, opened its 35th franchise location on July 5 at Santee Trolley Square, 9846 Mission Gorge Road in Santee. Visit thebrokenyolkcafe.com.
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, a San Francisco chain known for its gourmet Castile and Go Go Goose sandwiches, opened its fifth San Diego location on July 8 at 9430 Scranton Road, Suite 104, Sorrento Court Center. Visit ikessandwich.com.
Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email him at [email protected]