Grab a barstool when you can, because this Encinitas hangout has become the talk of the town.
Under the guidance of Executive Chef Michael Lina of Union Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas, dinner is relaxing, yet somewhat elaborate, boasting artsy comfort food in a lively environment.
Three separate dining areas welcome diners. The Oak Room is a bit more formal and subdued. The main bar area is casual, but fun, and the large roll-up garage doors allow for people watching outdoors. The Tap Room has seven tv’s, perfect for viewing sports.
Local craft beers and Southern-style girl drinks served in Mason jar glasses keep the locals happy. An upgraded menu includes local ingredients and Southern-style “lighter” fare cooked from scratch. Outrageous food surprises include Crawfish Popcorn with Cornmeal Crust, Farmhouse Meatballs, and Bourbon Braised Beef Cheeks. The star of the show is the Shrimp & Grits, a dish that takes 8 days to make and uses grits imported directly from the South.
When possible, Lina likes to organic, local and sustainable ingredients, including fruit and herbs from the restaurants outdoor garden. “We use fresh ingredients in our food and cocktails,” explains Lina. “We also juice our own fruits and vegetables, and make our own syrups.”
Meat and seafood comes from local vendors such as Central Meat & Provision Company, which has been in San Diego for over 100 years. Seafood is sourced from Pacific Shellfish Seafood Company, which owns The Fishery in Pacific Beach.
©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana