For a minute it's been a two-way contest: The older Del Mar Plaza restaurants vs. the new spots at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. In the more coastal corner you've got Pacifica Del Mar, Il Fornaio, Del Mar Rendezvous, Shimbashi Izakaya-the glossy contemporary Flavor Del Mar closed at the Plaza recently.
And inland (technically in Carmel Valley) you've got chic anchor tenants like Davanti Enoteca, Mia Francesca, Burlap and Rimel's Rotisserie.
Now another Del Mar plaza's entering the ring: Flower Hill Promenade has been undergoing a massive, multi-million dollar renovation. Food bon vivants, you've already been to the Via de la Valle plaza for your gourmet chocolates, cheeses and personal-size bundt cakes. (And you know that the Chevy's Fresh Mex there closed.)
Here's a quick rundown of the expanding food scene at Flower Hill Promenade.
Eat Here Now:
Venissimo Cheese & Wine Bar
Dallmann Fine Chocolates
Nothing Bundt Cakes
The Wine Connection
Pannikin Coffee & Tea
Taste of Thai
Chipotle (open since November)
Eat Here Soon:
Whole Foods Market: Grand opening Feb. 27, and the conscious grocer will open Trifecta Tavern, a restaurant and bar inside the store that has 30+ craft beers on tap. wholefoodsmarket.com
Burger Lounge: They just introduced game-meat patties and gluten-free buns. And San Diego's gourmet burger joint will soon grow by one venue. burgerlounge.com (pictured)
Sea & Smoke: From the chef-owner of Urban Solace and Solace and the Moonlight comes this American brasserie. The look of the new restaurant will be mid-century modern (designed by Bells & Whistles of Starlite fame). Follow Matt Gordon's blog about opening Sea & Smoke, here: seaandsmoke.com ("I'm assuming people who read that are just friends of mine," the restaurateur said.)
Cucina Enoteca: A sister restaurant to the wildly popular Cucina Urbana and Kensington Grill, this restaurant will open with chef Joe Magnanelli's plates. ETA: June. cucinaurbana.com
YogurtLand: The franchise that brought you Birthday Cupcake Batter (a yogurt flavor!) is expected here in the spring. yogurt-land.com
Grand Opening Festivities: From Feb. 27- March 3, Flower Hill Promenade will have live entertainment, food samples and 200 tote bags for the first patrons visiting the plaza each day, starting at noon.
2720 Via De La Valle, Del Mar. (858) 481-2904 or flowerhill.com
Read more from Keli Dailey on utsandiego.com