Big Changes Forthcoming for Two Mission Hills Restaurants

| September 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Major changes are happening in Mission Hills at the location of sister restaurants The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, located at 741 W. Washington Street, and the former Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge, located at 729 W. Washington Street.

The Red Door is now the first community supported restaurant (CSR) in San Diego. The premise of a CSR is that community members opt to buy in upfront and in return receive a bevy of exclusive membership benefits. The Red Door is also proud to announce the opening of its new craft cocktail bar, Bar by Red Door, scheduled for mid-October 2016, taking the place of the former Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge.

The decision to be partially funded by members is an extension of owner Trish Watlington and her team’s devotion to building a strong local food community that keeps dollars in the county and maintains ethical sourcing. It’s a concept used by a number of sustainable farms, such as community supported agriculture (CSA); community supported fishery (CSF); and a handful of restaurants in other states. The Red Door will be the first CSR in California. Two membership levels will offer benefits including an annual members-only dinner at no charge, access to meeting space, members-only garden tours and a host of special classes, exclusive wine release parties, new cocktail tastings and pre-sale access to tickets for Red Door events.

Owner Trish Watlington said she was inspired by the CSR model’s ability to create more gathering opportunities with like-minded people and keep food dollars circulating in the San Diego community that grew the food in the first place. “We’re excited that with a solid base of financial support we can let our creativity fly with classes, meals and outreach that will expand the community’s sustainable food knowledge and support for those strengthening our local food system,” Watlington said.

She added, “San Diego residents will be able to support local food sources that are focused on quality food that will be seasonally focused.”

Another development for the community-engaged restaurant is the upcoming opening of Bar by Red Door. The bar will replace The Red Door’s previous sister restaurant, The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge. It is a manifestation of the community’s expressed interest in having a true neighborhood cocktail bar and comfortable space to gather with friends and neighbors. The bar will offer chef-inspired seasonal craft cocktails and a farmdriven menu of shared and small plate items.

Executive Chef Miguel Valdez is the master behind the new craft cocktail menu and will implement seasonal ingredients for the drinks as thoughtfully as he does his Red Door dishes. The cocktails are a reflection of Valdez’s culinary expertise, as many will be infused with bitters that he makes in-house and most will feature Southern California spirits.

The bar is a welcome addition to the neighborhood that reinforces The Red Door’s desire to promote locally and ethically sourced ingredients for its cuisine. Food and drink menus will change based on what’s available from The Red Door garden and local farms. At this time, menu standouts include: grilled carrots served with burrata, carrot top pesto, Meyer lemon balsamic and toasted almonds; quinoa sope topped with marinated Mary’s Free Range chicken, shallots, cilantro and a poached egg; cactus salad with greens, feta cheese, jalapeño, garlic, shallots and strawberries.

Executive Chef Miguel Valdez is the master behind the new craft cocktail.

Executive Chef Miguel Valdez is the master behind the new craft cocktail.

And, in terms of cocktail, they will be serving the following: vanilla pair, made with Tru Vanilla Vodka, fresh pear puree and freshly squeezed lime juice; and blackberry and lemongrass Agua Fresca, with Greenbar IXÁ Organic Tequila, garden lemongrass simple syrup, whole blackberries, lime juice.

squeezed lime juice; and blackberry and lemongrass Agua Fresca, with Greenbar IXÁ Organic Tequila, garden lemongrass simple syrup, whole blackberries, lime juice.

Farm-to-table in every sense of the word, the owners of The Red Door are committed to the idea of sustainable eating and sourcing local foods. Owner Trish Watlington’s personal garden is where you can find the fruits and the vegetables used in The Red Door’s dishes; for everything that she doesn’t produce herself it is sourced from a local purveyor. This local approach to food means everything served at The Red Door is fresh and seasonal.

Membership sales are available through September 30, 2016 and membership year begins August 1, 2016.  For more information, visit thereddoorsd.com.

 

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