Last night, we celebrated my birthday (again) with dinner with friends at Sea and Smoke; a new restaurant in Del Mar and the third in the trilogy of restaurants from Matt Gordon.  Sea and Smoke represents “farm-to-table” cuisine, or, as it states on the website “Located in the heart of Del Mar at Flower Hill with Chef Matt Gordon at the helm, Sea & Smoke explores modern and fresh interpretations of American dishes that celebrate simplicity and wholesome integrity. Keeping true to Chef Matt’s principles and commitment to healthful living, Sea & Smoke serves responsibly sourced meats, seafood and vegetables”.

Good addition to the newly redone Flower Hill Mall. And just over the hill from my house.

This was my second visit to Sea and Smoke, but the first for dinner.  We arrived promptly at 6:00 p.m.  Because the patio was flooded with a meet-up group, we opted to sit in the front of the restaurant.  Sea and Smoke’s strong suit is appetizers and cheese plates. We enjoyed bowl of really good mussels and a nosh plate of sugared and spiced nuts, pickled cauliflower and wood oven-roasted olives.  Roasting the olives changed the flavor profile of the olives from somewhat briny to somewhat butter-which I liked.  Wine list:  Good.  Over dinner, I had two glasses of the McPrice-Myers Viognier-Roussanne blend and Julie had a buttery, oaky Cypress Chardonnay from Russian River Valley. There drink list reflects a generous nod to mixology as Geoff had a version of a strawberry mojito and John had a freshly made carrot juice
On to the Food

Achiote-spiced Cauliflower with Black Beans, Avocado and Cojita Cheese


“Blackened” Yellowtail Crudo with Jalapeno Ash, Fresh Lime, Jicama and Compressed Watermelon–I thought that the watermelon elevated the presentation to almost a jewel-like dish

Geoff had the Burger made with Grass-Fed Beef, Gruyere Cheese, Black Olive Aioli. Choice of Salad or Fries and Geoff chose Salad because he was hanging with the triathletes-LOL. Great deal at $12

We had a really fun time. Thank you Julie Dunkle and John Braman for a wonderful birthday dinner.  Julie gave me one of her “I Drop Boys” tech shirts and I felt really honored that she was okay with me sporting it around (especially after she put the smack down on me in our last race by 6++ minutes-you go, girl!).
I really liked the quality of the ingredients that Chef Matt uses at his restaurants. I’m convinced that high quality food = high quality of life.  There are some great veg options for the plant-based people, as well as an array of simply prepared, well-executed meats and seafood.   I woke up (even after 2 glasses of wine-really good wine) feeling very alert and ready to rock the day.  I resumed my raw, vegan diet and determined that 2 bananas with raw almond butter smeared on them can get me through a 3500 meter IM workout (did you hear that, triathletes?  Swim workout today was almost exclusively IM…I think that the coach just needed a laugh as there is nothing like watching triathletes swim a 50 fly or backstroke-LOL)
Tomorrow is a 5 hour ride with the ladies at 6:30 a.m.  23 days until Ironman Whistler!