Poway News


In the wake of recent media coverage concerning food sourcing and safety, many consumers are experiencing a renewed interest in where food comes from – and how to make sure it is safe, wholesome and natural by the time it hits their plates. According to ABC News, a simple way to reduce contamination risk is to buy local — and to replace well-traveled produce with the seasonal fruits of your own native soil. As a San Diego restaurant owner and self-professed food lover, I take the health, safety and satisfaction benefits of locally-sourced meals to heart; and as we move into autumn and the beginnings of the holiday season, I believe it is important to remember not only where our favorite foods come from, but also how we can engage with them to create meals and gifts to truly nourish the body and the soul.

Shifting consumer focus to local food can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it means making special trips to farmer’s markets or sacrificing certain “routine” foods that are currently out of season. But with encouragement and inspiration from a cooking class, special meal or catered event at Café Merlot, any diner can discover her inner locavore – and learn to craft and appreciate warm, delicious meals made with produce grown just outside the dining room door.

Classes, catering and customized service at the Bernardo Winery’s signature café

Nestled adjacent to the historic Bernardo Winery and surrounded by verdant grounds, a 200 square-foot micro-farm and breathtaking scenery, Café Merlot is an oasis where diners can enjoy locally sourced gourmet meals and fine wines, and kick back in a friendly, charming environment. With a seasonally-revolving menu featuring produce grown on-site, Café Merlot is the cure to fast-paced, urban dining – and a gateway to culinary education and adventure that’s ideally suited to the onset of the holiday season.

Autumn at the café is distinguished by fresh menu additions and pairings designed to stimulate the senses. Diners will find a refreshing blend of the latest food trends and timeless classics – and whether your palate tends towards the traditional comforts of fresh breads, warming soups and pasta entrees, or prefers surprising combinations like our grilled salmon BLT sandwich or “sweet to heat” roasted salsa, there’s sure to be something to tickle your taste buds on offer any day of the year.

This fall, the café will feature custom catering options in addition to regular breakfast and lunch dining; and whether you’re hosting a holiday party, an office luncheon or a special family event, our rustic yet casual ambiance will put guests at ease and allow them to focus on their time together over sensational food and wine. In addition, Chef Joe are set to host a variety of fun, informative wine pairing and cooking classes including “Gifts from Your Kitchen,” a seasonal favorite scheduled for October 13, 2011. Seize the opportunity to re-connect with local, seasonal San Diego food – and then share the joy of great dining with your friends, family and co-workers. To view our full menu, sign up for a course or peruse a list of upcoming classes and events, visit us online: www.cafemerlot.com