California Restaurant Month features new events, tastings and classes for local diners


Whether you’re a local foodie or an uninitiated visitor to San Diego’s restaurant scene, the New Year is the perfect time to experience the county’s best restaurants and wineries on a dime. Throughout the month of January, local wineries and restaurants are hosting a bevy of events in celebration of California Restaurant Month: and from special pairings to prix fixe menus, diners can sample the region’s culinary delights while supporting local businesses and taking time to reconnect with family, friends and the joys of farm, sea and vineyard-fresh dining.

Intrepid diners can make their way across the gamut of culinary options, from downtown San Diego’s top destination restaurants featuring celebrity chef demonstrations to waterfront favorites and wine country tasting tours – most of which will be offering significant discounts in addition to special offerings over the course of the month. But for something a little different, local restaurateurs recommend at least a brief departure from the Gaslmp hotspots and Old Town tortilla factories in favor of the rural beauty, freshly picked ingredients and friendly atmosphere of the city’s outlying counties, historic treasures and hidden gems.

Taste, toast, pair and prepare – all under one roof at San Diego’s oldest working winery

There are countless options for wine tasting and feasting alike among San Diego’s many dining destinations; but for a truly authentic, gloriously fresh and historically fascinating introduction to local wine country, there’s no better place to start than the Bernardo Winery in San Diego’s North County – the oldest continually operating winery in Southern California. With an entire village surrounding the Winery featuring studios, galleries shops and our own signature restaurant, the Bernardo Winery has something for everyone. At Café Merlot, we are proud of our position as the on-site restaurant and pairing partner with Bernardo Winery: and we look forward to sharing our distinctive culinary creations with visitors throughout Restaurant Month and beyond, be it in our rustic, inviting dining room or during one of our catered events, wine pairing evenings or interactive cooking classes.

This month, Café Merlot is kicking off the New Year with some exciting new options for our valued guests. Change up your usual dining-out routine with custom food and wine pairings designed to wake up your palate; or join us for our new Community Table and take in a late afternoon or early evening meal with likeminded diners. Also, starting in March, our guests can give – and receive — the gift of cooking by bringing friends and family to a cooking class at our renowned Rancho Bernardo restaurant. Our classes are fun, educational and delicious events featuring local flavors that allow you to both enjoy the ambiance of the café and bring the joys of cooking home to your own kitchen for years to come.

There’s always something new going on at Café Merlot – during Restaurant Month, yes, but also every other day of the year. To learn more about North County Inland dining at Café Merlot, or to make a reservation or peruse a list of upcoming events, we encourage you to stop by to say hello – or visit us online, at