San Diego Magazine: Incoming: El Bizcocho Remodel

Incoming: El Bizcocho Remodel
by Troy Johnson

October 15 2012 | San Diego Magazine
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Rancho Bernardo Inn’s famous dining room, El Bizcocho, is now closed. Over the next few months, the opulent, Old World Spanish dining room will get a $2.5 million nose job from O.C.’s Hatch Design Group—and be renamed Avant. Chef Nicolas Bour’s menu will get smaller-plate-ish and the bar will get craftier with ice cubes from God.

The details of the grand dame’s new face:
New Name

Avant
Scheduled Open

(it always changes) Early 2013
Design

They’re blowing out the west wall, installing floor-to-ceiling windows of the awesome golf course and grounds. “New social spaces” will include a bar, portico, lounge and dining room seating. There will be an oversized cheese bar and charcuterie station—topped with Apple Jasper Concetto Caesarstone and zinc, plus a vintage red Berkel charcuterie slicer and two custom-built mustard taps.
The main dining room will shrink (a necessity for the cavernous room). They’ll add two natural stone, wood-burning fireplaces and two private dining rooms. Hatch’s design will be “California Ranch style,” with rich woods, leather furniture and furniture made of Bourbon barrels. Tables and bar-tops will be heritage wood.
Food

“Unpretentious, approachable… homegrown… paired with handcrafted classic cocktails, local craft beer and boutique wines from around the world.” Expect smaller plate options with “You Be the Judge” tastings.
Sample dishes:

  • Sonoma duck or La Quercia prosciutto
  • Iberico ham or Benton’s country ham
  • Cowabunga (soft cow’s milk stuffed with goat milk) and house-made burrata
  • Crispy Cod cheeks with tartar sauce 
Entrees
  • Sonoma duck breast confit Shepard’s Pie with turnips and huckleberry
  • Dry-aged steak with toasted faro, kale and bacon vinaigrette
  • Line-caught swordfish with cauliflower, roasted pepper and arugula
  • Baja Grouper with heirloom beans and salsa verde

They’ll also have seasonal mustards on tap—first we’ve heard of condiments on tap in San Diego. Rotating options like Temecula Valley Honey Mustard and Rosemary Dijon, etc., offered for sale in take-home earthenware pots.
Drinks

It’ll join the wines-on-tap trend, with at least six selections. They’ve purchased the big-daddy of all ice machines—for perfect, fast-cooling, slow-melting cubes that don’t water down your drink. Expect classic cocktails on par with current mixology trends.