North County-based chef Wade Hageman, owner of Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria and The Craftsman New American Tavern, has begun construction on his new Hillcrest restaurant, Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen. The 2,100-square-foot University Avenue space has housed a number of restaurants through the years (Crush, Cafe Bleu, Bayu's Ethiopian); Hageman and his wife, Kristi Andrie, are transforming it into an 80-seat, upscale casual eatery with an emphasis on communal dining that's due to open by summer.
Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen will focus on a variety of hand made artisan pasta, cooked to order by exec chef Marlaw Seraspi, including merlot-braised short rib ravioli with horseradish beurre blanc; the farm-to-table menu will also feature a braised meat, chicken, scallops and grass fed steak. Diners who've followed Hageman through the years will be glad to know that his signature dishes, heirloom Wisconsin black seed popcorn with truffle salt and parmesan, Caesar salad and the swoon-worthy butterscotch pudding, are also on the menu.
A full liquor license means classic cocktails, in addition to draft beer and boutique wine; the restaurant will initially just be open for dinner, but they may expand to lunch, brunch and late night service. The chef hinted to Eater that he has a few more concepts up his sleeve, so expect the Blue Ribbon family to grow.
· Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen Coming To Hillcrest [~ESD~]
· Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen [Official Site]