Just in time to ring out the old, and ring in the new, Park Boulevard's hotly anticipated dining addition Madison is scheduled to officially soft open Thursday night. The 3,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Lei Lounge has been remodeled into a chic and sleek modern restaurant that includes a 12-seat bar and relaxed lounge area with banquette seating, plus 78-seat dining room complete with high vaulted ceilings and modern design details.
A well-respected figure on the San Diego food scene, chef Mario Cassineri (BiCE Ristorante) designed the menu, which is infused with touches of his Italian heritage in addition to Southern California-inspired fare. Helmed by chef Tony "G" Gutierrez (Opera Kitchen, La Strada) diners can look forward to a selection of carefully curated shared appetizers, salads and entree sized plates from the kitchen including a buffalo burger and jumbo shrimp gnocchi.
As for cocktails, in a nod to 'Old New Orleans' the Vieux From Above is an original take on the classic Vieux Carre featuring Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Cynar and Ancho Reyes Chili Liquor. The pre-Prohibition classic Clover Club comprises Ford's Gin, Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth and Peychaud's Bitters with an egg white cream top. Local breweries, including Alpine Beer Company and Societe Brewing Co. are on tap, while the wine list boasts a selection of West Coast and Old World varietals. During its initial soft opening phase, Madison will be open Tuesday through Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.