Carlsbad's upcoming new wood-fired eatery, Campfire, had the decks stacked from the get-go. Its owner John Resnick is a front-of-house vet from the bold and brash CH Projects (Ironside, Craft & Commerce), its designers Bells & Whistles set the scene at last year's buzziest restaurant opening, Bracero, and its executive chef Andrew Bachelier previously held down the kitchen of one of the most bustling restaurants in town. At over 6,000-square-feet of dining and drinking space, Campfire is one of San Diego's most talked-about new restaurant projects, preparing to shake up the North County food scene when it debuts in mid-September.
In this exclusive preview, get a taste of what's to come via 10 vital facts about the new restaurant.
1. Diners will enter the restaurant and walk straight into the action, greeted by a 25-seat bar and and a lively dining area marked by a custom wood mural of a mountain scene.
2. Front and center in the glassed-in kitchen will be an eight food custom suite that includes a wood-fueled grill and oven/smoker. A raw bar section of the kitchen will focus on oysters, plus crudo and ceviche dishes.
3. A more traditional dining room will be set under the Quonset hut-style corrugated metal roof that arches over the rear half of the building. It will have a tent-like covering, one of the subtle camping-inspired touches throughout the space.
4. An outdoor dining area, shaded by a trellis, will feature picnic tables, fire features and in the back of the patio, a kid-friendly area complete with 12-foot teepee.
5. Bachelier and chef de cuisine Andrew Santana will refine the primitive craft of live-fire cookery with a globally-influenced menu that will be nimble and truly market-driven; the eatery is planning on printing the menu fresh every week and sourcing proteins from local ranchers and fishermen. Expect a main emphasis on seafood and vegetables, with a variety of sharable plates that will include lighter options and grain-driven plates.
6. Continuing the seafood focus is Campine's charcuterie program, which will center on house-smoked fish instead of meat.
7. Leading the bar program is Leigh Lecap, whose impressive resume includes major roles at Ironside, Sycamore Den and Coin-Op Game Room. Other key members of the bar team include Thomas Donohue (Fairweather) and Brian Prugalidad (Bracero).
8. Beyond expertly-executed direct, refreshing and classic drinks, Lecap's cocktail menu will reflect Campire's wood-fired concept with "From the Fire" section that features drinks made with grilled pineapple, roasted beets, charred corn and plums cooked in embers.
9. Instead of punch bowls, Campfire's large-format, shareable cocktails will come in 64-ounce growlers. The bar will also feature eight beer taps and an all-California wine list.
10. Campfire will be a great new option for neighborhood residents, but easily accessible for the rest of us; it's located adjacent to the Carlsbad Village Coaster Station.