Since the June announcement of their hiring as the InterContinental San Diego’s culinary team, local diners have been wondering what well-known chefs Amy DiBiase and Paul McCabe would be cooking up for the new downtown hotel. In addition to their other food and beverage duties at the property, the chefs have been working to develop its anchor restaurant, with DiBiase serving as its executive chef.
Called Vistal, it will open concurrently with the hotel on August 28. Located on the third floor of the hotel and offering impressive views from every angle, the dining room will have panoramic windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that will lead to a bay-facing outdoor terrace and firepit lounge. The restaurant will also encompass a 29-seat bar as well as a 14-seat chef’s table perched next to a large exhibition kitchen, and two water-view private dining rooms.
The design, which includes aquatic colors and an art installation of flying fish, is influenced by coastal Southern California, as is the cuisine. But for the many who’ve missed DiBiase and McCabe’s cooking, Vistal’s menu will also showcase their interpretations of flavors found in the Baja peninsula, Pacific Islands, and fishing towns of the Mediterranean through dishes ranging from blue prawns with purple sweet potato gnocchi and roasted poblano to gold spotted bass with yam greens and lobster-coconut broth and local abalone with smoked onion sabayon and uni.
Both chefs want to use the new restaurant to express their own point of view of San Diego’s culinary identity. “Local cuisine means something a little different to every San Diegan – even Paul and I have varying interpretations based on our experiences here,” said DiBiase. “With Vistal, we wanted to present various perspectives on Southern California flavors in a way that more accurately represents our city and reflects the diverse people who live here.”
Also set to open on August 28 is the fourth floor outdoor pool bar and deck, followed by the late 2018 launch of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and the early 2019 debut of a nineteenth floor rooftop bar and nightlife venue from a high-profile hospitality group.