Rain, rain, go away... it was a Saturday afternoon in typically sunny San Diego and the Elite only guests were ready for a good time, sans rain! Mother Nature listened, the skies cleared and the Elite Squad filed through the cozy front doors of 100 Wines Hillcrest for Yelp's Winter Wine Down. The music was queued, the tables were set and the party was underway!
Greeted with a name badge, a lavender martini or a glass of wine, the crowd was able to shed their layers and cozy up throughout the entire restaurant and on the heated front and back patios. Chef Katherine Humphus and the staff of 100 Wines were seemingly everywhere! They were well-stocked and ready to hand over a Stone Arrogant Bastard, a glass of wine generously donated by Southern Wine & Spirits or a slice of their signature flatbread which the Elite Squad could not pull themselves away from. Uhhh, did somebody say flatbread?! Yep! A selection of five made their rounds and were loaded with as much creativity as they were flavor. Give these winning combonations a taste: Proscuitto, house made mozzarella and green grapes with a balsamic port reduction. Or how about grilled filet, toasted walnuts, arugula, garlic confit and blue cheese crema? Maybe some spanakopita, dill cream cheese, sauteed spinach, feta, fried egg and phyllo? Possibly pissaladiere, roasted tomato, black olives, fried capers, caramelized onions with white anchovies? Or dive into the marinara, provolone, mozzarella, parmesan, basil, pecorino, seasoned ricotta and oregano... you now have permission to wipe the drool from your chin.
The cozy back patio quickly turned into the hub of the action and served as the perfect setting to mingle and gather around the fireplace. Once again the staff made their way through the crowd bearing delicious gifts to the delight of the guests. The cream of mushroom soup shooters with basil and grissini were an absolute hit and several Elites admitted to going back for seconds, thirds and even fourths. Hey, when it's good, it's good! There were also three stations strategically placed throughout 100 Wines all overflowing with "help yourself" bites and nibbles. We aren't talking run of the mill cheese and crackers here, friends... we're getting the good stuff! Hummus, mixed olive tapenade and pappadam. Whipped goat cheese with fennel lavender dust, foccacia and broken pistachios. And finally local meatmen charcuterie with sono trading co. mustard, sadie rose cracker bread and local accoutrements.
Yes, we hear you! So much food and so much drink, but why stop there? The answer is simple: The day would not be complete without dessert and a massage, that's why! The pistachio apricot baklava rounded out the feast while the gentle and friendly hands from Pure Spa and Chiropractic worked their muscle easing magic at not one, but two massage stations on the back patio. Elite members signed up at the station and were then able to spend a few relaxing moments receiving a back/neck massage from an expert masseuse. Each heavenly five-minute massage was followed with a fifteen-dollar spa credit,, which could be used on any of the treatments listed at their Tierrasanta location. Now that is what we call a great way to "wine down" in 2013.
A big thank you goes out to David and Lesley Cohn and everyone in front of and behind the scenes at 100 Wines Hillcrest, Dr Russell and the Pure Spa and Chiropractic team and Southern Wine & Spirits for treating the San Diego Elite Squad to a Saturday afternoon of food, wine, wellness, relaxation, and friendship. All photos taken by Sara Norris Photography can be found on the Yelp Flickr page!
Yelp San Diego Community Manager