Robert Arends

5 Things I Love about Coronado

Coronado Beach - OrangeandPark.com

Beautiful Coronado Sunset. Photo courtesy of OrangeandPark.com

Oh Coronado, the “Enchanted Isle,” how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

OK, that’s a little sappy, but I can’t help it. Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and love is in the air. What better time to talk about five things I really love about the Emerald City.

1. The Restaurants

Fabulous views of San Diego Bay from Mistral

Fabulous views of San Diego Bay from Mistral

I love that Coronado was made for romantic dining, with fabu restaurants from the Pacific to San Diego Bay beckoning couples to gaze into each other’s eyes over a delectable candlelit dinner. Two of my personal favs: Chez Loma, an intimate, authentic French bistro, and Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort with views as phenomenal as the cuisine.

2. The Journey Around Coronado Island

Tweet! Aviary at Coronado Island Marriott Resort

Tweet! Aviary at Coronado Island Marriott Resort

I love the joy in the journey to and around the island. The views by car from the graceful blue arch of the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bridge are second to none! You can see as far as Mexico and the ‘lil Islas Coronadas (crowned islands) off the coast. Better yet, take a fun ferry ride over from downtown San Diego! Then explore the island by beach cruiser (there are bike rental shops throughout the island), Segway of Coronado or Pedego electric bike.

3. Playing in the Water

Kayak Under the Coronado Bridge

Coronado Kayak Tour adventure!

I love all the ways to play in the ocean and bay. There’s stand-up paddleboarding with SUP Coronado, surfing with Coronado Surfing Academy, the new Coronado Kayak Tour, The Gondola Company’s authentic Venetian gondola rides and San Diego Seaplanes, launching from the bay by the Coronado Ferry Landing!

4. The Island’s Secrets

The "Baby Del" (144 Isabella Ave.)

The “Baby Del” (144 Isabella Ave.)

I love the “secret” sights around the island, from sand dunes on the beach that spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O and the flock of flamingos and aviary at Coronado Island Marriot Resort, to Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum’s cottage on Star Park Circle, the ghost of Kate Morgan’s room at the Hotel del Coronado and the “Baby Del” on Isabella Ave.

5. The Sunsets

sunset2

I love the stunning sunsets. I took the photo above just last weekend. No matter how many times I see the sun set in glorious hues of yellow, orange and red over the beach, it’s never ceases to leave me in awe.

Coronado, what’s not to love! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

Robert Arends

Foodie Friday – A World of Great Eats in Coronado!

A world of fine dining awaits over the bridge in Coronado.

One of the favorite things about my job is trying new restaurants and sampling creative mouth-watering cuisine from cultures far and near. Coronado – a bridge away from downtown San Diego – has become a culinary hot spot, making waves with the opening of new restaurants that span the world of dining.

Coronado's newest restaurants opened along Orange Ave.

Set your course for our island paradise to enjoy everything from delectable English, French and Italian dishes to Japanese, Mexican and everything in between.

To help you navigate Coronado’s vast culinary map, following are 5 to Try this “Foodie Friday” that’ll take you around the world and back:

Patio at McP's Irish Pub.

1. The Tavern

Cheerio!…The Tavern, a new “vintage industrial” English pub ( located across the street from longtime local favorite McP’s Irish Pub) is the perfect spot for a quick pint while noshing on hearty traditional pub fare like chicken sliders, fish sandwiches, mac & cheese with breadcrumb topping and more.

Sushi delights at Saiko Sushi!

2. Saiko Sushi

Oishii!…The new Saiko Sushi features a sushi bar and progressive Japanese menu of sustainably sourced fish that’s as fresh as it gets, seasonal produce and micro-brewed sake.

Beautiful Candelas on the Bay.

3. Candelas on the Bay

Ole!…Candelas on the Bay at the Coronado Ferry Landing not only boasts panoramic views of downtown San Diego and the Bay, but also a sophisticated menu of  upscale Mexico City-style cuisine. Chef Eduardo’s masterpiece: Langosta Boaeza, lobster tail flambéed in tequila! (A close second favorite of mine for “south of the border” flavors is the festive Miguel’s Cocina.)

4. Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado

Mangia, mangia!…Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado (upstairs from The Tavern) is a local favorite, popular for its Italian classics, prime steaks and seafood. After dinner, take a side trip to Loews Coronado Bay Resort to ride on an authentic Venetian gondola!

The finest in French dining at Mistral.

5. Mistral

C’est bon!…With gorgeous views of San Diego Bay and the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers a postcard-perfect backdrop for modern French delicacies prepared by Chef Patrick Ponsaty – who recently joined the elite ranks of the Maître Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France)! (A close second French favorite is Chez Loma, serving French bistro  classics in an elegant, cozy candle-lit setting; perfect for date nights!)

See you in Coronado! Save room for dessert (if you can 😉

Tell us in the comments, what are your top five dining options in San Diego?

Robert Arends

Dining Spotlight: Coronado – Feast Fit for a (future) King & Queen

Discover San Diego’s Neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on Coronado.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in California tomorrow. But alas, Prince William and Princess Catherine aren’t scheduled to visit San Diego or our apropos “Crown City” of Coronado.

But let’s imagine for a moment if they could take a quick jaunt down the coast to see the magical isle of Coronado, taking in its postcard-perfect setting and historic splendor of the Hotel del Coronado which has been likened to a storybook castle.

What would they see and do… And where would they dine?

Well, proving you don’t have to be a royal to receive the royal treatment, following are five fabulous dining choices in Coronado that would roll out the red carpet for monarchs and visitors alike:

Breakfast treats at Tartine bistro.

To give the Duke and Duchess a taste of home, they could have a quick breakfast bite at Tartine, Coronado’s own “European Style Café” where delectable fresh-baked pastries, biscuits and quiches are sure to please, along with a spot of tea.

Hotel del Coronado's magnificent Crown Room.

Sunday brunch in the Crown Room at The Del is quite regal with its sumptuous spread of Alaskan king crab, herb-crusted prime rib, black truffle mac ‘n cheese, Charcuterie pates and other gourmet delights. Coincidentally, The Del has hosted its share of royalty over the years with lavish banquets for the likes of England’s Prince Edward in 1920 and even Hawaii’s King Kalakaua in 1890 (The Del’s first royal guest). William and Kate would surely feel right at home dining under the magnificent crown chandeliers.

For lunch, we’d introduce the royal pair to local south-of-the-border flavors at Miguel’s Cocina. Its lively patio, festive décor, zesty Mexican dishes and free-flowing margaritas would certainly lighten the formal mood and give them a taste and feel of our rich Hispanic heritage.

Dinner would be tres magnifique at Chez Loma, a historic Victorian home-turned-restaurant where the crown couple could cozy up by candlelight to a menu of fabulous French cuisine in their own private room – well out of sight from prying paparazzi. 

Fine dining at Mistral, Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

However, for an even grander and more romantic San Diego-style entrance, we could serenade the Duke and Duchess at sunset aboard one of the Gondola Company’s gondolas (complete with the finest champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) as it glides through San Diego Bay to the docks of Loews Coronado Bay Resort. There, they’d disembark and dine at Mistral where modern French fare marries seasonal local ingredients with brilliant technique to create robust, intense flavors in every dish.  Even more enchanting than the cuisine are the spectacular panoramic views of the bay and downtown San Diego.

Sensational cuisine, fit for a future king and queen – and you too – await in Coronado!

We want to send you to Coronado in the “Live Like a Royal in San Diego’s Crown City” Sweepstakes.  The trip for two includes a 2-night stay at the Hotel del Coronado, a 1-hour surrey rental from Bikes & Beyond, and a Pasaporto Cruise from The Gondola Company.  Register to win here.  Contest ends July 15, 2011.