Sunday, June 6, 20210
The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, CALLIE, (named after the Greek word Kallos meaning the most beautiful) marks a homecoming for Chef Travis Swikard who grew up in San Diego and spent much of his teen years frequenting the Padres stadium now located steps away from the East Village space.
Callie artfully merges Swikard’s fine dining past (as culinary director of three of Boulud’s seven acclaimed restaurants including Boulud Sud which informed much of the restaurant’s menu) with the laid back nature of his Southern California upbringing.
Behind the Design
The setting for Callie is an open, natural light-filled 6,500-square-foot-space in San Diego’s east village. To design the space, Swikard enlisted STUDIO UNLTD, an award winning design and architecture firm known for their work on James Beard Award nominated restaurants Bestia and Bavel, chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s Otium, and more. It is their first project in San Diego.
The design reflects the warmth of the sun and the soul of the ocean, telling a story of international travel and exploration through the materials and fabrics used. Skate and surf references throughout the space bring moments of rebellion and edge, creating a Mediterranean meets California palette. Folklor, Another award-winning creative studio led by San Diego native Rudy Moujaes, created Callie’s brand identity.
“Cuisine du soleil”
Chef Travis Swikard’s California and Mediterranean-inspired “cuisine du soleil” menu is meant to be shared.
Through the menu, Swikard brings guests on a culinary journey, exploring the cuisines of Greece, Spain, Italy,
Morocco, and the Middle East. The menu’s thoughtfully-sourced ingredients range from kampachi farm raised in La Paz, Baja Mexico to olive oil and spices from El Cajon’s international markets to citrus grown in Swikard’s own backyard.
Roasted garlic, spicy green zhoug, pita.
Smokey eggpant, roasted onion, za’atar, pita bread.
Green Israeli hot sauce, black lime, avocado.
5J Iberico bellota ham, tomato bread.
Black harissa, labneh, Tokyo turnips, lavash.
Meyer lemon tahini, toasted sesame, jalapeno.
Crunchy Moroccan Carrots
Cilantro, pistachio dukkah, burnt orange-habanero dressing.
Stracciatella, zucchini, corn, shishito peppers.
Sumac pickles, yogurt, coriander honey.
Harissa Spiced Lamb Chops
Cucumber tzatziki, soft herbs.
C’est La Vie
Icelandic vodka, bergamot, cucumber, jasmine, lemon, Mediterranean tonic.
Joven mezcal, blanco tequila, passionfruit, Aleppo pepper, lime.
Blanco tequila, pistachio, greek yogurt, vanilla bean, pistachio, lime.
Spice of Life
Rye whiskey, za’atar, lemon.
Callie is located at 1195 Island Avenue, San Diego, Ca 92101. Hours of Operation is Wednesday to Sunday from 5PM to 10PM. They can be reached through 619-255-9596 or through their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Callie is Chef Travis Swikard’s California-Mediterranean restaurant in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. Swikard fell for the flavors of Greece, Spain, Italy, Morocco, the Middle East, and every place along the Mediterranean coastline during his time cooking at Boulud Sud, one of iconic French chef Daniel Boulud’s New York City restaurants. At Callie he will bring the diversity of Mediterranean cuisines together with the ingredients and terroir of the greater San Diego region, his hometown. The name Callie is derived from the Greek “kallos,” meaning the most beautiful. Swikard discovered the name while swimming in the ocean near Salvador Dali’s home in Cadaqués, on Spain’s Costa Brava overlooking the Mediterranean.
See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!