An Evening at the Sold Out Del Mar Summer Solstice Event

June 24, 2011

On Thursday, June 23rd, from 5-8p.m., the sold-out Del Mar Summer Solstice event took place in Powerhouse Park, just steps from the rolling waves of Del Mar beach. If you missed it, be sure to mark your calendars for next year, because this event was an amazing time in a beautiful setting, highlighted by delectable tastes from well-known area restaurants to be paired with sips from several California wineries and breweries.

A silent auction, live music from Salsa Steel, and an ocean-view backdrop made for a wonderful ambiance for a truly fitting event to welcome and celebrate the arrival of summer.

Hosted by the Del Mar Village Association with the support from the City of Del Mar, this year's event was vibrant and bustling with life. If you were lucky enough to purchase tickets at the early bird price of $50, you received a helluva bargain. For $60, the event still offered plenty of value, as it included nearly unlimited samplings of high quality fare. Upon entrance, guests were provided a stemless wine glass for sampling selections from many notable wineries as well as local breweries such as Stone Brewing Co., Airdale Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing, and Firestone. Attendees were also given a chance to bid on many unique items and opportunities during the event's lively silent auction.

Many of Del Mar's esteemed restaurants such as Americana, Kitchen 1540, Pacifica Del Mar, Del Mar Rendezvous, and PrepKitchen were there to support their town and offer tantalizing treats. Americana's flavorful Cajun crawfish boil was surely a hit. Chef-owner Randy Gruber was tending to the pot and instructing crawfish novices (myself included) how to sample the little critters. After my first taste, I found myself frequently returning, and by the end, I was suckin' on crawfish heads with the best of them. Another favorite was the walnut shrimp from Del Mar Rendevouz, which came battered, fried, tossed in honey mustard and topped with crushed walnuts – crave-worthy.

Other culinary standouts include Kitchen 1540, with a delightfully energizing beet salad, delicately composed of red and yellow beets, Gorgonzola, orange, pistachio brittle, red onion, and a creamy caramelized yogurt. PrepKitchen presented another high note, offering a refreshing glass of red sangria and a turkey burger slider with roasted Paquito peppers, house made aioli and micro greens. Even the most sophisticated palate, if blindfolded, would have thought this an Italian sausage and pepper sandwich. Flavor Del Mar's honey kiss melon and speck Americano (American prosciutto) skewer served in a chilled melon soup shooter with mint oil and micro green cilantro exhibited a complex flavor profile of sweet and salty with refreshing end notes from the mint and cilantro. For dessert, Nothing Bundt Cake offered red velvet and pineapple upside down cakes, each light, airy, and sinfully delicious.

For next year, be sure to purchase tickets early, as the event will surely sell out again. Proceeds from the event benefit the Del Mar Village Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the vitality of the historic Del Mar Village. If next year is anything like this year, the Del Mar Summer Solstice event is not to be missed!