Tracy Borkum of Urban Kitchen Group Announces CUCINA enoteca to Open in Del Mar | May 2013

Tracy Borkum

October 15, 2012

As a leader in San Diego’s culinary landscape for the last seventeen years, proprietor and restaurateur Tracy Borkum announces a major addition to her nationally acclaimed Urban Kitchen Group with CUCINA enoteca, a two-story, 7,000 sq ft restaurant and wine shop projected to launch in North County in May 2013. Borkum—one of the city’s most notable female hospitality innovators—reveals that this new multi-million dollar project will be her most elaborate San Diego venue yet, and will be located in the former Chevys Fresh Mex location at Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade.

The new CUCINA enoteca joins an esteemed roster of Borkum’s vibrant San Diego concepts, including the deep-rooted neighborhood spot Kensington Grill, Urban Kitchen Catering, CUCINA urbana—the park-side dining landmark that opened doors to enormous acclaim in 2009—as well as sister restaurant CUCINA enoteca, which launched in the Irvine Spectrum Center in December of 2011.

CUCINA enoteca's main dining area
“We’re so fortunate in San Diego to be incredibly busy at our Banker’s Hill location,” says Borkum. “Now we’re able to give people a second option, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be part of the growing movement that’s happening in North County dining. I consider Flower Hill Promenade to be the best location in Northern San Diego—I’ve had my eye on it for nearly seven years and it’s the perfect spot for San Diego’s second CUCINA.”

Featuring the same modern kitchen-meets-historic farmhouse concept that has fueled her immense success in the Southern California market, Borkum notes that this announcement also marks the beginning of a major brand expansion for the Urban Kitchen Group. Over the course of the next decade, she plans to launch 10 additional CUCINA concepts across the nation. In keeping with the company’s philosophy of integrity and superior quality, growth will be deliberate and purposeful in markets that match her ideals.

Under the direction of Borkum, who is known as much for her design talent as she is for her innovative cuisine, construction will begin in January 2013 with a projected launch date for late spring/early summer. CUCINA enoteca will once again showcase a signature emphasis on custom made creations, locally procured vintage finds and reclaimed and repurposed materials. However, as a nod to the location’s proximity to the polo fields and the nearby Thoroughbred Club, Borkum will create an “ode to the equestrian,” serving as a principal design focal point within a dedicated area of the space.

Borkum is now taking restaurant retail to an entirely new level by offering diners nearly everything for sale within her vibrant venues, including the furniture and lighting. After responding to constant requests from patrons wanting to know where she procured her eclectic array of vintage finds in her first two CUCINA concepts, Borkum continues with the Urban Kitchen Shop—an online marketplace where the natural born picker’s fans can cull through her handpicked treasures and furnish their own spaces with her trademark warmth. In addition, if guests are inspired by their surroundings while dining at the restaurant, everything can be ordered immediately from a menu at the host stand. Stocked with orange wire bend chairs, hand-screened aprons, vintage chicken feeders and everything in between, the carefully curated emporium is not only a rustic-inclined decorator’s dream, it’s an incubator and platform for local designers. Both the shop and the restaurants themselves feature unique wares designed by Borkum herself, or are sourced exclusively from an impressive roster of California creatives.

The sky-high shelves at CUCINA enoteca will cover an entire wall, creating an atmosphere that is that of a bona fide gallery. Mirroring Borkum’s inviting design and affinity for the eclectic, CUCINA’s wine list will be developed as a balanced and carefully curated selection of familiar names and more rare and esoteric small-batch gems—promising something for the novice taster as well as the seasoned oenophile.

Chef Joe Magnanelli
Under the inspired direction of Executive Chef Joe Magnanelli, a natural culinary savant whose Italian heritage—and experience in both classic bastions of East Coast luxury (Lespinasse, Bistro Lepic) and small, family-owned eateries, infuses every single dish with authenticity—the menu will combine the flavors of Italy with the organic freshness of California. The culinary curriculum of CUCINA enoteca will bring fresh innovation to North County, and a portion of the menu will be completely exclusive to the new Del Mar location. CUCINA enoteca will also continue to develop an ambitious in-house cheese program, house made charcuterie and sausage, hand crafted confections, and a selection of artisanal breads and pastas prepared from scratch.

Stepping up as chef de cuisine at CUCINA enoteca is Andrew Bachelier, an up and coming culinary talent who has logged in time at Addison at The Grand Del Mar, and most recently served as sous chef at flagship restaurant, CUCINA urbana. Executive Pastry Chef Jack Fisher, decorated alum of Laguna Beach’s five-star Montage Resort and protégé of SoCal culinary gods Michael Stebner and Jason Knibb will continue to deliver his spin on traditional Italian pastries with his custom panache. CUCINA enoteca’s menu will turn out trademark iterations of luxurious pastas, antipasti, innovative pizzas and plates large and small, sweet and savory, which beg to be shared.

CUCINA enoteca on Urbanspoon For more information on CUCINA enoteca and all of Urban Kitchen Group's restaurants, visit