Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar To Bring French-Inspired Mexican Fare To San Diego's North County

January 4, 2020

The family behind Old Town San Diego restaurants Fiesta de Reyes and the Cosmopolitan Hotel are nearly ready to open Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar, a French-inspired Mexican bistro debuting later this month in North County.

From prominent restaurateur Chuck Ross and family, including sons Brandon and Ryan, Carte Blanche is a 4,300 square-foot French-Mexican fusion restaurant grand opening on January 22 within the new SALT Complex in downtown Oceanside. A 40-year veteran of the trade, Ross began his restaurant career in the kitchen at a Red Lobster, working his way into management with positions at General Mills Restaurant Group and Hard Rock America before revitalizing Old Town San Diego with the launch of Fiesta de Reyes - a unique mix of restaurants and shops including the historic Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant.

"Family has always been my main priority," said Chuck Ross, leader of Carte Blanche owner All Family Hospitality LLC. "Over the last decade, my sons helped my wife and me build our businesses in Old Town, so it’s a privilege to create something more uniquely their style alongside them. We’re creating a legacy, together."

For Carte Blanche, which translates to "blank page" in French, Ross is harnessing the talents of San Diego chef Alex Carballo. Carrying 15 years of experience on his resume, and having run kitchens at Indigo Grill, The Brigantine and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, to name a few, Carballo has created a menu of French-inspired Mexican comfort food for his newest restaurant. Carte Blanche’s offerings includes dishes like carne asada tartare with onion, garlic, capers, micro greens, chili lime aioli, quail egg, and plantains; duck mole tacos featuring corn tortillas, mole negro, pickled onions, smoked cotija, and topped with duck skin chicharrones; and mushroom raclette with portabella, raclette fondue, chorizo and a special served with tortillas. The dishes revolve around a shared plate concept to promote family-style dining.

"The French-inspired Mexican concept allows for endless flavor profiles," commented Carte Blanche Executive Chef Alex Carballo. "The most difficult part of this entire process has been choosing what to put on the menu and what to leave off. Every time I think I’ve perfected it, I add another spice or another ingredient and think, well, we must have that."

Carte Blanche will offer a warm union of French and Mexican farmhouse themes, with vintage glass arches behind the bar, thick black metal frames around French windows and subdued tile, just a block from the Oceanside Pier. Carte Blanche is located at 339 N Cleveland Street in Oceanside. For more information, visit and check out the menu below.