Hotel restaurants can go two ways: chef-driven, or driven by an anonymous staff whose principal skill is warming food. So when Mission Bay’s 44-acre island resort Paradise Point starts its press release with “chef Amy DiBiase’s highly anticipated new dining concept, Tidal“—it’s a great sign.
The talented chef made a good name for herself at former Point Loma restaurant Roseville. Her next move to The Glass Door didn’t really work out. La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club quickly snapped her up, where she mostly played a supporting role to Marine Room’s Master French Chef Bernard Guillas and chef de cuisine, Ron Oliver.
Meanwhile, Destination Hotels had spent $20 Million rebirthing Paradise Point. The signature restaurant (formerly Baleen) needed help. Hollywood producer Jack Skirball developed the island in 1962 as his own lagoon-ridden South Seas fantasyland. The 3,000 square-foot restaurant was originally his private residence. It has one of the best water views in San Diego—a 180-degree sweeper of the non-malodorous part of Mission Bay. But come 2013, the room felt painfully tourist-chic, with heavily lacquered woods, white tablecloths, palm fronds and assorted waterside clichés.
So they hired DiBiase as the attraction, then built her a room to match. Tidal looks pretty damn fantastic, with riveted aviator chairs, live-edge wooden tables, disco-looking shell globes, indoor and outdoor fire pits, communal dining tables, some modernism here, some soft resort sofas there.
Opening April 10, DiBiase will put a Mediterranean spin on local seafood with dishes like olive oil-poached halibut. Another promising young chef, Kyle Bergman (ex-Lodge at Torrey Pines, Ritual Tavern) will oversee the oysters, cheese and craft beer, while Snake Oil Cocktail Company will do the creative work on the bar program.
So, enough jabbering. Here are the first photos of Tidal, and a new era at Paradise Point: