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SD Food News: May 29–June 2

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week
Pâtisserie Mélanie

Pâtisserie Mélanie

The Mains

Cordon Bleu–Trained Baker Brings French Pastries to North Park

Teachers often say they learn just as much from their students as the other way around. That’s certainly true for Crawford High School teacher Melanie Dunn: A tip from a former student helped her realize a longtime dream of launching a French pâtisserie. The student let Dunn know that she could train at Le Cordon Bleu during her summer breaks. So, when she wasn’t leading a classroom, Dunn began building her craft in croissant-making from sunup to sundown at the prestigious Parisian culinary school. A decade later, she opened the doors to Pâtisserie Mélanie in Hillcrest. The bakery recently moved to a new home in North Park.

The 1,500-square-foot space features an open kitchen where pastry connoisseurs can witness the intense, three-plus-day process of baking fresh, fluffy croissants. If you want first dibs on ’em, get there at 8 a.m. to nab treats from the first bake of the day and savor the French café experience. “I wanted something that felt feminine and pretty and where I would want to go and have a coffee and a pastry with my girlfriends often,” Dunn says of her inspiration for the business. Along with French pastries, Pâtisserie Mélanie is serving up coffees and quiches with salads on the weekend. Dunn is planning to bring in a chef de cuisine in a few weeks to offer up a brunch and lunch menu. An outdoor patio with six tables is also coming soon.



La Costa Gets a New Mexican Restaurant from One of SD’s Top Chefs

Amy DiBiase has been one of the city’s most major chefs for a long while. When she and Paul McCabe teamed up to launch the InterContinental San Diego, local headlines lit up with the news. Now she’s bringing a new concept to La Costa with the recently opened Alejandra’s Fine Mexican Food and Cantina. The outpost’s carefully crafted menu includes a mariscos bar with items like tuna crudo and ceviches along with one of Amy’s favorites: the carne apache, a Mexican take on a beef tartare served with yucca chips. “I’m always looking for something unique that people aren’t going to get every day when putting these menus together,” DiBiase explains.

Of course, you’ll also find more traditional Mexican dishes like red and green enchiladas (“They’re off the charts,” DiBiase crows) and pollo en brasas, a dish with chicken thighs that are brined and charred with an avocado salsa. The restaurant’s sauces and salsas are made in-house or sourced from local vendors. DiBiase describes the space as “75 percent bar-esque,” but there are also cozy corners inside for quiet date nights, and those seeking a celebratory dinner out will soon be able to revel on the cantina’s outdoor patio, which opens in June.

Have breaking-news, exciting scoops, or great stories about San Diego’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].


By Elena Gomez

Elena Gomez is an Emmy-nominated reporter who has spent much of her journalism career working in broadcast news in San Diego and Los Angeles. She joined the San Diego Magazine team as a freelance writer in 2020.

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