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BRAVO “Top Chef” Finalist Brian Malarkey Will Dish Out “Meat Market” Cuisine

January 6, 2012 (La Mesa) – Dubbed the first “urban cowboy diner” and offering “meat market cuisine”, Gingham restaurant is set to open next week in La Mesa in a remodeled building that formerly housed Gio Bistro Wine Bar. 

You won't have to ride the range or wait for meats slow-roasted over a chuckwagon campfire to savor the fare at Gingham's, which is slated to open the second week in January.

Gingham is the third culinary installment by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and hospitality industry leader James Brennan.  Described as "a lively neighborhood hub", Gingham will dole out a bounty of low and slow roasted meats, hand crafted cocktails and local craft beer, with the price point as nothing over $20.

“I can’t wait to open Gingham and bring a “feast in the east” to La Mesa,” said executive chef and partner Brian Malarkey. “Think slow roasted meats, oil boil, beer, whiskey, and rock ‘n roll- something completely fun and unique to the community.”

“Gingham is an exciting take on various barbecue style cuisines,” said managing partner, James Brennan. “Our goal with all of our restaurants is to create not only the ultimate gathering spot for those who live in the area, but also an experience worth traveling to for all San Diegans.”

Helming the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine is meat-maestro, Ryan Studebaker, formerly of Prep Kitchen Del Mar, who will be serving up various game in every which way- straight up, sandwich style, smoked, roasted and more.

Upon opening, Gingham will offer dinner nightly and lunch Monday through Friday with what owners describe as "an adventurous, meat-centric menu packed full of flavor, while staying approachable, in true Malarkey fashion."

Nightly offerings will be divided into categories including ‘Not From a Can,’ ‘Baked,’ ‘Oil Boil,’ ‘Low and Slow,’ ‘Smoked’ and ‘Charbroil.” Standout dinner dishes include pork shoulder made with “Julian Cider” and fried kale; milk butter chicken and collards topped with smoked corn gravy; venison osso bucco made with stout, chipotle and chocolate; and brisket with “Momma’s Dry Rub” and hot link; and whole catfish with lavash and house condiments.

Gingham’s daytime offerings will be much like its sister spot Searsucker, with open seating, chalkboard style menu and walk-up ordering. Including an array of salads, sandwiches and dogs and sausages, standout lunch dishes include the fried green tomato salad with burrata and balsamic reduction; tri tip melt with gruyere, jalapeno jam and mushroom; and wild boar bratwurst with stewed onions and peppers and house condiments.

The master mixers from Snake Oil Cocktail Co. will command massive bars at Gingham. Specialty cocktails are infused with an assortment of ingredients ranging from fresh pressed juices to Serrano chilies to chamomile bitters. Concoctions include the ‘Indian Summer,’ prepared with fresh pressed apple juice, Grey Goose la paire and leopold apple; and the ‘Pena Colada,’ concocted with Pisco, coconut, banana and Hefeweizen. Gingham also features a noteworthy selection of whiskeys, local craft brews and California wines paired perfectly with Gingham’s meaty fare.

The space, formerly a Ford showroom in decades past, has been brought to life by San Diego based design firm Blue Motif, embracing the quirks of the sweeping bi-level building including the barreled roof, exposed beams and concrete floors. As guests enter the restaurant they are greeted by a lounge filled with eccentric furniture in cowhide and leather, complimented by a bullet and gun embellished chandelier. Paying homage it its showroom past, colossal garage doors serve as two of Gingham’s walls while others are adorned with various faux animal heads and vintage paintings. A plethora of high-top tables outfit the restaurant, evoking the feel of an old-school diner, while a single, large community table is available in the loft space, which will serve as the private dining room. Sizeable windows stand between an indoor/outdoor bar with a retractable roof and the restaurant’s patio, enhanced with a large fire pit, hanging lights and lush landscaping.

Leading the front-of-the-house team and overseeing operations is Mike Mitchell, a long time member of the San Diego restaurant scene. Mitchell first met Malarkey when managing The Oceanaire and most recently has been assisting with the management at sister restaurant Burlap.

Gingham will be open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to close, serving lunch and dinner, and 5:00 p.m. to close on Saturday and Sunday. Also to come will be Sunday brunch. Gingham is located at 8384 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942.

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