The Seabird, a destination by Hyatt Resorts, opened in May 2021. This fashionable beachfront estate with 226 rooms offers guests a seaside resort experience with views of Oceanside’s iconic pier.
With a luxury spa, configurable conference rooms and proximity to notable Oceanside attractions to explore, it is only fitting that The Seabird offers guests multiple dining experiences. Drawing on expert culinary craftsmanship and the agricultural bounty of the region, The Seabird’s three restaurants bring freshness and vitality to familiar experiences.
Piper Oceanside restaurant offers patrons farm-to-table creations for breakfast and dinner both inside and on their sunny sidewalk patio. Adventurous fare and craft cocktails are plentiful at The Shore Room with an ample wraparound porch including bird’s eye views of the pier in the comfort of shaded tables along with heaters to take any chill out of the evening air.
Both Piper and The Shore Room can be enjoyed by guests and the public. Resort guests can also saunter over to The Shelter Club, a poolside communal cabana, to savor bites and drinks amid a leisurely poolside vibe.
Frank and I had the pleasure of dining at Piper with Elias Ojaimy, food and beverage assistant manager. Before dinner, Ojaimy provided us a VIP tour of The Seabird’s grounds including the beautiful check in desk, deco artwork throughout the ground floor, conference rooms, and The Shore Room.
Ojaimy came onboard before the May 2021 opening, leveraging his 30-plus years of food and beverage experience to train servers for the opening along with assisting the management team and chefs to create menus and wine lists.
“We as a team make it happen,” Ojaimy said. “We are one big family.”
Before jumping into the dinner details, it is probably worth sharing the days and hours when Piper is open. Piper serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and brunch from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays (Brunch is $40 adults, $30 for children ages 5 to 12). There is also a kid’s menu for the little ones with breakfast and dinner options.
Breakfast goers can also enjoy organic fresh pressed juices and smoothies. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays. For those wanting a cocktail or glass of wine aperitif, head to Piper’s picturesque and expansive bar starting at 4 p.m.
With Ojaimy joining Frank and me for dinner, we had the inside track on learning about Piper’s offerings including their craft pasta station, The Pass – The Art of the Al Dente — available on Friday and Saturdays for two seatings, one at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Chef Taylor Martin-Funk takes pasta lovers through a 5-course menu that changes daily ($65) with optional wine pairings ($85).
We started dinner with toasted local artisan bread and butter. The butter was cultured and had edible spring blossoms. The bread was visually stunning and that can be said for everything we had over dinner. We also partook on Lamb Meatballs in a red sauce topped with currants and mint as well as the Grilled California Artichoke with gremolata butter and a black garlic aioli.
We paired these with Emmolo sauvignon blanc for our appetizer course. I was impressed with the depth and width of Piper’s Beverage menu. Choices ranged from mocktails and garden-to-glass cocktails to local craft beers to wines by the glass and bottle.
Wine options included sparkling, white (chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, Italian verdiccio and French chenin blanc), and red (rosé, pinot noir, merlot, blends and cabernet sauvignon). The bottled wine options were different than the by the glass ones providing a wide range for any wine palate.
For dinner, I had the poached local halibut with cream of cardoon, ramp, and citrus salad, which doubled as a perfect gluten free option. Additionally, we had Rigatoni Bolognese served with smoked marble potatoes and white asparagus family-style at the table.
The potatoes were smoked in natural hickory and then fried making them soft, tender, crunchy, and out of this world. The asparagus was served with a green garlic hollandaise. For this rich, flavorful course, we had to step up to a red wine and chose a bottle of the 2017 Antica Mountain Select cabernet sauvignon. This was a perfect pairing for the rigatoni, smoked potatoes and asparagus, also pairing well with the poached halibut and cream of cardoon.
Save room for dessert. The Chocolate PB Cake with honey brittle and banana crème anglaise will have you on Cloud 9. I am glad we had a bit of the Antica left for this sultry desert. Thank you Elias and Server KK for a spectacular dinner!
If you are looking for a seaside resort experience, whether traveling or a staycation, or dinner out with 3 hours validated parking, you should put The Seabird and Piper at the top of your list. More info at piperoceanside.com.
— The Toast of the Coast Wine Festival comes to the San Diego County Fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, in the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Paddock area. Come celebrate National Rosé Day by sipping and savoring a variety of award-winning vino at the fair. General admission is $30. The VIP Winemakers’ Tasting experience features culinary delights, hosted by chefs and winemakers. VIP entrance is 12:30 p.m. with unlimited samples of award-winning wines. Get tickets now at thetoastofthecoast.com.
— Taste of Wine & Food readers know Sal Ercolano for his culinary accomplishments in the San Diego area. He now has purchased the well-known, high-quality steakhouse, The Butcher Shop. It’s reminiscent of a classic Chicago style steakhouse, elegant, warm and intimate with comfortable leather booths, gleaming brass and etched glass panels. The Fireside Lounge is now serving a lovely Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Enjoy select wines by the glass, well cocktails and beer for just $7 and a delicious menu of appetizer dishes (also $7 each). Stay tuned for more from the culinary maestro and his new The Butcher Shop. RSVP at 858-565-2272.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. Frank and Rico are two of the leading commentators on the web. Reach them at [email protected]