Cove House Dinner Series: Showcasing haute cuisine, casually

Now in its second year, the Cove House Dinner Series is offering fine dining in a relaxed environment.

Pairing each course with a spirit, beer or wine, the Cove House Dinner Series is intended to spotlight culinary creativity without pretension.  

Normally offering breakfast and lunch classics until 3 p.m. daily and happy hour until 6 p.m. in a beach house at 8030 Girard Ave. just above the shoreline, Cove House opens its kitchen monthly for a more intimate, multi-course dinner, planned with a winery, brewery or distillery.

The April 18 dinner featured Michter’s Distillery, hosted by Michter’s representative Jacob Kolack. 

Over five courses, Cove House Executive Chef Lance Repp, Chef Manny Perez and Pastry Chef Adriana Peralta plated premiere dishes paired with straight pours of the best in Michter’s lineup including bourbon, rye and whiskey, along with a surprise pour of a 10-year rye.

Diners – seated communally this month – feasted on a pork roulade with date-apricot walnut chutney, broccolini with crispy golden thread mushrooms, a smoked vanilla ice cream and more, as Kolack explained each sip including its history and Repp described how the pours and food highlighted each other.

For Repp, who also owns Cove House, Shore Rider and Dough Momma in La Jolla and The Cordova Bar with Darren Moore, the Cove House Dinner Series is an opportunity to “try to do fun stuff,” he said.

With more than 30 years of fine dining experience, including top positions at renowned dining venues including La Valencia Hotel, Rancho Valencia Resort and The University Club, Repp is eager to flex his creativity during the dinner series and “play around.”

He offers epicurean inventiveness in dishes like caramelized scallops with a spiced tomato broth, candied cherries and vanilla creme; that particular plate was served with Michter’s Sour Mash.

To decide what to dish, Repp first tastes the pours that will be served and creates a course using “the best, different expressions for each liquor,” he said, integrating similar or complementary flavors and expanding on them.

It’s a true departure from Cove House’s usual, well-reviewed farm-to-table philosophy:

“We take the gloves off and anything goes,” Repp said.

The result is “higher-end fine dining kind of thing but with a very relaxed casual kind of feel,” he added, with a limit of 40 people per dinner to promote a personal, quaint feel.

“It’s nice to get out and do something a little different,” Repp said.

The next Cove House Dinner Series will be held Friday, May 24, featuring Goal Brewing hosted by Derek Gallanosa. J Vineyards, hosted by Julie Starner, will present Saturday, June 22. Click here to reserve.

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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