Tuna and Beer: The New “It” Pairing

North Park’s Sea Rocket Bistro proves sustainability can be fun and delicious

Move over, wine and cheese pairings. There’s a new meal combo in town: tuna and beer.

I attended such a four-course dinner at Sea Rocket Bistro, a relatively new seafood eatery in North Park (3382 30th Street—the former site of The Linkery).

Run by Dennis Stein and Elena Rivellino, the Sea Rocket is an environmentally conscientious restaurant.

Stein calculates that “of the $35,000 we spent on food in the first four months of the year, about 50 percent is local (within 100 miles). About 40 percent is regional food (1,000 miles), mainly from around California, Baja, and some off the coast of Oregon. About 10 percent of our food comes from other places entirely.”

Stein and Rivellino transparently post information like this on their blog on searocketbistro.com.

The tuna-and-beer dinner shows off the “farm-to-table” concept; since seafood is the specialty here, Stein has heard it called “boat-to-throat.” The tuna is provided by American Tuna of Bonita, and the beer was from Point Loma’s Ballast Point.

Course 1: Nicoise salad—baby lettuce, hard-boiled South Park pastured eggs, French heirloom red potatoes, American Tuna from a can and a Pescadero Pilsner lager.

Course 2: Tuna melt—tuna on a Cardamom Café ciabatta, with lemon aioli, red onion and tomato, paired with a Calico Amber Ale.

Course 3: Seared albacore loin—with avocado and cucumber salsa, on a bed of warm herbed couscous, matched with a fruity Sculpin IPA.

Course 4: Chocolate Stout Cake and a cocoa-nib-infused Black Marlin Porter beer. (Of course you don’t make a tuna dessert.)

An air of fun pervades Sea Rocket. They show a movie once a month, recently instituted a $2 tapas menu and sell $2 baby beers (five ounces). The place is not afraid to experiment—and a tuna-and-beer dinner pairing is a concept that caught me hook, line and sinker.

Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.

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