Shannon Hogan Cohen | Luneta Drive
|Mary and Chef Costa Arabatzis.
Photo Shannon Hogan Cohen.
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According to legend, in the coastal Greek village of Thessaloniki there is a particular type of bee that produces salt instead of honey. A nearby ocean plant does not bestow nectar, but offers other minerals essential for bees. Costa Arabatzis, the co-owner and chef of Beesalt Balcony, stated his father hails from this seafront village, which presents this new restaurant as a continuation of family culture and traditions.
Chef Costa and his lovely wife Mary opened the doors to Beesalt Balcony in Del Mar earlier this year. This distinctive, open air restaurant boasts seaside chic design with a horizon view of the Pacific Ocean. When you enter the restaurant, Mary will greet you with her infectious smile and heartfelt hospitality while Chef Costa brings his trifecta of flavors to your table. You will experience Greek influence from his father, Italian inspiration from his mother, and a twist of his own coastal California style. Chef Costa delivers extensive experience coupled with stunning presentations of farm-to-table fare.
This dynamic duo have a lively history together. They owned and operated several Greek restaurants in Dallas. Recently, they decided to sell their three eateries and relocate to Del Mar with two teenage boys. Mary brings her expertise in marketing, while Chef Costa masters the kitchen.
Let’s start with dessert, my preferred course! I could not wait to try the baklava ice cream cake: a delectable dessert loaded with layers of phyllo pastry and chopped nuts soaked in honey then sandwiched between velvety, vanilla bean ice cream. It does not disappoint! The trio of artichoke hummus, hipiti - spicy roasted red pepper with feta, and tzatziki dips served alongside warm, aromatic naan were mouthwatering. My husband enjoyed the homemade lamb meatballs laden with a vibrant plum tomato sauce. While I relished my perfectly prepared skewered salmon with crispy oven-roasted Greek potatoes.
Other delicious menu items include the mousaka, an eggplant and potato based dish with seasoned lamb, topped with a béchamel sauce. The Bee’s Board is a compilation of assorted cheeses, meats and olives which includes a beautiful segment of wild bee honeycomb. The wine was extensive, with varieties from all over the world.
Food and family traditions leave a mark on our moods and often keep our connections to each other close. Beesalt Balcony provides this association and more. Make time and visit this hidden gem at the corner of Camino Del Mar and 12th Street above Prep Kitchen. For restaurant hours, to peruse the lunch and dinner menus, or make a reservation visit the website at www.beesaltbalcony.com or call (858) 481-9889.