Temecula Now Open!
Temecula, Calif. (February 09, 2015)
Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurants has opened the seventh and first Riverside County location of its popular seafood restaurants combining hyper-fresh sustainable seafood and shellfish with monthly chef’s tastings, wine pairings and neighborhood happy hours.
The long-awaited Bluewater Grill Temecula replaces Fish House Vera Cruz at 26700 Ynez Road in Temecula, and joins Bluewater restaurants in Newport Beach, Redondo Beach and Tustin, Calif., and Phoenix, as well as new over-the-water locations on the Avalon waterfront on Santa Catalina Island and in the former Hotel del Coronado boathouse on Coronado Island.
The new, completely remodeled restaurant brings Bluewater’s successful blend of chef-driven and classic sustainable seafood dishes to Temecula Wine Country, offering daily lunch and dinner menus and a full-service seafood market and retail counter. Owners and founders Jimmy Ulcickas and Richard Staunton have customized the regularly reprinted menus to take full advantage of the company’s first wine-focused location.
“It’s a thrill to bring Bluewater’s commitment to the absolutely freshest sustainable seafood – ranging from small plates and simply prepared fish dishes to the most elaborate chef creations – to Riverside County for the first time,” said Ulcickas. “Given Temecula’s continuing emergence as a destination for fine wine and cuisine, we expect Bluewater to be a nice fit with the community. Beyond introducing spectacularly prepared seafood to the mix of local dining options, we’re excited to explore a new level of seafood/wine pairing events.”
According to Ulcickas, the conversion of Fish House Vera Cruz to a Bluewater Grill is a natural for Temecula. “Bluewater Grill is the perfect conversion of the Fish House Vera Cruz to a more modern and contemporary casual seafood concept. We’ve worked closely with the City of Temecula to completely remodel the dining and outdoor patio space and add a full-service bar to create a stylish new standard of fish house restaurant.”
In September, Art Garcia, a Southern California-trained executive chef known for mesquite grilling and an expertise in seafood, was announced as executive restaurant chef, while Chad Simpson, formerly general manager of Market Broiler in Riverside, will assume similar duties for Bluewater Grill Temecula.
The company has hired a number of local servers, bartenders and kitchen personnel and retained qualified existing employees who made Fish House Vera Cruz a favorite in the valley.
The restaurant closed in March for an extensive, building-wide remodel encompassing the dining room, bar, lounge and patio. The retail seafood market also has been upgraded to sell an extensive offering of local wines by the bottle. Consistent with other Bluewater locations in California and Arizona, Bluewater Grill Temecula features a contemporary fish house theme featuring authentic artifacts collected from Bluewater founders’ years of fishing experience off the coast of Southern California.
The new restaurant also follows the Bluewater formula of printing new lunch and dinner menus regularly to be able showcase the freshest seafood and shellfish, and offering a separate kid’s menu certified by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program and a popular weekday small plates menu of $4, $5 and $6 drink and appetizer specials.
“While we serve up to 40 varieties of seafood and shellfish, if it isn’t the freshest possible, we won’t put it on the menu,” added Ulcickas. “That has been our philosophy since Day 1, and we’ll continue that commitment to the freshest fish, ingredients and cooking techniques in Temecula.”
Another expected highlight will be a year-long calendar of seasonal seafood specials and monthly tasting events which pair seafood and shellfish with hand-selected wines, sakes or specialty draught beers. Hosted the second Tuesday of every month, the events have become a popular monthly diversion for local seafood aficionados and Bluewater Grill’s large fan base.
Industry-leading Commitment to Sustainability
Since opening on Newport’s Cannery Village waterfront in 1996, Bluewater Grill has developed a reputation for not only serving the absolutely freshest seafood but leading the industry in sustainable fishing and farming practices.
According the Ulcickas, Bluewater Grill was one of the first California or Arizona seafood restaurants to apply a full-disclosure menu philosophy and publish a Fish Origins Chart showing the specific farmed or wild source of every item on the menu. The prolific restaurateur has shared his marine stewardship secrets at the International Boston Seafood Show and has been featured on the cover of SeaFood Business, the nation’s leading trade publication for seafood restaurants and other buyers.
To date, more than 90% of the seafood offerings at Bluewater Grill and Bluewater Avalon are sustainably caught or farmed – among the highest of any seafood restaurant in California. To be deemed sustainable, the seafood or shellfish must be certified by the Aquarium of the Pacific Seafood for the Future program; be designated a “Best Or Good Alternative Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; or adhere to strict Marine Stewardship Council best-practice standards for sustainable harvesting.
Bluewater founders also operate the fishing vessel, Pilikia, which provides Bluewater customers with the freshest, most sustainably caught seafood possible. Fishing off the coast of Avalon, Captain Sean Burke targets only mature fish without the use of nets or long lines, harpooning the freshest most humanely harvested local swordfish.
Come in, get hooked
Bluewater Grill Temecula
26700 Ynez Road
Between Winchester and Rancho California Road
951 506 2899