Thursday, May 05, 2005 | As noted here a few weeks ago, the corner of Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street has added Gemelli Italian Grill, which opens next week. The comfortable, well-appointed – almost sumptuous – room is sure to attract diners with its wood and granite bar and Sicilian-inspired menu of paninis and salads at lunch and steaks, pasta and other fine foods at dinner. The restaurant is the solo venture for Vince Busalacchi of the well-known San Diego restaurant family. Gemelli Italian Grill, 495 Laurel Ave., in Bankers Hill, (619) 234-1050. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Blackhorse Grille is the latest in Sami Ladeki’s portfolio of restaurants that include Fresh, Roppongi and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. The Grille occupies Ladeki’s former Prime 10 location in Del Mar and opens May 6. Locals wanted more of an “everyday” dining option for lunch and dinner with moderately priced dishes incorporating regional and seasonal foods. Chef Ryan Johnston, a Culinary Institute of America grad who worked with Thomas Keller at Bouchon in the Napa Valley, as well as Bizou in San Francisco, will feature several of Prime 10’s steaks along with new small plates and entrees. New dishes include Catalan Sizzling Shrimp with Garlic Chile and Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($9.95), Tempura California Asparagus with Pecan Curry Sauce ($8.95) and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna with Ricotta Pesto and Roasted Garlic ($15.95). Blackhorse Grille, 3702 Via de la Valle, (858) 523-0007. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Scott Diehl who most recently wore his toque at Prime 10 in Del Mar, has moved up the coast to La Costa Resort and Spa as Chef de Cuisine for the BlueFire Grill where he oversees a Champagne Sunday brunch buffet as well as the lunch and dinner service. BlueFire Grill, 2100 Costa de Mar Road, in Carlsbad, (800) 854-5000, http://www.lacosta.com/dining/bluefire.asp.

El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn has guest chef Shawn McClain, executive chef and partner of Chicago’s Spring Restaurant cooking a special dinner on May 12. Cost is $110 plus tax and gratuity. El Bizcocho

A new restaurant complex is soon to open in La Jolla. Jack’s La Jolla owner Bill Berkley brings an ambitious three-level restaurant project to the area for people to have a nightcap or dine in La Jolla after 9 p.m. when many places begin to close. Opening about June 15 on the first floor will be Jack’s Sidewalk Café, Jack’s Courtyard Grille and Jack’s Wine Bar. Mid-level is the upscale, innovative style of chef Tony DiSalvo in The Dining Room at Jack’s. DiSalvo, who hails from New York and the kitchen of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, plans to have a tasting menu along with the regularly featured dishes. There is also a bar on that level. The top level boasts a full raw seafood bar along with a full drinking bar in Jack’s Oyster Bar and Jack’s Ocean View Room. The two upper levels will open about August 1. Look for parking in the old Saks building or with valet. Jack’s La Jolla, 7863 Girard Ave., La Jolla.

Marcie Rothman loves good food – no matter where it’s cooked – at home, a hole in the wall or a white tablecloth restaurant. Known as The $5 Chef on radio, television and in her two cookbooks, Marcie travels far and near with an eye on what’s current in food. You can find her at www.5dollarchef.com.

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