In an effort to continuously reflect its “Dedicated to the Craft” ethos, Ballast Point is pleased to announce the addition of Tommy Dimella as the brand’s Culinary Director. Chef Tommy will oversee all Ballast Point kitchen operations, driving a new culinary point of view launching first in San Diego at its Miramar and Little Italy tasting rooms in June. The overall menu direction steers toward an eclectic mix of globally-inspired dishes and New American pub favorites that remain inventive yet approachable, with ingredients that work complementary to the flavor profiles of the brand’s core beers. It’s a menu geared for beer with flavors that complement the spectrum — from the sweet and smoky elements of the roasted malts in a rich, amber ale, to the fruit-forward notes and smooth, balanced bitterness of Ballast Point’s gold-medal winning IPAs, dishes are crafted to be perfectly paired. Chef Tommy is creating a deeper emphasis on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible and broadening the range of dishes, moving from lighter to comfort-style to satisfy a range of palates and pairing preferences. His new menus are currently available in Ballast Point’s Little Italy and Miramar tasting rooms and will soon launch in Anaheim, Long Beach and in the new San Francisco tasting room, which is slated to officially open doors this summer.
An East Coast native, Chef Tommy received his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales and set out on a more than 30-year professional cooking journey working in kitchens across the globe, including Pamplemousse Grill in Solana Beach under Chef Jeffrey Strauss. As craft beer is the cornerstone of the Ballast Point experience, Chef Tommy spent several months tasting through, cooking down and integrating beer profiles — earthy, malty, hoppy, sweet into his new dishes in order to align harmoniously with the brewery’s portfolio. Weekly rotating specials will integrate new beer releases —- providing fresh and ever-evolving pairing choices.
The new menus are similar across the Miramar and Little Italy locations with slight variations and feature the addition of on-site smokers for proteins including the low n’ slow brisket and 12-hour smoked pork shoulder, as well as housemade scratch sauces, dressings, glazes and vinaigrettes often featuring beer as the defining flavor component.
Menu highlights from the Small Bites portion of the menu include:
Whipped Goat Cheese (vg) | served with seeded lavash crackers, California strawberries and olive oil and cumin-spiced honey
Bar Jar | smoked trout dip with dill, lemon and sour cream served with heirloom carrots, cukes, sweet baby peppers and grilled ciabatta bread
Pretzel Breadsticks (vg) | hot and fresh pretzel baguettes from Rockenwagner Bakery served with Grunion Pale Ale cheese sauce and Mains
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich | a skin-on breast marinated overnight in pickle juice, garlic, and buttermilk, kale slaw with a honey mustard glaze, dill cucumber and Sculpin IPA hot sauce on a brioche bun
1/3lb Angus Smash Burger | a 6 oz. prime blend smash with white American cheese, BP special sauce and pepperoncini all on a Martin’s Famous potato bun
Boneless Beef Short Ribs | fall-apart beef short ribs slow cooked in Calico Amber Ale with horseradish mashed potatoes and pea shoots
12-hour Smoked Pork Shoulder | smoked in-house with cheddar jalapeño cornbread, pickle slaw with Grunion Pale Ale cheese sauce, “comeback” sauce (tomato, mustard, vinegar and black pepper) and fresh apple garnish to Pizzas (Miramar)
Hawaii Five-O | hoisin in-house smoked BBQ brisket (smoked for 8 hours until fork-tender) is tossed with a Hawaiian BBQ sauce (hoisin, brown sugar, pineapple juice, sesame and red chiles), smoked mozzarella, pineapple and pickled onions
Hot Honey (vg) | mozzarella, ricotta crema, mushrooms, arugula, roasted garlic, housemade spicy honey drizzle. A variety of fresh salads and sweets round out the menus. From crudités to the more substantial full plates, Chef Tommy has created a balanced and approachable culinary program designed with everyone and every beer in mind.
For more information on Ballast’s Point new menu offerings, please visit Ballast Point’s website.