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Restaurant Contest Digs for Local Flavor

A new Harbor Island restaurant is holding a promotion that explores the flavor in its target markets.

In an effort to develop a reputation as a neighborhood eatery, Alfi & #233;re Mediterranean Bistro is holding a recipe contest aimed at surrounding communities.

Mission Hills and Point Loma are focuses of the marketing campaign, according to one of the restaurant’s representatives. So far, a direct mail piece was sent out last month.

Alfi & #233;re is located at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Although it’s owned by White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., the eatery is being positioned as a stand-alone restaurant.

Its soft opening took place July 20.

The Harbor Island site had previously housed another Starwood-owned restaurant, Se & #324;or Spencer’s, which specialized in steak and seafood. Before that, it had been an independently owned El Torito.

The contest is soliciting original, unpublished recipes of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese food, and entries are being accepted through Sept. 30.

According to Antonio Friscia, Alfi & #233;re’s executive chef, part of the entry form asks for the history of the recipe.

“There should be some interesting stories that lead to great dishes,” Friscia said.

From there, the recipes will be narrowed down to five finalists, who in turn will be critiqued by a panel of judges.

The winning recipe will be included on Alfi & #233;re’s fall menu.

The winner of this contest will receive a weekend trip for two to the Venetian Las Vegas.

However, Alfi & #233;re plans to hold the contest a couple of times during the year, and the overall winner will get a trip for two to Venice, Italy.

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