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A New Gastropub Arrives in Vista

By   /  July 21, 2015  /  No Comments




TR Robertson

Partake, a new Gastro Pub, has opened on S. Santa Fe and has arrived in the most unlikely of ways. Owner Keith Fournier worked for 21 years as a paramedic in the Southern California area, but held a dream of someday taking his love of food, cooking and wine to another level. As he began to pull away from his time as a paramedic he found himself slowly pursuing other interests. He began to work as a Spin teacher at Pure Fitness in Carlsbad and while there began to work one night a week at a local North County wine bar. His love for wine and wine pairings led him to increase his time at the wine bar. Keith began to teach classes in wine education. He also was able to work at various events and in extra shifts, all the while learning from his customers and students the in’s and out’s of what they would like to see in a restaurant as far as food, wine decor and ambiance.

This journey would lead Keith to take his dream of someday opening his own restaurant to a search that would take 3 years to locate a place he would be able to call his own. Partake opened at the end of March 2015, taking over the building that once housed Casa Linda Mexican Restaurant, and for a short period of time an Italian Restaurant, at 721 S. Santa Fe in Vista. His wife came up with the name, as they felt the definition describe what they wanted to accomplish with the gastropub – “to join with others in doing and taking part in something (as in food and drink)”. Keith established the menu. He said he wanted approachable food and food that offered flavors different than anything else that could be found locally. The same goes for the wines and beers he offers in the gastropub. He currently offers 12-15 boutique small production wines and 8 unique micro-craft beers on draft. New beers and wines are changed every month so customers always have different selections. His staff consists of a chef, a sous-chef and several line cooks along with the servers.

Photos by Carolyn Robertson

The Partake menu has a unique selection to choose from all made in what Keith refers to as a “scratch kitchen”, all menu items made fresh on the spot. Keith wanted to point out that he wants to offer taste and flavor profiles that will create a Wow in customer’s mouths. Each week he adds a special for that week. All menu selections are prepared in-house. On the menu for Starters items like Duck Fat Fries (house cut double fried), Bacon wrapped dates, Crispy chick peas, Roasted cauliflower are a good way to start the meal. For main courses you can choose from several different flatbreads like shaved prosciutto or Roast pork. Other selections include sandwiches with a side arugula salad. The sandwiches range from Tallegio grilled cheese and braised short ribs to Cubano to French dip. There is also a Partake house burger that includes smoky truffled mushrooms, bacon, Gouda, cherry tomato jam and Togarashi aioli and the duck fat fries are included. Many customers say this is the best burger they have ever eaten. Three very creative salads are on the menu, like “Market fish” salad, Skirt steak salad and Crispy skin chicken breast salad. Prices for the main courses run from $12-$17. For those that want something sweet, Partake offers three desserts – Warm Bread Pudding, Crème Fraiche gelato with salted caramel drizzle, and Cheesecake with various seasonal toppings. Dessert selections change regularly and seasonally. On a recent visit for dinner at Partake, my wife and I had the cauliflower and the bacon wrapped dates for starters. Both were excellent. For our main meal we shared the grilled cheese and short ribs sandwich. The flavors were unique and we were “stuffed”. I also tried a Colorado IPA red micro-brew. Lots to choose from.


Several monthly events give customers a chance to learn a little more about food and wine or beer pairings. The wine maker and beer maker dinner’s pair wine or beer with the different foods Partake offers. This is also a chance for guests to meet and greet as they share good food and good drink. Keith also runs wine education classes, currently mid-week. He said he is thinking about moving the classes to the weekend making it easier for those interested to attend. On Sundays and Tuesdays, from 6 until 8 o’clock, live entertainment is provided for the patrons. Keith said right now he is using various forms of social media to “get-out” the word about Partake and the goings-on at the gastropub, such as on Facebook at partakegastropub. Partake currently has over 1,000 followers. Other social media they use are Instagram, Twitter and Yelp. On their Yelp site they have a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

As the Historical center of Vista grows, as new restaurants, breweries, wineries and other business move in, the community will begin to expand and modernize. S. Santa Fe is currently going through major revisions and a new look will slowly begin to unfold. In the next few years, “downtown” Vista will not look as it now does. Partake is part of the changing scene and is worth taking the time to visit this unique restaurant as it grows in popularity. For more information go to www.partakevista.com.



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