While COVID-19 has paved the way for an unusual summer, here in Malibu, we like to look on the bright side. These days, there’s more time to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures, from quiet local retreats to leisurely evenings spent enjoying flavorful food paired with fine wine.

On these fronts, we’d like to offer some inspiration. For those in the region seeking a relaxing, gastronomic getaway, CBC Restaurant’s outdoor dining overlooking Carbon Beach is open to the public, and those in the area can also leave the cooking to us one night by ordering delivery or picking up from our porte-cochère.

Even if you’re not local, we’re still sharing the Malibu love — from our kitchen to yours, here are three dishes and wine pairings to make again and again this summer. Course them out for a small, socially distanced dinner party with a couple of friends (if it’s advisable in your area, of course), or pick a different night to make each individual dish. The beauty of this summer is that there’s plenty of time.

Diver Scallop Ceviche

Nothing says “summer in Malibu” like a flavorful, chilled seafood dish. Find fresh diver scallops at your local fish market for this simple ceviche, and serve with tortilla chips, plantain chips, or lettuce cups.

  • 8oz diver scallops
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced Fresno chile
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Tortilla or plantain chips to serve, or scoop-sized pieces of lettuce such as bibb or butter

In a large bowl, stir together the agave, lime juice, and scallops, then add the Fresno chile, cilantro or parsley, onion, shallots, and salt and pepper. Toss and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

This crisp, delightfully refreshing Champagne is composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and offers notes of green apples, pears, and vanilla — a perfect pairing for fresh seafood. Find it at a store near you here.

Grilled Carrot Salad

We recommend finding carrots at your local farmers market for this unique take on a classic side dish. Start with whole cumin and coriander seeds, rather than ground — it’s worth a bit of extra work for their superior flavor.

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or mild chili powder

Lime Yogurt Dressing

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Half of a jalapeno
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the grill, and separately preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and crosswise. If the carrots are thick at one end, cut the larger half in half again lengthwise, so that the pieces are more or less equal in thickness.

Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind. Add the turmeric and Aleppo pepper or chili powder and stir with the pestle until well combined.

Toss the carrots in a large bowl with the spices, olive oil, salt and pepper, and thyme leaves. Place on the grill until charred, then place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring the carrots every few minutes. They should be slightly caramelized and tender.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt dressing. Trim off any brown or old cilantro stems (keeping as much of the stem as possible for their flavor), then cut the stem off of the jalapeno, leaving the seeds and ribs if you prefer a spicier dressing and removing them if you prefer more mild flavors. Blend the cilantro, jalapeno, minced garlic, lime juice, yogurt, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend for a few seconds, until just incorporated. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve carrots from the pan or transfer to a platter, and drizzle with yogurt dressing.

CBC Restaurant manager Joe Cervantes has a particular fondness for Far Niente — “This was the first winery my wife and I visited 4 years ago on our trip to Napa Valley,” he recently shared with the Malibu Beach Inn blog. “Not only did it affirm my love for wine and inspire my journey, it turned a once self-proclaimed non-wine drinker (my wife) into a Far Niente fanatic.”

This vintage offers smooth notes of melons and citrus. Find it in your local wine store or order it in a 1.5 or 3.0L bottle on Far Niente’s website.

Chipotle-Orange Braised Short Ribs

Smoky, citrus-forward flavors offer this hearty dish a uniquely refreshing, summer-ready quality — but chances are, you’ll want to keep it in your recipe arsenal year-round.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 8oz short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 small carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Place a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it is very hot, but not yet smoking. Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Add the short ribs to the pot, working in batches if necessary. (Take care not to let the short ribs touch – you run the risk of them steaming rather than browning.) Cook ribs until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Do not rush! Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside.

Remove excess fat, leaving just about 2-3 tbsp in the Dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Add flour, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce to the Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine; stir with a wooden spoon until all browned bits have been scraped from the pan. Bring to a simmer, then add the beef stock, orange juice, and orange slices.

Return the browned ribs to the Dutch oven and add the bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the oven until ribs are very tender, about 3 hours.

This bright blend from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County features notes of ripe red cherry, raspberry, and star jasmine, with just a touch of balanced earthiness. It stands up well to this rich short rib dish, yet it still offers the easy-drinking characteristics that are ideal for a warm summer day. Find it in your local wine store or order it on Far Niente’s website.

We look forward to seeing you at Malibu Beach Inn and CBC Restaurant soon. Bon appetit!