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22 San Diego Uptown News | Feb. 4-17, 2011


Banish the blahs with a dose of color

LivingSpaces Beatrice Kemp

ver wonder why the first month of the year always seems to start with a bang and end up with the blahs? As the “New Year, New Start” euphoria wears off, and reality sets in—along with the arrival of the holiday bills—you really need something to lift your spirits (other than your team making it to the Super Bowl). This year, try paint.


When in doubt: Neutrals are a mainstay. Nothing beats soft creams, pale grays or shades of white for a classic look. But also take note of the 2011 “Colors of the Year” designated by the major paint producers: Benjamin Moore’s “Vintage Wine” and Du- lux’s “Citrus Yellow.” A small dose of one of these deep, saturated colors can be used to give a room punch.


In a small space, such as a powder room or home office, try bold color. This may be the perfect spot for a deep plum or wine, a smoky blue-gray or a dark taupe. Paint it, live with it and if you don’t like it, paint over it. That’s the beauty of trying out color in a small room. Of course, red is a perennial favorite and, when chosen in a deep tone, it can provide a “wow factor” in any room.

MIXING IT UP There are several ways to put together

a color scheme using multiple colors. Go monochromatic by selecting a favored color and then apply several shades throughout a space. This produces a quiet, but sophisticated, aura—especially when you the color range extends from dark to light. Paint manufactures’ color cards will include up to four or five shades of same color on one card, thereby simplifying the job of selecting consistent colors. If you are a bit bolder, grab a color wheel and select colors that are adjacent to create an analogous color scheme. Then there is the complementary scheme, which uses colors from opposite sides of the wheel, such as combining deep blue with vibrant red orange.

CONSIDER AN ACCENT WALL It’s not unusual to walk into a space and see one colorful wall in a sea of neutrality: The accent wall. While designers fall into two camps—love them or hate them—they can be useful design tools. In open floor plans, that are so popular

today, the accent wall can define boundar- ies by creating the illusion of separation. A deep rich color, such as dark moss, can actually draw you into the space and give the feel of separation while maintaining the feeling of spaciousness. A warm color can provide the illusion of closeness, so

see Color, page 23 FROM PAGE 13 BO-BEAU FREE EXAM

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low into Bo-beau. The name refers both to bohemien (as in “artsy free spirit”) and beau, the French word for good looking. The new look— clean and simple and not cluttered with the bric-a-brac that Beltran so adores (witnessed by such Uptown eateries as Blue Boheme and Vaga- bond)—does have its novelties, such as the lyrics of a French love ballad painted on walls throughout the restaurant. There are fascinat- ing décor details, notably an ancient gate brought over from Egypt that is the very portal through which patrons pass to begin their explora- tion of Bo-beau. Canning jars, much beloved by Beltran, contain everything from flickering candles to certain appetizers. Whether they decorate or clutter the table is a


Even a monochromatic color scheme can bring excitement to living spaces with the right color choice. (Photo by Ariusz Nawrocki/

matter of opinion.

Beltran had some input on the menu too, a line-up of French clas- sics that commence with savory starters such as a dish of assorted marinated olives and snails baked a la bourguignonne in garlic-herb butter; tartines (crusty sandwich- es) topped with combos like goat cheese, kalamata olives, honey and thyme and la gratinee (onion soup baked under a blanket of melted cheese). The informal, hearty options continue with salads, a quintet of moules-frites (mussels and french fries) pairings, pastas including a house update on rotini and meatballs, and bistro classic like boeuf bourguignon and chick- en fricassee—in this case a quite wonderful version that includes tarragon-flavored dumplings, some Brussels sprouts and a mustard- enriched Champagne sauce. Even vegetables can be en vogue in these interesting times, and Humphus avows that her best- selling menu item is an appetizer— easily shared—of crispy Brussels sprouts roasted with pancetta, Parmesan cheese and sprinklings of balsamic vinegar. “Everybody wants them,” she

said, shrugging her shoulders and adding, “Go figure.” Naturally, the table felt obliged

to order a plankful (they’re heaped on a board, an unusual but effec- tive presentation), and they were

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appealing in ways never generally expected of these mini cabbages, which are shaped like leafy cannon- balls and often seem rather heavier that real cannonballs. But not at Bo-beau, it is pleasant to report. Humphus also recommended fried calamari with marinara sauce, which sounded pretty typical, but was not—the kitchen laces the crispy little squidlets with slivered cherry peppers, which go off in the mouth like cherry bombs. The house-made pâté—mild and creamy—features characteristics opposite those of the calamari, and accompanies them comfortably. An acquaintance who stopped by the table after concluding dinner said of the cuisine, “It’s comfort food, it’s wonderful.” The French have charming phrases to describe such fare, including, “La cuisine grandmere,” meaning grandmother’s cooking, and, “Les plats qui mijotent au coin de feu,” an evocative description of pots slowly bubbling on the edge of the hearth. Boeuf bourguignon would be a prime example of such dishes, so it is no surprise that it stars among the entrées. Rather lighter but certainly classic, the moules-frites combinations range from the classic of mussels steamed in white wine seasoned with shal- lots, parsley and garlic, to a very flavorful version that features red curry broth and scallions. If you like it spicy, order moules a l’harissa, enriched with garbanzo beans and chorizo and fired with red-hot North African pepper paste. After this, the delightful, baked-to-order almond cake follows quite beautifully. Served with roasted figs, whipped cream and caramel-toffee sauce, the cake arrives burning hot, so have a little more wine while waiting for it to cool. One whiff, though, and you won’t wait long.u

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