Our friends were in town visiting for a wedding and invited us to join them for a late dinner. We met them at Seasons 52 in the Seaport Village, a short walk from their hotel next door. It was also a special night because they just celebrated their 5 year anniversary the night before!
The hostess led us to our seats inside. It's dimly lit in the restaurant during the evenings. There's also an outdoor patio that looks quite comfortable with firepits and lounge chairs, but the nights have cooled down enough that it felt chilly wearing a skirt. I don't have any pics because it was a bit too dark around the restaurant.
We were handed a menu to browse. At the top it stated "Week of Sept 1" so suddenly it clicked how the menu and restaurant name fit together! The current autumn menu is attached at the end of the post. The menu is divided into sections and on the far right is the chef's recommendations if you need suggestions.
We ordered the Trio of Roasted Mushrooms Flatbread as an appetizer.
The biannual San Diego Restaurant Week is a promotion we look forward to due to our ever growing "to do" list of restaurants. This year we were invited to preview the SDRW menu at Sbicca in beautiful Del Mar. This restaurant has been around for almost 18 years so they are doing something right!
Sbicca is only a stone's throw away from the ocean. There's two main seating areas on the lower level plus an additional upstairs patio that provides a better view of the ocean.
There was still some natural light outside so we chose to sit in this cozy side area. We were welcomed by Danny, the bar manager/assistant floor manager, and Amanda, the managing partner of Sbicca.
We started the night right with the Strawberry Basil Lemonade cocktail, a drink special created for SDRW by Danny and Amanda.
It's about that time again. San Diego Restaurant Week for the fall starts on September 20 through September 27, 2015. Over 180 restaurants are participating! Check out your favorite restaurants or try something new! The prix fixe lunches are either $10, $15, or $20 and the prix fixe dinners are either $20, $30, $40 or $50!
The theme of Restaurant Week is "Celebrate Local" and I was able to check out a few samples ahead of time at the SDRW Launch Party at Go Green Acres. Browse the tasty creations below and something may inspire you to check out a new or old restaurant favorite!
Get a kick out of the tomato gazpacho with olive tapenade on a caper crostini from Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.
We've attended many "Taste of" events over the years but last week we had quite a difficult choice to make... Taste of Old Town or Taste of Downtown? They were unfortunately on the SAME night this year! In the end, we decided to eat, drink and be merry in historic Old Town San Diego. I suspect my interest in latin inspired food and alcohol has been increasing following events like Latin Food Fest San Diego and Tacos & Spirits at Harborfest.
The San Diego heat was still beating down on us at this event. I had gotten some kind of "flash flood" weather alert that morning, and came to find out it was only for INLAND San Diego. Old Town (as well as the rest of the city) was still hot and sticky but at least no umbrella was needed.
We came early enough to find great parking and pick up our wristbands and maps. There were 13 places to visit and 3 hours to do it. This year they seemed to be emphasizing the rules of two alcoholic tastes per person per station, even if there were more than two samples available. I thought we were able to try all varieties in the past. Most places remembered to mark off the map under the food and drinks columns.
Barra Barra Saloon has really amazing food based on the previous year trends.
Food, Wine & Jazz. I already like the sound of that. This was an outdoor event held on the beautiful St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort that featured the culinary talents of world-renowned chefs, wineries and boutique vintners. We attended as reps for SDCheers.com and made the 1 hour drive north to Dana Point. The last time we stopped in this area was for our Catalina Island birthday trip, which I recommend checking out.
We joined a huge line of cars waiting to get into the resort. We soon found out the reason - self-parking lots were full from the vendors so guests had to get valet instead. I have NEVER seen such hard-working valet workers as these guys. They were running back and forth to take care of the massive collection of guests for this event! Parking is yet another reason why you arrive at events early!
After dropping off our car, we made our way through the resort building through the help of signs.
Ly's Garden has been around for as long as Dennis can remember, ever since his family moved to San Diego. It's a gigantic Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant that always has seating during regular dining hours but also functions as a venue for weddings and parties. There's also a to-go counter where you can purchase the roasted ducks and meat and pastries showcased as you walk in.
For this particular occasion, we were celebrating Mother's Day with Dennis's family. The waitress seated us at one of the larger tables with a lazy susan but not every table has one, especially the smaller ones. The menu is extensive with many of the common chinese or vietnamese dishes. As a large family, we were able to try many items since it was family style.
We had originally ordered the seafood fried rice but it came out with shrimp instead.
At the recent Harborfest, Bayside Park was the place to be for all day family fun. It was also the location for the Tacos & Spirits Revoultion from 11-2pm. So who makes the best tacos in San Diego? We came out to sample tacos and vote for our favorite! At a reduced price of $15 for food and an additional $5 to add spirits, this was a steal of a deal! Dennis wasn't available this time so I invited a good friend of mine to join me. We also checked out the rest of the Harborfest activities afterwards.
Tacos & Spirits Revolution:
My friend and I checked in and put on the bright purple event wristbands.
A quick look around showed a circle of tents surrounding tables for eating and drinking. A lovely blue ocean and skyline were visible to the west.
We were both ravenous. That morning I taught her some Tasting Events 101 such as "Don't eat right before an event."
The first booth we visited had the Spicy Grilled Fish from the Mariscos German Beyer Food Truck (pictured above).
Cheese fondue? Chocolate fondue? Sounds interesting but it's never struck me as something I 'must do'... Cue the entrance of The Melting Pot gift certificate. It was finally time to see what the fuss was about.
The Melting Pot is a national chain with a location in the UTC area, sharing a hotel plaza with a few other fine-dining establishments (Flemings, Trulucks, Cafe Japengo). You can valet directly in front of the restaurant or self park in the hotel parking lot down the hill. The restaurant will validate your parking stub for 3-hours. Self parking is somewhat of a mini-journey though, at least for your first time. Your choices are 1) finding your way to the parking entrance, then traversing the steep hill, or 2) take elevator to ground level, walk past a pool, into the hotel, up the grand staircase and out the hotel entrance to cross the plaza. I've done both. Do whichever you fancy!
The restaurant is always packed so there's usually a wait if you don't have a reservation. Outdoor seating seemed to be quicker for this visit, but it still took 30+ minutes.
Each table has one stovetop, or two for the larger tables, so generally the group must select the same cheese, broth, and chocolate bases. You can increment the serving size (set cost per serving) but it's not required. We decided to go for the 4-course meal to get the whole experience. You get to select each course as well as the cooking style from the menu.