sdrw

One of my top choices for this year's San Diego Restaurant Week was Farmer's Bottega. And... it's also my 200th review! I wrote over half of those within the last two years! Wow does time fly by before you know it!

At 7:30pm on a Sunday, the restaurant was packed and we were seated in the back patio area. Even though it was chillier outside, the heat lamps were at a perfect temperature that Dennis, wearing his big coat, was neither hot nor cold, and myself, in a sweater, felt quite cozy. It was also quieter and less cramped in the patio so we were quite happy with the placement.

Burnt Carrots Salad / avocado + red onion + cilantro + feta + citrus thyme vinaigrette

I heard good things about this salad

Leroy's Kitchen & Lounge is on the beautiful island of Coronado. When San Diego Restaurant Week rolled around, I thought it'd be a glorious time to cross the blue bridge for a visit. The restaurant is a few streets away from the historic Hotel del Coronado but we were able to score a parking spot nearby. Our late lunch may have been another helpful factor.

There's a patio area with bright red umbrellas for basking in the sunny San Diego weather while the inside has both booths and tables.

There are a few TV's for watching sports at the bar while you drink. The beer menu has a varied selection on tap plus space to advertise upcoming promotions.

We were seated at a booth facing the bar and provided the SDRW lunch menu. It's a $15 pre-fix lunch with one appetizer and one entree.

I'm the planner type and during my San Diego Restaurant Week research, Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant caught my eye. Our prior experience with this restaurant is the airport side business providing pre-made sandwiches/salads. Since that is already Dennis's default airport food choice, we had a good feeling about this place. The SDRW menu had so many enticing options that I delayed our reservation by a day to bring extra people to dinner! 

The San Diego Restaurant Week $30 pre-fixe dinner menu includes a choice of an appetizer, entree and dessert and is attached at the bottom of the post.

Appetizers

Brandied Foie Gras Pate (+$6.95) / Blueberry Compote, Candied Walnuts, Endive Salad, Grilled Levain

We upgraded to the foie gras appetizer and were rewarded with a generous sized, richly smooth liver paired with a mildly sweet blueberry compote. The buttery bread was the perfect firmness for a base. Side salad was coated with a slightly acidic but blueberry sugared apple vinegar dressing.

We're always checking out new places for San Diego Restaurant Week and were invited to preview the SDRW menu at The Marine Room in La Jolla. This fine dining restaurant has huge windows facing the ocean, which is especially mesmorizing when it is HIGH TIDE. I never knew there existed a restaurant where you could watch the waves splashing at the heavy duty windows while dining (view depends on season/time of the year).

The restaurant itself is located in a residential looking area so you go through a little bit of windy streets to reach it. Once there, you can valet your car or find street parking nearby. We were seated by the hostess and were ready to eat.

The San Diego Restaurant Menu is attached at the end of the post and contains 3 appetizers, 6 entrees, and a dessert to choose from.

Our Appetizers:

Pistachio Panch Phoron Wild Prawns / Tuxedo Barley, Eggplant chutney, Penny Royale, Pink Grapefruit Dressing

Back view of the shrimp with the fantastic seasoning!

Sundays are our lazy sleep-in days. By 1pm, the hunger inside was roaring for us to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! San Diego Restaurant Week had just started and Cafe La Rue won out as our destination based on distance and menu potential. I was also drawn to the thought of visiting La Valencia Hotel since I've seen tons of buzz on my instagram feed.

The main bar and dining area was spacious and not busy in the early afternoon. For this photo view, Dennis tested out a new 14mm Ultra-Wide angle lens which gave approximately a 110 degree view on his camera.

I love cozy booths like this so we plopped down happily into the cushions. There are three booths inside with the rest using regular, single person chairs.

The SDRW menu was $20 and gave several choices for the main course and the dessert course. Each main course had three components per the description "Main Course - Menage a Trois."

Muffuleta Sandwich, Soup du Jour & Truffle Fries

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.

Our third and final restaurant for San Diego Restaurant Week was Cowboy Star in downtown San Diego. We were interested in this menu because we noticed it included DESSERT for lunch too, which makes it a three course meal for only $20. Yea, I'm all over that!

Being from Texas, the cowhide-style seats in the waiting area made me feel a bit nostalgic, even if it wasn't something you'd find at MY family home. And I just love cowboy hats! Surprisingly this blogger here doesn't even have her own! On the other side of the chairs was a bar area to pass time before seating in the main area.

After we ordered, they brought out a bread appetizer. It had a sourdough texture inside but was toasty brown on the outside! I didn't take pictures but it was probably served with butter.

Our first appetizer was the Cauliflower Soup. I rarely see this on a menu so of course it was a must! The soup came out at the perfect temp and ready to eat. It had a richness and subtle cauliflower taste to all that creaminess and was topped with a few tibits of cauliflower and pepita seeds. It exceeded my expectations and I'd be willing to eat this again!

We've been to Brooklyn Girl once before for a friend's birthday and decided that San Diego Restaurant Week would be a great time to revisit! Their pre-fixe dinner menu was $30 and includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert. As a couple, we'd get to try more of the menu at one sitting!

That night they served chili flakes and lemon seasoned popcorn as a complimentary appetizer. You can definitely taste a little bit of both flavors in there. It's tasty but not all kernels were fully popped so we hit a few hard pieces here and there. When staff cleaned up the table next to us, I noticed there were also kernals there so we weren't the only ones leaving them on the table. The popcorn flavors do change so you won't know until you're there!

Dennis loves his whiskey drinks! This was the Bear Hug ($11), made with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey. It's a nice drink with a ginger spice and a hint of syrup from the walnut liquerer and honey, garnished with an orange peel.

The first appetizer from the restaurant week menu was the Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs.

While browsing options for San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW), we noticed Gaslamp Union Kitchen & Tap on the list. One of our favorite samples during Taste of Downtown 2014 were their Farmhouse Meatballs so we decided it was time to give the actual restaurant a go! I also made reservations through opentable.com for here and two other restaurants for SDRW. If I'm eating out already, might as well earn points toward a dining check toward more eats!

The restaurant is spacious between its indoor tables, bar seating, and outdoor patio area. There are also TV's mounted for watching sports or whatever they play on the tube.

After reviewing the menu, we decided to order the Albacore Poke! After a bite, we felt the fish was a bit sticky and needed something to brighten it up, perhaps a dash more salt or sesame oil. I found it to be quite plain, even with the addition of fried wonton chips.