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San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW) starts this Sunday, September 23, 2018 and continues until September 30, 2018. This bi-annual event features over 180 restaurants offering a prix fixe meal (several courses served at a fixed price) which range between $10 to $50. We were thrilled to be paired with Farmer's Bottega, a farm-to-table inspired restaurant. For SDRW, an ample 4-course meal was offered for $40 with an optional $15 wine pairing. If you ever wanted to explore farm-inspired fare, this prix fixe meal can get you started! The SDRW menu is attached at the end of the review.

First Course

Burnt Carrot Salad - avocado, red onion, cilantro, feta, citrus thyme vinaigrette

This dish is a popular appetizer and one that we also tried in our initial visit. This time, they used beautiful rainbow carrots with a robust roasted flavor. Fresh avocado and greens were lightly coated with a "honey kissed" type of vinaigrette. This was one of my favorite items of the night!

Soup of the Day - cauliflower soup (our visit)

Since this soup changes daily, ask your server or just take a chance like we did! I'm always interested in cauliflower items because I rarely see them listed. This particular soup had that mouth feel of creamy texture and reminded me of cream of mushroom soup. I thought this smooth blend was just right but Dennis felt it was inconsistantly salted in a few spots. Give it a good stir (if needed) and that should do the trick . 

Second Course

Hearts of Artichoke - parsley beurre blanc, manchego rosemary foccacia

I'm not into artichokes much but these were tasty indeed. This rich dish had some char to the petals and a less intense oiled vinegar taste due to the surrounding sauce, which was buttery and bright. The tender core was easy to cut into for a bite. The bread was firm as a base and soaked in the yummy flavors.

P.E.I. Mussels - roasted cherry tomato, smoked bacon, capers, mediterranean olives, garlic

The mussels were plentiful and pulled easily out of the shell though the meat was a little firm. Dennis loved the salty olives but felt the bacon was out of place. I disagreed because I loved the rich smoked taste of them. The bread was the same as the artichoke dish and was used to dip into the basily garlicky sauce.

Third Course

Short Rib - red wine, herbs, herb soft polenta, tobacco onions

This beef stew flavored short rib was mostly tender with the fat evenly distributed throughout. There were a few chewier edges in our cut and it was a tad too salty overall. The veggies were blanched/cooked through but I prefer a little more snap when you bite. The most interesting part of this dish was the lemongrass polenta which mixed well with the meat juices. We're used to lemongrass tofu so this was a neat way to try it out!

Pasta Special (+$5) - shrimp and & scallop pasta (on our visit)

Some items have an extra charge on top of the prix fixe menu such as this pasta special. This huge entree felt worth it though, stuffed with baby scallops and a few larger shrimp. I'm typically not a fan of seafood pasta but this dish was surprisingly good. The tomato based sauce just seemed to flow with this seafood medley. We asked for a box early since we couldn't finish! Remember, we had FOUR courses each that night!

Fourth Course

Bread Pudding of the Day

The alluring aroma hit us as soon as the server dropped this onto the table. The top crust had all the fun flavors and was where the raisins resided! The cinnamon sprinkling was perfect and we loved the warm vs cold contrast when paired with the very delicious vanilla ice cream. This dessert was quite dense so we weren't able to finish it!

Limoncello Cake

The mango coconut cake wasn't available during our preview, but will be ready once SDRW starts. The replacement was the limoncello cake which was absolutely incredible! This light and fluffy cake had a sweetness that reminded me of childhood cereals. Even though I declared I was too full for dessert prior, I couldn't keep my hands off this! This cake was an outstanding ending to our night!

Environment

Our preferred seating was outside in the patio, completely shaded and temperate for an evening meal. The seating had changed since our last visit and we were grateful that the seating was more spacious than our previous visit.

Otherwise, there was the air conditioned comfort of indoor seating. The well stocked bar was to the right and people hung out enjoying their evening.

All items on the prix fixe menu are part of the regular menus so if you find some new favorites, you can order it on your next visit! Obviously, with rotating specials, you may have to call ahead if you want a particular one! Make sure to check out Farmer's Bottega or any other participating restaurants in the next week or so! For other SDRW previews, check out This Tasty Life and HungryOnes.

Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.

Farmer's Bottega
860 W Washington St
San Diego CA
(619) 458-9929

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