Florent Restaurant & Lounge
Foie gras sliders, bacon wrapped jalapeno tacos and duck a l'orange meatballs? Yes, just a few of the unique items sampled at Florent Restaurant & Lounge within the last two years. We were recently invited to check out a new protein-driven menu by Chef Brad Hightow. There were 18+ new recipes incorporated for brunch, lunch or dinner! A Wednesday dinner worked best so we parked at Horton Plaza before getting seated at the restaurant.
Blistered Shishito Peppers 7 basil lime / smoked olive oil / cotija
Our first appetizer appeared. This eye-catching array of colors drew me in. There was a slight crisp to the paper thin skin and a wonderful sprinkle of sea salt. I'd say it was just a tiny bit too spicy for my weak spice tolerance but I did enjoy that first bite prior to hitting the seeds! And just because I liked the texture and taste, I attempted a couple more bites before chasing it with the nearest liquid!
Maryland Crab Cake 14 lump blue crab / old bay / panko crust / roasted corn tartar sauce
This crab cake was a decent sized portion and really meaty with no fillers (per server). There was a lightly fried italian style breading on the outside to hold it together. We thought the tartar sauce was a little bit on the saltier side though.
Little Gem Lettuce 11 avocado / heirloom tomato / radish / pepitas / green goddess dressing
We typically don't use knives and forks for salad but it's a must for this dish! The greens were fresh with plenty of dressing on and underneath the two halves. The pepita seeds gave it a nice crunch too. In general I would still prefer my salads already cut up but was glad we had a healthy side for our meal.
Pan Roasted Salmon [gf] 25 sundried tomato-wild mushroom risotto / fennel-herb salad buerre blanc / balsamic caviar
As we began pushing the knife through, we could tell the salmon had a delightful crispy skin to it! The salmon was cooked through yet flakey while retaining some of that rich oiliness to it. The raw fennel gave it some crunch and wasn't too overwhelming. The black balls around the dish were sweet bursts of balsamic without being too acidic. The dish felt a bit heavy for me though because the risotto mix was super rich, almost like hollandaise but with a slight lemon taste. Dennis wasn't a fan of the sun dried tomatoes in the risotto because it complicated the flavor a bit.
Pork Chop 22 12 oz Bone in / maple brine / anson mills grits / slow cooked greens / vanilla honey butter
Dennis was a fan of the maple on pork but it was too sweet for my taste. The meat had a nice char and was cooked to a moist finish. Underneath were thick grits flavored by a thicker buttery sauce which I thought tasted similar to the other entree's sauce. I felt like the bitter greens were fighting a battle of vinegar verses buttery moat which made it a strange combo for me. I preferred the salmon so we traded meals after sampling the other person's dish.
Cravory Cookie © Sandwich 8
Dessert was an ice cream sandwich made with cookies from The Cravory! You won't hear any complaints from us about this sugar cookie loaded with birthday sprinkles and stuffed with vanilla ice cream!
I don't follow baseball but after our meal, I began watching the game on the screen. Apparently it was the final game of the World Series and in the middle of the 8th inning! We took a little leisure time to watch the exciting game!
Florent also has bottles galore for your drinking needs. Get cozy at the bar if you'd like.
There's even some mysterious basement with nifty artwork on the doors.
I believe this basement used to be part of the old city hall or something fun like that. In the evenings there is live music and it becomes a lively nightclub on the weekends. I'll have to return to find out more!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.
Florent Restaurant & Lounge
672 Fifth Ave
San Diego CA 92101