Sea and Smoke (Del Mar) - brunch
*Update* This restaurant has closed.
Birthdays are awesome times to see old friends and it's even better when two friends celebrate together! Two birds with one stone baby! These two ladies picked brunch at Sea & Smoke in Del Mar. I'd heard mentions on local food blogs (kirbie, jinxi, mary) so I was excited to see what they had to offer!
The entrance is on the side, facing away from the street.
The hostess area has a view into their kitchens! Logo'ed glass!
Here's one side of the dining area. We sat in a private back corner that had these cool shadow portraits. There's a whole another section to the left of the hostess stand that is more of a bar environment, including a patio area perfect for happy hour.
The glassware for water is so cool here. It made everyone think of soda cans because of the curve on top! If you order a drink, those come in mason jars, at least for Dennis's. His fresh lemonade was really sour though. The best refill was the in-house ginger beer, a crisp mellow ginger taste.
Food time! Of course I was drawn toward ordering the Niman Ranch Pork Belly Benedict (14) since I love benedicts so much. This version had a twist, cooked over skillet cornbread instead of english muffins/breads and was so moist and delicious! My pork belly was cooked just right and proportions of meat and fat were excellent. Also the sauted spinach wasn't bitter in any way. The egg itself seemed unseasoned or unsalted but none was needed with all the surrounding flavor.
This instantly became my favorite benedict version. Can I have cornbread with ALL my eggs now? Also, the sliced fruit included persimmon, a unique bonus!
Dennis ordered the Croque-Madame (10.50), an open faced sandwich with soft yolk, sliced ham, and swiss over brioche bread. Just consider this beauty the rich man's ham and cheese sandwich.
Look at those insides! We loved how creamy and super melted the cheese was and the thin ham bit off easily, though it pulled the toppings a little. The egg yolk was yum. The bread was super cushy and dense but personally I would have wanted it a little heartier. Just a *tiny* bit more to contrast with the other soft ingredients. Dennis and I preferred our own dishes so you can't go wrong with either. On the side were simple mixed greens with a lemon zested typed of dressing.
I ordered a side of Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Feta and Balsamic (6). The feta did gave a nice contrast to the vinegar sauce but the brussels were a bit too soft. I have to say my favorite implementations have all been carmelized... so this didn't quite make it.
Our friend ordered the Orange Scented Custard French Toast (10). The color almost looked as if it were overcooked but it was moist. There was no orange distinction or it was just too subtle. Level of sweetness was ok with the crunch of pecans but I wasn't too impressed overall... seemed to be missing something, maybe like cream. The maple bacon side was as expected but on a thinner cut.
The staff delayed the check long enough to bring out some pretty french vanilla ice cream desserts. Happy birthday my friends!
I'm still quite smitten by the eggs benedict and I'm sure there are other tasty things we didn't get to try. We'll be back before you know it...
Sea & Smoke
2690 Via De La Valle
Del Mar CA 92014