San Diego’s East Village has a new place to dine. Cowboy Star (link not working as of this post) opened last week on 10th Avenue between G & Market. According to the menu notes executive chef and co-partner Victor Jimenez is “committed to supporting local and regional farmers, fishers and producers by cooking food that recaptures the simple and pure tastes found in locally grown, natural and organic ingredients….” He features Meyer natural beef and hand-cut steaks from their butcher shop including a 14- ounce grass fed American bison rib eye from Oregon ($34) and a 21 day aged 40-ounce porterhouse for two ($82). If meat isn’t your thing, you’ll find buttermilk fried sweetbreads with green apple-savory slaw ($11), roasted cauliflower soup with toasted caraway seeds and truffle oil essence ($8) and a long-braised rabbit leg with house cured pancetta, carrot risotto and red radish ($26). The interior is cowboy leather, wood, white table linen, open kitchen and cozy bar seems at first glance quite a comfortable setting. Buzz hopes to get there soon. 640 Tenth, San Diego, (619) 450-5880. Lunch weekdays; Dinner Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Lots of action over in North Park as Sea Rocket Bistro moves into The Linkery’s original spot on 30th just off Upas. Expect them to start serving June 1, using lots of local seafood and other ingredients, including a sea urchin bisque…The Linkery moved down the street on 30th to a larger space and just reopened last weekend.
Over in the Roseville-Point Loma area, the nine year-old Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe now serves Buzz’s favorite coffee: Calabria from the coffee house and roastery that is a mainstay on 30th just north of University. Now Pont Lomans can enjoy the bakery’s breads breakfast pastries, sandwiches and cookies with a terrific cup of java. Con Pane, corner of Canon and Rosecrans, Closed Wednesday, 619-224-4344.
Speaking of Roseville, Roseville the restaurant opens late next week across the street from Con Pane and immediately next to the well-known Point Loma Shelter Island Drug. Reservations: 619-450-6800
And for chocolate lovers, The Elegant Truffle, just around the corner from Roseville on Scott Street and Canon, serves up luscious house-made caramels, truffles and feather light angel food cake, cookies and more. 1111 Scott Street, 619-222-1889.
I am a professional chef and get sick and tired of reading comments and “reviews” that are written by those who don’t understand what it takes to create, prep and serve a meal like I had at the Cowboy Star. It was extraordinary, especially in the context of SD, where meals of that caliber re rare, few and far between.
Once the word gets out, the six seats at the Chef’s Counter (Cowboy Star’s version of the chef table in the kitchen) are going to be the hottest ticket in town. The menu is a showcase for Chef Victor Jimenez and his staff. Each station is given the challenge of creating a course for the tasting menu that changes daily. It may or may not feature items from the printed menu, but be assured it will intense, flavorful and a damn good deal at $65 per person. We opted for adding wine parings for an even better deal- $85 per person. I suspect the prices will go up as the demand for space at the counter grows.
A few of the dishes offered: A silky smooth and creamy wild mushroom veloute with an island of floating sauté of fresh porcini and a drizzle of truffle oil and paired with a 2006 Argyle Pinot Noir from Washington. One of the best samplings we tasted- braised lamb short ribs with a whiskey-currant sauce accompanied by a scrumptious potato dumpling. This was a knock out dish and paired with the 2005 Ferrari-Carrano Merlot it was stellar. Another course featured a perfectly grilled New York Strip steak with a sauté of fresh morels and crispy pan fired potato coins paired with a drinkable but uninspired Roth Alexander Valley Cabernet. There was more and yes, I’m impressed and I’ll be back with friends.