Buzz loves unusual restaurant locations particularly places with views beyond four walls and food that makes the trip worthwhile. Whether it’s the ocean, mountains or sky-high city/bay panorama, San Diego’s varied terrain affords many dining choices. These are a few of my favorites.
BY THE SEA: You might think of the Hotel Del Coronado as a spot reserved only for vacationers, but think again. It’s a place with many choices depending on your mood. There’s Eno, the wine bar under the direction of the very knowledgeable Ted Glennon. The Del sits almost on the sand of the Pacific so you can sit outside, sip a glass, flight or bottle of wine, nibble on cheese, charcouterie or chocolate paired (if you wish) to the wine and watch the sunset or stargaze. Glennon offers Saturday “Eno-Versity” classes with winemakers for $35: Sake on August 16; German wines on August 23 and Rosés on September 6. Open from 4pm. For information 619-522-8546.
Finish your wine, take a short walk on the promenade and head down to 1500 Ocean where Chef Brian Sinnott does wonders with homemade featherlight papparadelle in sauces that change with the season, including the current ethereal one with morels, pea tendrils and pancetta in a light mushroom butter fondue. September 17 features a special lobster and sparkling wine dinner and November 12, a four-course celebration of truffles, both are $135 per person. Dinner from 5:30pm. Reservations: 619-522-8490.
Further up the coast in Del Mar, Sbicca invited a few media to celebrate their tenth anniversary with a dinner held in their upstairs wine room. The restaurant sits a few blocks from the ocean so the view of the ocean with the rooftops is a bit like being in a quaint, coastal Mediterranean restaurant–relaxed. There’s a lovely outdoor patio just off that wine room with the same textural view.
A block away is , Epazote that sits on the hill in the shopping complex at 15th and Camino del Mar. The views from their Ocean Terrace room (all glass) take in the rooftops and a large expanse of the ocean. Executive chef Justin Hoehn adds his touches to the menu with lemon linquinini wild arugula pesto and veggies, Niman Ranch pork osso bucco with gnocchi and lots more. Happy hour runs daily from 3 to 7pm.
THE MOUNTAINS: Cavaillon, is up the 56 and off Camino del Sur, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere is now somewhere if you live in Santa Luz or that neck of the woods…or if you travel between the 15 and the 5. And now chef/owner Philippe Verpriand has a lovely small plate summer menu. A recent media event there featured wines from Paris Drigger (a distributor) and tasting plates of such things as really good pommes frites with truffle oil and Parmesan (yes, everyone does the dish; not everyone does it well), mushroom ravioli, steak salad and more. The venue allows you to watch the sunset from the hills rather than the ocean and a relaxing atmosphere pervades the patio dining area. Along with the food and location, the service is top-notch. If I lived in that corridor of Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido and Carmel Valley, it would be on my favorites list. Prices range from $4.50 to $14 and the menu is available Sunday to Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. For information: 858-433-0483.
Watch the planes, have a drink, lunch or dinner, Bertrand at Mister A’s has the spectacular city, bay and airport view…Though I haven’t been there for awhile, the vista hasn’t changed! For reservations: 619-239-1377.
You have to try the Glass Door in Little Italy….It has fantastic views of downtown and the water.