San Diego Restaurant Week Offers Fabulous Dining Experiences
by Susan Montgomery
What makes the perfect dining out meal? Think about it for a minute. Now that many of us are vaccinated and feeling more confident about visiting restaurants again we want to make those experiences the best they can be.
And San Diego Restaurant Week from April 11 through 18 will give us the ideal opportunity to enjoy a variety of wonderful dining out experiences.
Of course, it goes without saying that when dining out, we are not only looking for amazing food, but also lovely settings, impeccable service, and friendly dining companions. Linda Milks, Todd Montgomery, and I (three food-loving friends) found all this and more during a recent lovely meal at the Grill at Torrey Pines, situated right on the picturesque Torrey Pines Golf Course at the charming Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. The entire property is beautifully landscaped with bright spring flowers everywhere.
The Grill at Torrey Pines is participating in San Diego Restaurant Week with dinners priced at $40 for three courses, including an appetizer, entrée, and dessert that can be ordered off a special prix fixe menu. While we visited for lunch, several of the same items will be available on the Restaurant Week dinner menu.
We were seated at a comfortable outdoor table and our gracious server, Malissa, attended to our every request in a friendly and professional manner.
We first ordered an appetizer of chips and onion dip (one of my all-time favorite snacks), but this was no ordinary dip and chips. The housemade chips were crunchy and not too salty. The onion dip was uniquely flavorful with caramelized onion, green onion, and small chunks of onion rings. (Dare I say that this was the best onion dip I have ever had.)
With our appetizer, we enjoyed refreshing and creative cocktails. Linda Milks and I savored our Lodgeside Rickys, made with gin, lime juice, cucumber, and mint. Todd loved his Chimney Smoked Margarita, a tasty mixture of cointreau, lime juice, agave, and smoked salt.
Our entrees were equally delectable. Todd enjoyed his traditional Reuben sandwich piled high with corned beef and sauerkraut. Linda said the flavors in her Chimney Smoked Carnitas sandwich were wonderful.
We noted that the menu included several “chimney smoked” items. We discovered the huge stone chimney behind the restaurant, which had a smoker built into it. No wonder there is a delightful smoky aroma that contributes to a cozy ambiance at the Grill at Torrey Pines.
I relished every bite of the Pan Roasted Swordfish, which will be on the Restaurant Week menu. The fish was perfectly prepared, tender and succulent, and was beautifully served on a savory miso broth, topped by shrimp dumplings, and surrounded by fresh bok choy and peas.
The wine list at the Grill is varied and appealing. I chose a heavenly glass of 2018 Cakebread Sauvignon from Napa to pair with my swordfish. Linda and Todd loved the Morgan Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands, the perfect accompaniment to their heavier dishes.
For dessert, we shared the luscious Chocolate Ganache Cake and also the delicious Coconut Tres Leches (meaning three milks), which will be offered on the Restaurant Week Menu with strawberries, raspberries and whipped cream.
I highly recommend trying the Restaurant Week menu at the Grill at Torrey Pines, but there are also so many other wonderful San Diego restaurants to try during this special week. My suggestion is to enjoy a different restaurant every day. After a year of hibernating, you deserve some great dining experiences and the restaurants will certainly appreciate your support. Go to the San Diego Restaurant Week website for a list of participating restaurants and their menus.
Photos by Todd Montgomery.