Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sublime Tavern

You guys! This is my first post where a restaurant invited me to a complimentary tasting! Let me reassure you that all opinions are my own.

The owner of Sublime Tavern, James said that he studied with a French chef to perfect his menu. You'll see, as I experienced, that the food at Sublime Tavern is elevated because of the attention to detail. And to top it all off, this is a family-friendly environment. You can bring your kids. Awesome! They've also got some great spaces for private parties. The patio is enclosed and overlooks the polo fields in Del Mar. It's great!

Ok now, on to my photos and how delicious everything was and how impressed I was with the staff. I brought my 5 year old son and mother-in-law with me for a second and third opinion!

Sublime Tavern offers a large selection of craft beers from the local favorites Ballast Point Sculpin IPA to Stone selections, Societe beers, and many many others. If you're a beer lover, you'll be happy. I tried something new, Rip Current Vanilla Storm. Wow! It was dark and tasted like vanilla coffee. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to my server for the recommendation. She also recommended a wine my mother-in-law liked.

an imperial stout with coffee and vanilla
We all enjoyed our food. Sublime Tavern put out a buffet of truffle fries, mac n' cheese, chicken fingers, and pizza for the children.  My son gobbled it all up. He told me the pizza was his favorite ... he is, after all, a pizza connoisseur.

We were served four courses and each course consisted of two items. The first course was homemade focaccia sticks and Belgian style truffle fries. Both were perfectly crispy and all together addictive. I had to control how much I ate because I knew three more courses were coming. 

homemade focaccia sticks
truffle fries
The second course consisted of salads, a wild arugula salad and a spinach salad.  My mother in law was ranting and raving about the spinach, declaring it was her new favorite. When the server came to clear the salads, she made sure she took another heaping serving. I think the minted sherry vinaigrette made it rather special and unique. The arugula salad was well balanced. The arugula was bitter and the bleu cheese was creamy and tangy, while the pears were nice and sweet. The crunch of the toasted almonds complimented it nicely.

bartlett pears, bleu cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts, blueberry pomegranate vinaigrette 
baby organic spinach, warm goat cheese, fuji apples, crispy bacon, toasted almonds, minted sherry vinaigrette
Next they brought out Get Figgy With It Pizza and Ecstacy Mac n' Cheese. The pizza was a perfect combination of salty, sweet, and bitter. The mac n' cheese was incredibly decadent. I did have another little scoop of the mac because it was that good. Comfort food, my friends, comfort food. I've been looking at the menu online and saw that they offer many varieties of mac n' cheese.  There's one called Rapture Mac n' Cheese and it's got pulled pork and caramelized onion and parsley.  I gotta go back! 

figs, prosciutto, balsamic glaze, olive oil, and garlic base

gorgonzola bechamel, applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, roasted red pepper, garlic thyme 
Last came two entrees, braised boneless beef short ribs over mashed potatoes and their vegan coastal bounty. The short ribs were falling apart tender and nicely seasoned. The potatoes were a perfect consistency. Now, I was really impressed with the vegan coastal bounty. The lemongrass coconut sauce was so so good flavorful.

braised boneless beef short rib, caramelized shallot whipped potatoes, bleu cheese crusted green beans, red wine reduction
corn and ginger with quinoa, lemongrass coconut sauce, wild mushroom and mixed beets
I'm already planning when I'm coming back and who I'm bringing with me. I'm thinking I'll be meeting some friends here with my son and my husband and I'll also be meeting some girlfriends to have a beer and that vegan coastal bounty. They're going to love it. You're going to love it too. Enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at The Headquarters

Sunday night we had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Headquarters at Seaport District. It was a great event that showcased the restaurants and retail occupying San Diego's Old Police Headquarters and really celebrated the SDPD history of that location. Yes we did have our photos taken in a jail cell with actor inmates and our drinks were served by bartenders dressed in SDPD's old tan uniforms. It was very very cool.
It's open! It's finally open!
There are many fabulous restaurants occupying The Headquarters and our first stop was Pizzeria Mozza. We got inside and my husband made a reservation for next weekend and I went straight to the counter to watch the cooks using the pizza oven. We were served refreshing spritzers, savory pizza, and their famous butterscotch budino. People! You need to try their budino! It's a thick velvety pudding topped with a caramel sauce and rosemary pine-nut cookie. 

I snapped an action shot of the pizza oven on overdrive.

Fennel and sausage pizza, really fresh. 
This is THE budino. Try it. 
Our next stop was Puesto. We have eaten at their La Jolla location so we knew what to expect, delicious tacos and drinks. That's exactly what we were served. What was new to us was the space and the design of Puesto. It's great! It's industrial and contemporary and the perfect spot to visit with your friends and family. There are many stylish sitting areas, inside and out. 

Just one of the sitting areas.
See the black and white floor? That's tile. Pretty cool.
Tacos al pastor and chile relleno. 

I've never eaten at Seasons 52 but have been wanting to. I thought I'd wait for The Headquarters location to open. Last night their staff was offering desserts. My husband tried the cannoli and I jumped at the pecan pie with vanilla mousse. OMG... So good. I'm looking forward to returning and trying their full menu where they proclaim all items are less than 475 calories. I've heard nothing but good reviews and can't wait to come back. 

Cheesecake Factory is one of the big anchor tenants at The Headquarters. Of course it is. They are famous for their big delicious entrees and their desserts. Guess what I sampled? Rich, creamy, dense chocolate cheesecake. Because The Headquarters is a historic building, the Cheesecake Factory had to do some custom design for this very special location. I must say that I think it's their best one. 

I was sad to see that Eddie V's won't be open until Februrary 2014. However, that is perfect timing for our wedding anniversary. ;) Even though their space isn't ready, the staff from Eddie V's was out in full effect offering succulent scallops for us to try. Delicious, and I can't wait for the grand opening.  
Delicious bite

In addition to all the restaurants, The Headquarters has specialty food shops and retail like Kitson, The Sunglass Hut, Venissimo Cheese, Geppettos, Starbucks and more.We loved it all. 
Venissimo Cheese

The night ended with a special performance by The Temptations and a sky full of fireworks. It was quite the evening and I hope that you will be enjoying The Headquarters at Seaport District. You'll have to see the transformation for yourself. The restaurants, the retail, the plaza, the fountains, everything. Enjoy! 

Fireworks over Puesto