Commemorating my return to San Diego for the year I decided to host a blind wine tasting dinner. But considering I was going from San Diego for 3 months I didn't really have my finger on the pulse of San Diego's current fine dining scene. Luckily my friend Kevin had informed me of a great new restaurant that opened in Point Loma, Roseville.
I know... Point Loma? Fine Dining? It's good I didn't doubt him because we were in for a treat. Owner George Riffle opened this restaurant after opening Blanca, Quarter Kitchen, and managing Laurel. He's put together a splendid operation with Chef Amy DiBiase centered around French Bistro dining. The decoration is warm and well appointed and the noise level is just right. A short list of dishes and carefully selected wines greet you on the two page menu.
Check out this awesome leg of pig! I'll get back to it later in the evening, it's quite the oink!
As with all of our wine gatherings, we have a ridiculous amount of wine glasses littered on the table.
Your eyes do not deceive you! Captain Jack joined us for this dinner as well! Exemplary wine service, the waitresses assigned to our table were quick to refill our champagne glasses and get us a plethora of glasses.
Now on to the food!
First appetizer Asparagus Salad
Shaved asparagus mixed with watercress and pan fried pancetta. Wild baby greens and a perfectly cooked farm fresh egg on top of the salad accompanied by a truffle vinaigrette. The dressing was light and the asparagus was shaved ever so slightly as not to overpower the delicate nature of the dressing and the egg. The pancetta brought it all together with a salty base.
Next App Foie Gras
Foie gras served with a peach cream. I was surprised by the pairing, I've never had foie with such a rich, creamy compliment. It worked out really well, they balanced each other out.. the foie was incredibly flavorful and I wanted to lick the cream off the plate..
Another App... Carlsbad Mussels
I didn't get to try the mussels in this dish but based on my later experiences, their mussels are very well done. Succulent and meaty with not a hint of sand/salt water. And look at the portion size! Huge!
First entree Seared Diver Scallops
The scallops are served on top of lightly pan roasted purple potatoes and topped with watercress and grapefruit.
Next up, Braised BerkShire Pork Cheeks
Tender meaty fall off the fork cheek cooked with vegetable ragout and a honey lavendar glaze with braising jus. You can smell the fragrance of the lavendar waft up ever so lightly mix in with the smell of pork broth. Yum!
My entree, Herb crusted Lamb Rib Eye
Served with a side of summer squash tian ( layers of zuchinni squash, yellow squash and peppers) and a black olive jus. Like all the other dishes, the meat is done so PERFECTLY at this restaurant. The deft hand that cooks this meat should be applauded. What shouldn't be applauded is the ridiculously rich black olive jus. It was overwhelming... lamb by itself is a very flavorful and gamey meat but the black olive sauce just overpowers it. Loved the lamb, didn't like the sauce one bit.
And back to that pig you saw way up top... Black Iberian Pig (Jamon iberico)
This pig is free range and ONLY eats acorn. Only 5% of the Iberian ham is this type. $120 a pound and over $2,000 for the leg you saw up there. This plate was $50, everytime they serve a plate like this (special order.. gotta talk to the owner) they lose money. How do you describe such perfection in meat? The perfect medium between oil and richness with a deep satisfying cured pork flavor. Thinly sliced so the intensity of the flavor didn't overwhelm your taste bud. The table agreed.. the most perfect piece of cured meat you could ever have.
And due to some confusion... we ordered two =P. Since we paid $100 for two plates of meat.. they gave us some free cheese and fruit! (wow!)
Service was a bit slow that night, but for a party of 14 the food came out perfect, not a dish over cooked or under cooked.
Since I enjoyed the restaurant so much I brought a dining partner with me this past weekend. George (the owner) informed me during our last visit that they would be implimenting a new fall menu (which isn't updated on the website). We decided to try the new dishes!
We started off with the Endive salad with Roasted Pear.
This looks small but it's actually split between my dining partner and I. They were kind enough to plate it for both of us without even asking!
Cinnamon flavored soft roasted pear with toasted walnuts with an endive, St. August cream, and mixed greens. A great start to the meal with the light but complimentary flavors. I very much adored the pear =).
They changed the Fall Menu's Pork Cheek to this preperation
This time it was prepared with a pork gravy on mashed polenta. The polenta is pretty grainy which was a bit of a turn-off. But like list time the meat was moist and was extraordinarily flavorful this time around.
Also ordered their special of the day, Fish and Shellfish Stew
Cooked in a tomato saffron broth with sea bass, clam, mussels, and shrimp it's a hearty stew for a cold night. I expected something soupier ala Pascal's but my dining partner loved the dish and the thickness of the stew. I thought the bass was incredibly moist, my only wish was for more bass!
Finally we had dessert, Julian Apple Crisp with Huckleberry
The crisp is served in a cute little cast iron pan and topped with a spiced cinnamon ice cream. I thought the huckleberry would be overwhelming in the dish but it wasn't overly tart. The apples were sweet and the crisp on top are baked perfectly! Another great dish by Roseville!
I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU VISIT THIS RESTAURANT. IT IS GREAT! It's not "expensive" due to it's location.. dishes are 20-30 and appetizers are 10-15. You won't get a better quality to price ratio anywhere else in SD. Granted, it's not the best execution but you get way more than you pay for!
1125 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, California 92106