Clear your calendars. San Diego Restaurant Week is about to begin!
This biannual event starts September 18th and runs through the 23rd, with more than 180 restaurants participating throughout the county. Many locations offer both lunch and dinner, and all menus are fixed price, with two-course lunches starting at just $10 and three-courses dinners starting at $20. This legendary culinary tradition offers discounted menus, which is the perfect excuse to stop by all those restaurants you’ve been dying to try. With a handy guide that you can find here, you can search by cuisine, neighborhood, meal or price. Let the eating begin!
San Diego Restauant Week, Fast Facts:
- Who: 180 San Diego restaurants; check here for the latest list of participating restaurants.
- What: A culinary experience with discounted fixed price menus.
- Where: All throughout San Diego County.
- When: Sunday, September 18th through Friday, September 23rd; with some restaurants extending those dates.
- Etc.: Check SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com for the complete restaurant list and reservation information.
Photo courtesy of Wild Note Café
If you’re in North County, be sure to check out the Wild Note Café (143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, CA; 858-720-9000). Attached to San Diego’s best live music venue, The Belly-Up Tavern, the Wild Note Café is run by the same folks who brought you Pacific Coast Grill. Whether you’re window shopping along Cedros and need a quick but delicious bite for lunch, or you’re planning a girls’ night out and want a light but tasty supper before hitting the dance floor, Wild Note Café has something for you.
Chef Izzy tempts the taste buds with locally grown, seriously fresh ingredients and his flavor pairings are simply innovative. To preview Restaurant Week, I was invited to sample their dinner menu, and was treated to one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in ages.
Grilled Peach Salad featuring baby arugula, sliced red onions, avocado and sweet yellow pepper vinaigrette
I loved the grilled peaches, they reminded me of summer bonfires at the beach. The avocados were creamy agaist the tangy bite of the red onions. But the biggest surprise for me, a card-carrying member of the no-pepper club, was how much I enjoyed the dressing; the sting of the peppers mellowed against the roasting, creating a flavor I wish I could recreate at home.
Grilled Filet Medallions with a herb demi glaze, served with cheddar infused mashed potatoes and fried green beans
If ever a dish was derserving of a hearty glass of red wine, this is the dish. Chef Izzy prepared the medallions perfectly rare at my request; they were so tender I barely needed a knife to slice through each delicate morsel. And then, while my palette was savoring the fresh herbs in the glaze, I nuzzled the mashed potatoes with my fork to reveal something that makes so much sense, I wondered why I’ve never considered it myself: cheddar cheese. In the mashed potatoes! Oh, my. I was defenseless to stop myself from devoring the entire plate. And did I mention the green beans were fried?
Peach & Berry Puff Pastry with vanilla bean gelato
Dessert was everything dessert should be (without being chocolate): light, fluffy, sweet, creamy…satisfying. I’m generally not a warm fruit dessert kind of gal, but this dish has made me a convert. And if you could taste the hint of mint that mingled with the rich vanilla bean gelato, the buttery crunch of puff pastry that played nicely with the warm peaches and berries…you’d go back for seconds, too.
The Wild Note Café is an intimate space meant to encourage conversation. Tables are placed far enough apart to allow privacy, and the towering height of the restaurant is the perfect display case for the café’s antique musical instrument collection. There’s even an lovely outdoor patio that provides plenty of people watching, day and night. The Wild Note Café will offer their Restaurant Week Menus through September 30, giving you an extra week of goodness. Call 858-720-9000 to make reservations.