Enjoy a wealth of choiceDining, Section 4A Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
One of the luxuries of living in the Uptown/North Park neighborhoods is that we are surrounded by many fine eateries. You can literally walk out the door to great food and gorgeous company. It is so easy to forget we live in a diverse county with close to three-million residents and a mixture of cultures from around the world. In some neighborhoods, you can walk down the street and taste the spices in the air and experience everything from simple delights to the more exotic.
Restaurant Week offers you foods at a tremendous discount; I have selected a few places outside of the gayborhood to help make your experience as delicious as possible.
La Bastide, located in the bedroom community of Scripps Ranch is a Francophiles dream come true. I highly recommend the Fishermen’s Stew with mussels, shrimps, scallops, salmon and potatoes in a saffron lobster broth with a rouille crouton or the Duck Confit with pommes saladaises and asparagus. I also thoroughly enjoyed the seared foie gras with brandied cherries.
The city of Del Mar inspires romance with its quaint beaches and eateries that offer something for everyone. One of my two choices is Flavor Del Mar, where I recommend the Prime Flat Iron Steak or the Lobster Cavatelli. My second choice is Del Mar Rendezvous, a fantastic Chinese fusion eatery. Exclusive to Restaurant Week is the Shacha Mussel Clay Pot with New Bedford, Maine mussels sautéed with white and green onions in a Taiwanese-style barbecue sauce.
A short journey to the south west is the affluent community of La Jolla, where without doubt there is one of the finest restaurants in the city – Whisknladle on Wall Street. You will love the Grilled Steelhead Trout or the Squid Ink Risotto, homemade ice-cream and the London Burning cocktail. In fact, there is nothing bad on the menu.
If you’re visiting the gayborhood for Restaurant Week, the perfect choice is the Fig Tree Café. For a perfect dinner out at this rustic and urban designed restaurant I recommend the Apple and Brie Salad, Braised Short Ribs and Jidori Chicken. Bon appétit.
1 yellow onion, small dice 3 red bell peppers, small dice 1 pound Spanish chorizo, small dice 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into slices 2 ounces saffron 1 cup white wine 2 cups white rice 8 cups lobster stock 1/2 pound mussels 2 pounds chicken breast, grilled and diced
In a large pan sauté together the onions, bell peppers and chorizo over medium heat for about 15 minutes until the chorizo is cooked through.
Add calamari, cook an additional 10 minutes and add saffron and white wine. When the wine is cooked out add rice, mix together well and add lobster stock.
Cook about 20 minutes or until paella is almost dry. Add mussels and chicken breast, cover pot. Continue cooking until mussels open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
2 small yellow onions, chopped 2 heads of fennel, chopped 5 cloves of garlic 2 cups tomato paste 5 pounds lobster bodies
In a large saucepan sauté onions, fennel and garlic until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, lobster bodies and enough water to cover lobster. Mix well and cook over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the bottom and stir often. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve for later use.
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