Monday, January 25, 2010

A new year - a (sort of new) beginning

1/25/10: After almost 4 years of nothing, I've been inspired to post again! Some of you may have participated in last week's "Restaurant Week" in San Diego. There were about 180+ restaurants with fixed price 3-course menus at either $20, $30, or $40/person. I am not talking crazy talk, and let me say that that shit is "right on time!" for the pocketbook. Well, if you were able to get out of the house & drive the (sometimes) perilous roads, then MAYBE you were able to take part in this festival of relatively cheap eats :). Heavy rainstorms are NOT "right on time..."

Me, my SO & some friends went to the Wine Vault in Mission Hills (Mission Base? I often wonder why the bottom of the hill is still referred to as a "hill"). Let me say that in general, the food was great & the wine pairings very spot on. I should have followed my instinct & ordered the items that caught my eye (sunchoke bisque, barley risotto & panna cotta) - but what I DID have (salmon tartare, braised short rib, and sherry sundae) were delicious. The service was a bit on the leisurely (read "slow") side, but considering the good company we were with, that wasn't much of a problem - except when the bread was slow in coming & people wanted to do some sopping up of the plates...very classy ;-p! The price was $30/person and the wine flight (3 wines paired w/your courses) was an extra $16/person (and they were not "mini" servings, mind you). Normally, the Wine Vault would not be classified as a "cheap eat," but I would recommend it most definitely during "Restaurant Week."

One of my pet peeves about restaurants are when they offer a fixed price menu, some places will chintz on the items. So I like to compare the fixed menus with the offerings on the regular menus - if a restaurant is worth its salt, and wants to be TRULY customer-oriented, then one should find many similarities betwixt the two menu offerings. Ok, that's my opinion, but whether you have $30 or $300 to spare - money is money and I think a reputable restaurant would want to put its best face forward no matter who the customer(s) may be. The Wine Vault is certainly a winner!