Sunday, May 24, 2015

#SanDiegoSunday - Restaurant Review: Arterra Del Mar #DiningOutSD

Disclaimer: I was provided with the complimentary opportunity to taste the new menu with my husband.  All opinions are mine and 100% real.

Most Sundays, I hope to bring you a local post. About something to see, do or eat in San Diego!  A travel guide, so to speak, to my awesome City! 

When Arterra Del Mar (not really in Del Mar - it is in Carmel Valley) reached out to me thru their PR firm to try their new summer menu, I was EXCITED!  I had been there years before for a 7 course tasting menu with wine pairing and I remember overall LOVING the food.  Sadly, I don't remember much of the rest of the night after the 3rd wine pairing.  EEEEEKKKK!!!!

So SD Dad and I gussied up and headed out to the Marriott on a Thursday night.  I was getting over a sinus infection and I was nervous about whether I would be able to taste anything. Pro Tip: Bring your parking ticket with you. Complimentary Validation.

We headed in!

My first and only complaint?  Dirty salt and pepper shakers!  Is it weird that I even notice and care about stuff like that?!

That said, everything else was awesome. From Ken our server to Tracy our maitre de!  Awesome!  Here is a sneak peek at the menu. 

When Chef Cruz came out to ask us if we would like to order from the menu or to place our dinner experience in his hands, it was a no brainer!  Chefs choice please!

Chef Cruz is our new favorite person by the way!  We of course started with drinks. SD Dad had the Red Trolley from Karl Strauss and I had a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Cellars. 

The first dish and one of my favorites was the strawberry market salad with a variety of blue cheese, gem lettuces and a citrus vinaigerette.  So fresh and delicious!  Have you ever had a baby gem lettuce?  It makes all other lettuce leaves taste BLAH!

The standard bread rolls with poppy seed and sesame seeds. Yum!

Next up was the octopus with paprika chili oil with prawns and calamari. This was yummy. It had a paprika shallot topping. I would have liked a little more citrus or lemon flavor with this. The oil overwhelmed the dish but the octopus and shrimp were perfectly cooked!

We also tried the Korean Chicken wings with scallion, chili and soy.  They were delicious and a little spicy.  Had the Korean red pepper paste throughout.  

The next course was an amazing treat.  We got to try Louvar.  You can read more about it here but it was like a combination between halibut and scallops.  Buttery and delicate at the same time.  So YUMMY with a carrot puree and a truffled graviche.  It is a super rare fish.  Even Chef Cruz said he had eaten it only 3 times in his ENTIRE life!

See what I mean about the restaurant looking like a hotel restaurant?  Not really romantic but thank goodness for the food!

Next up was our meat course.  Potato cake cooked in duck fat, Rib eye cap with smoked mushrooms and bone marrow with a gremolata.  The meat was cooked to perfection and the marrow was delicious once I braved up and tried it.  My dear deceased grandfather loved marrow so I tried it in his honor!  Meaty and fatty and delicious!

The richest dish of the night was this spring pea agnolotti with an oxtail ragu.  It was my least favorite but only because I was so full by then and the food was so rich.  

I had to take a picture of inside the pasta for you.  Such a pretty color!

We had to have some decaf before dinner to cleanse our palates.

And then there was dessert!  A s'mores style pot de creme and a lemon cake with lemon curd sauce and blueberries.  That spoon you see had white chocolate powder on it and the crunchy things were hazelnut brittle.

At the end of the night, you would have had to roll me out!

So the important question is: Will I go back?  Umm...of course!  Because the wedge salad sounds terrific!  It has oven dried tomato, walnut, feta and a buttermilk herb dressing!  And also for the chocolate chip cookie skillet cake!  And for that strawberry salad.  And because Chef Cruz does magic with the Louvar.  I want to see what he would do with any other fish!  

OOOH and almost forgot!  They are rolling out an all new sushi and Bourbon menu for the summer!  Go check it out.  You will probably see me there as well...enjoying the food and innovation of Chef Cruz!  Check out their menu and website here.

As always, I wish you Happy Feet but this time, I also wish you Happy Bellies,
SD Mom

1 comment:

  1. Oh, yum! Never had octopus, bone marrow, or oxtail! But everything looks delicious!