For dessert, bachelorette Lynne and bachelor Fred were hot for a glimpse of the Naughty Ding Dong. (Conversation censored.) But it doesn’t look like a Ding Dong — just a rectangular dark chocolate cake layered with Frangelico cream, hazelnut ice cream on the side. Wicked only dietetically, only the ice cream (presumably from Mootime) was gobbled up.
Pot de Cheesecake is cheekier, an ovenproof jar of soft, unset cheesecake, topped with oozing caramel syrup and fleur de sel, with an evanescent bottom crust of graham-cracker crumbs. Once you work your way through the caramel sauce, you find a serious sour-cream cheesecake, tart-sweet. On the side: a couple of cookies made of reconstituted graham crackers. Those alone were left to tell the tale, barely nibbled after our table had utterly deconstructed the cheesecake paradigm (i.e., gobbled every morsel).
The espresso arrived with dessert, as requested, and was delicious, with good beans, good craftsmanship. My tablemate Sam ordered regular coffee and it, too, was fine.
The wine list is a 14-inch page in minuscule print (about 100 bottlings), topping out at a 2007 Smith Haut Lafite Graves ($103), Cakebread 2007 Dancing Bear ($144), and trendy Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Howell Mountain Zin ($68). But there are plenty of under-$40 choices, especially among the whites. For our mainly seafood menu, we tried a Treanna Blanc Paso Robles Marsanne/Viognier and a Walter Hansell Sauvignon Blanc, both bright, lively, satisfying food-wines.
Leroy’s is already a success on Coronado. It’s immensely promising but needs a bit more fiddling to turn its many pretty-good, semi-original dishes into excellent ones. ■
Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge
★★1/2 (Good to Very Good+)
1015 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-437-6087; leroyskitchenandlounge.com
HOURS: 11:00 a.m.–midnight daily; dinner until 10:00 p.m.
PRICES: Starters $6–$15; sides $6; entrées $15–$27; desserts $6–$8.
CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Locavore seasonal cuisine with a Mediterranean slant. International (but mainly California) wines, many moderately priced, with adequate choices by the glass or the half-size carafe; 16 craft beers on tap (9 local), with $6 flights. Full bar, original cocktails, $11; rare bottles (e.g., two small-bottler Trinidadian rums, four American craft vodkas.)
PICK HITS: Burrata and heirloom tomatoes; local beets with spicy almond brittle; mussels with truffled fries; bacon-pepper prawns; pot de cheesecake. Other possibles: “Figs and Pigs”; watermelon salad; maple-glazed Duroc pork chop.
NEED TO KNOW: Difficult street parking. Groups over four seated in bar at high tables. Noise level convivial in dining room. Casual, but dinner reservations advised. Ample lacto-vegetarian starters, sides, and one entrée. When ordering mussels, request a tablespoon. No prices on website menu.