Laura Dvorak 5:47 p.m., Dec. 6
If it's Thursday, it must be Donovan's. We had reservations for 4 but a last minute change made it 5. The hostess indicated it was not a problem and we took a circuitous route to the mezzanine, where we were seated at a nice table overlooking downstairs diners. Surprisingly, it was quiet, with no echo from the bar or the people on the lower level.
Our waiter was Rafael, assisted by David, Max & Tate. I've noticed this "system" before and am not sure how or why there are 3 or 4 people assigned to each table. Since we were ordering off the Restaurant Week menu, it was just a matter of getting our choices. We did have plenty of water and our drinks were served promptly. We all thought the Caesar salad was excellent. One chopped salad was also reported as quite good.
Our entrees were served with the admonition, "the plates are hot". The steaks were definitely top of the line, melt in your mouth, tasty. The presentation was quite nice, with mashed potatoes, & pea pods as accompaniments. One person got the bleu cheese topped steak and reported it was wonderful.
The shrimp scampi was more of a cream sauce rather than the traditional oil & garlic. I have since looked it up on the internet and did not find any recipes for a creamy scampi sauce. The shrimp had that "previously frozen" funny taste.
The steaks were all reported as being delicious. Since this is a steakhouse, it is no surprise that the steaks are prime and excellent.
Dessert was lovely. The creme brulee is done in a "larger than usual" dish, making the creme thinner and increasing the amount of top crust. This is perfect as the top crust is the best part. The chocolate mousse cake was good, but a little dry.
Restaurant Week is a chance for people of modest means to be able to step into the "prime" restaurants in San Diego. Donovan's advertises itself as "America's best steak & chop house". I have to disagree with that characterization. It was nice but, in my opinion, Flemings, Morton's & Ruths Chris are all a step above in service and food.
Our end of the evening discussion involved the fact that we felt the service by Rafael and his minions was routine with a hint of disapproval of the concept of Restaurant Week. Our attitude was one of delight that we were finally able to go to the infamous (lots of advertising) Donovan's. So, even though there was that feeling of "snootiness", we took it in stride and enjoyed our evening.
So, that's it for Restaurant Week. Even with the disappointments, this is always a fun week for me. We were advised by the hostess that Donovan's is extending the 3 course/$40 menu for another week.
Top honors of the week go to the Marble Room.
Now it is back to the diet and exercise routine.