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New menu, new patio for Ballast Point Little Italy

Tasting room expands menu to include more substantial fare, opens patio to relieve mob mentality

White bean cassoulet
White bean cassoulet
Place

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen

2215 India Street, San Diego

The kitchen at Ballast Point’s Little Italy tasting room unveiled an updated menu last week to coincide with the opening of a monstrous (as-yet-undecorated) patio. It’s not a total replacement of the former menu, but the new dishes are more elaborate, designed to give the place more restaurant credibility.

Naturally, they command higher prices, pushing the per-item cost deeper into the double-digits.

White bean cassoulet

Channeling an amped-up sort of Blind Lady Euro public house chic, BP’s kitchen saw fit to add dishes like steak frites (made with a 6-ounce cut of hanger), cioppino, or a white bean cassoulet. Loaded with sausage and duck confit, the cassoulet would be a great dish for patio-side beer drinking, but BP’s version comes off as insubstantial, not at all up to the task of pairing with Black Marlin as per the menu’s recommendation.

An excellent duck confit salad counters the cassoulet’s sub-mediocrity. Heavily dressed frisée, confit leg, reserved use of blue cheese, brandied cherries, and candied pecans make the salad an unlikely winner.

Duck confit salad

The rest of the kitchen’s dishes seem to fall somewhere between those two extremes. Mussels steamed in beer neither excite nor disappoint. The same goes for a goat cheese tart, which is most notable for using a delicate pastry crust in lieu of yet-another-flatbread, though a boring salad piled next to the tart without ceremony drags things down.

The inexactitude of the kitchen’s execution isn’t hard to understand. BP’s tasting room jams non-stop every night. The cavernous, ridiculously loud space is never going to be a cozy little pub, no matter how quaint they make the menu, and there will always be too many covers for the little kitchen built into the corner. Kicking up the menu is a nice thought, but the Ballast Point tasting room isn’t going to magically become a dining destination. The added expense hurts more than the variety helps. Were the food delicious, on the other hand, it would be a different story.

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White bean cassoulet
White bean cassoulet
Place

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen

2215 India Street, San Diego

The kitchen at Ballast Point’s Little Italy tasting room unveiled an updated menu last week to coincide with the opening of a monstrous (as-yet-undecorated) patio. It’s not a total replacement of the former menu, but the new dishes are more elaborate, designed to give the place more restaurant credibility.

Naturally, they command higher prices, pushing the per-item cost deeper into the double-digits.

White bean cassoulet

Channeling an amped-up sort of Blind Lady Euro public house chic, BP’s kitchen saw fit to add dishes like steak frites (made with a 6-ounce cut of hanger), cioppino, or a white bean cassoulet. Loaded with sausage and duck confit, the cassoulet would be a great dish for patio-side beer drinking, but BP’s version comes off as insubstantial, not at all up to the task of pairing with Black Marlin as per the menu’s recommendation.

An excellent duck confit salad counters the cassoulet’s sub-mediocrity. Heavily dressed frisée, confit leg, reserved use of blue cheese, brandied cherries, and candied pecans make the salad an unlikely winner.

Duck confit salad

The rest of the kitchen’s dishes seem to fall somewhere between those two extremes. Mussels steamed in beer neither excite nor disappoint. The same goes for a goat cheese tart, which is most notable for using a delicate pastry crust in lieu of yet-another-flatbread, though a boring salad piled next to the tart without ceremony drags things down.

The inexactitude of the kitchen’s execution isn’t hard to understand. BP’s tasting room jams non-stop every night. The cavernous, ridiculously loud space is never going to be a cozy little pub, no matter how quaint they make the menu, and there will always be too many covers for the little kitchen built into the corner. Kicking up the menu is a nice thought, but the Ballast Point tasting room isn’t going to magically become a dining destination. The added expense hurts more than the variety helps. Were the food delicious, on the other hand, it would be a different story.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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