The Flight Path, a hub from which to travel the world via choice flights of reds and whites
1202 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
Sharing walls with the Stone Company Store in the historic McClintock building by Santa Fe Depot, the Flight Path juxtaposes the 1928 warehouse’s original exposed columns and polished concrete flooring against all-white minimal modern Italian furnishing. It’s a stretch to say the lounge is located beneath the actual flight path to Lindbergh Field, but the concept carries that the place is a hub from which to travel the world via choice flights of reds and whites and over 70 rotating global boutique and value wines emphasizing regional flavors and rare varietals.
The best time to see what they’re all about is during the daily happy hour, when a “business class” selection of wines goes for $6 a glass, “first class” for $8, Ciara’s sangria for $5, a variety of appetizers for $5, and flatbreads for $8. The dining menu makes use of organic, locally sourced ingredients (when available) to create a number of California-Italian dishes interspersed with turkey meatball subs, crafty sliders, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches, and plenty of vegetarian options.
Most indicative of the kitchen’s ingenuity in veggie plates is the vegetable ceviche. As a huge fan of a good fish or shrimp ceviche, I was taken away by the crisp, refreshing stack of cucumber, tomato, avocado, radish, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro served with warm flatbread, which comes out fresh and pliable. It’s a regionally inspired tribute to bruschetta and pairs well with the happy hour Chilean G7 sauvignon blanc, both being bright and acidic, perfect for the humid afternoon. The baked goat cheese spread, served with pesto and toasted bread, made for an almost decadent “main” happy-hour dish followed by an oaky, red glass of carmenere by Chilean vineyard Corinto.
The Beach Boys and Herman & the Hermits play softly from the stereo as employees of neighboring businesses drift in for take-out orders of caprese salad and baked focaccia bread. The dining room, which seats about 40, hums with huddled conversations and the occasional wine-fueled belly laugh. Just before 5 p.m., the music shifts to Sinatra as Ciara, after whom the house sangria takes its name, ignites tea lights across the white marble bar top.
All told, the Flight Path is an accessible wine lounge that appeals to the peepers as much as the palate at prices that are hard to come by in the neighboring wine nexus of Little Italy with service that is among the best in town.
Capacity: seats about 40
Prices: Wine, $6–$149 glass; flights, $21–$50
Hours: Mon–Wed, 11 am–9 pm; Thur–Fri, 11 am–10 pm; Sat, 4–10 pm; Sun, 4–9 pm
Happy: Mon–Fri, 3–6; Tues, all day; Sat–Sun, 4–6. Wine and appetizer specials
Parking: Metered street parking
Food: California Italian lunch (11 am–3 pm) and dinner selections
The Deal: Ciara’s sangria, $5 during happy hour