Quantcast
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

Sensual Spa

My BF and I checked into Loew's resort on May 17th, but Mistral is closed on Mondays, so we tried the other dining option, the Market Cafe. Tuesday we had a 7 PM reservation at Mistral. The sky was brilliant, we were seated in the window facing the harbor and city. I ordered a glass of champagne. We both received an amuse similar to the one described in the review--an heirloom tomato on a spear with a tiny blob of sharp, unidentifiable cheese atop a vial of tomato water. It was...entertaining. I had hoped the foie gras napoleon appetizer would be offered, but it was not, so we stuck to the menu. My BF ordered the lobster consomme, and I chose the crab salad. The consomme was quite light yet flavorful and definitely herb infused. My tower of minced veggies and flaked fresh Dungeness crab was fantastic--moist and delicate. I had a difficult time choosing a main course (Alas! I had wanted those halibut cheeks). The maitre d' (who checked on each table often) suggested the mushroom ravioli with diver scallops. When I had first noticed that dish on the menu, I had a mental image of one large ravioli (like the lobster ravioli at Pamplemousse) with one scallop perched on top. (The menu read "Mushroom ravioli with diver scallop"--singular "scallop.") I love fresh, gently cooked scallops, but ONE? However, since I did not crave a heavy meal (for instance, the Colorado lamb, which I had imagined ordering), I finally selected the mushroom ravioli. And was not disappointed. There were perhaps four ravioli filled with a luscious, deep-flavored melange of mushrooms (I couldn't identify the varieties--they were minced and sauteed with herbs and maybe shallot.) The mushroom filling became the sauce for four diver scallops, each heavenly. My companion ordered the risotto with lobster and asparagus and I-forget-what-else. It was presented in a white, tall, oval bowl and garnished playfully with a large lobster claw. It was very pleasant, comforting--but not extraordinary. It did contain some decent chunks of luscious lobster meat, and the asparagus was perfectly cooked. He preferred my dish, however. For dessert, we shared the recommended "French Kiss" (see above). We were in chocolate heaven. Each bite was fantastic. And one dessert was more than enough for two people. I will no doubt return to Mistral--maybe in August for my birthday. But before signing off, I'd like to note that the Market Cafe--the "basic" venue--which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was really quite good. The menu is one of those that tries to cover all the bases, and, from what we experienced, it covers them well. Everything we tried was good or better--a wonderful deconstructed shrimp cocktail; nachos with carne asada and black beans; ahi tatake; grilled sea bass tacos with excellent guacamole. And my compliments to the bartenders as well! Loved those mojitos. Nice wines by the glass.
— May 21, 2010 12:58 p.m.

Sour Grapefruit

Alas! Although I haven't been able to afford Pamplemousse for a couple of years, I always think of it as one of my favorite dining spots in the county. Yes, El Bizcocho is great, and George's, and, and...(I haven't had the pleasure of dining at Cavaillon yet). But I have a real soft spot in my tummy for Pamplemousse. Maybe it was the New Year's Eve dinner several years ago that was preceded by what felt like an intimate cocktail party in the bar and entry way--great appetizers, lovely champagne (and it was included in the price of the meal!) Everything that night was superb. And when we ordered a Roussanne, the sommelier said they were out of it and suggested a pricier Marsanne but charged us for the Roussanne. On another occasion, when I shared the lobster ravioli starter with my cousin, we were on the verge of ordering a second one--the pasta was poofy with sweet, tender lobster. I recall savoring the mixed grill of game that night as well. And no dessert has been less than divine--even the trio of sorbets. On the dinner menu, I have enjoyed the mix and match grill items (you choose the meat, pair it with a sauce, add a vegetable and starch. The approach reminded me of some steak houses in Buenos Aires. For lunch, I fondly recall a lovely mixed fresh seafood salad tossed with field greens and a light yet sensuous vinaigrette. And you gotta love those bite-sized corn muffins and chived rolls. (I have been bold enough to request more. Encore, I say!) I am hoping that perhaps the experience shared by Ms. Wise and Posse did not meet standards of excellence because the kitchen was too busy with the Restaurant Week scenario. (That wouldn't explain the over-salting, but I myself was never served an overly-salty dish at P-Mousse. On the other hand, unlike Ms. Wise, I grew up on a fairly salty So Cal beach diet--burgers, dogs, tacos, pizza, and PBJ sandwiches.) I enjoy the ambiance at Pamplemousse, especially the whimisical murals of farm animals. And the wait staff has consistently been friendly, helpful, without hovering and certainly without condescension. So, I am saving up my blue chip stamps so I can buy a lunch for two, hoping that the grapefruit is sweet and juicy.
— February 4, 2010 9:57 p.m.

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close