Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vessel at the Kona Kai Resort

The Kona Kai resort, located on iconic Shelter Island, off the coast of Point Loma, has assumed new ownership. Some extensive renovation and new staff has unveiled a seriously amazing resort, and more importantly, an incredible restaurant in Vessel. The decor and atmosphere is simply breathtaking. 

I was lucky enough, along with a few other San Diego bloggers, to be invited to a very special dinner and wine pairing at the newly renovated Vessel. 

The evening began in the bar area, which hosts a happy hour from 4-6 pm every day, featuring a different spirit each day. 

For our event, a host of delicious snacks were set up in a buffet style. Homemade toasts, bries, fruits, goat cheese balls, proscuitto ham (! my fave!), and my personal favorite, ahi tuna mini tacos. All of these were enjoyed with hand-crafted cocktails. 

OMG ahi tuna tacos!
 The cocktail list was hard to resist, and even though the wine list was impressive, I had to order a handcrafted cocktail. We ordered two of the best cocktails -- the antioxidant mojito, with acai berry, blueberry, and raspberry, and the Kentucky Buck, featuring bourbon, ginger ale, and strawberries. 

 The drinks were wonderful, and went perfectly with the snacks! I'll definitely return for the happy hour. 
After listening to some blues and relaxing with our cocktails, we commenced with the amazing dinner/tasting! Check out the beautiful setting. 

The menu for our amazing meal

We started with a tomato and burrata salad, with sliced red tomato, balsamic reduction, and a basil jalapeno puree on the bottom. I love caprese salads, so this was a huge win for me! The burrata was so creamy and delicious, and the tomatoes were nice and fresh! It was paired well with a crisp pinot grigio.

 The second course of the evening was most definitely the most ambitious and unusual.  It was a thin piece of loup de mer, served raw, but "cooked" with lime juice and lava salt. It was light, refreshing, and delicious. Served with a crisp, fruity savignon blanc, it was a wonderful second course. 

 The third course for the evening might have been my favorite, but only because I love shrimp and anything else that comes from the sea. The shrimp was prepared with olive oil, garlic, and lots of smoked paprika, and served hot in a hot pan! So satisfying, and delicious with the paired, rich poilly fuisse wine. 

 The next course was well received by everyone, and was my husband's personal favorite. Pork loin slow cooked, served with a spicy mole sauce and crunchy vegetables. This dish, paired with a crisp, slightly fruity pinot noir was near dining nirvana. The meat was incredibly tender, and the sauce was very complimentary to the flavor of the wine and pork. 

 The final course before dessert was a popular selection: beef short rib with a seared scallop and squash puree, topped with watercress. This dish was paired with a bold cabernet savignon, only fitting for a big taste like beef. This dish was the perfect finish, with big flavor, and rich taste. 

The final course for the evening was dessert. Paired with a late harvest (sweet) reisling, dessert was a whipped cheese cake trife with berry cobbler, with coconut. The end result was a heaven of fluffy, sweet whipped cheese and crispy cobbler. I was stuffed at this point, but I have a second stomach for dessert, so I happily ate up this wonderful confection!

Vessel is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is an extraordinary way for residents of San Diego to enjoy the luxurious Kona Kai resort as a nice meal or staycation. I'll definitely return!

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October 12, 2013 / by / 0 Comments

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