I know that I am a lucky person to not only live in such a beautiful city as San Diego, but also to get to enjoy so many of the wonderful things that it has to offer. Coronado Island is one of the many jewels of San Diego's crown, and to some, the most beautiful stretch of golden sand in Southern California. The Hotel Del Coronado is the most famous landmark, hosting celebrities and socialites for over 100 years, including some ghosts!
The views from the hotel are absolutely spectacular, everything that you have read about or seen on postcards from Southern California.
We were privileged enough to enjoy a meal at the incredible 1500 Ocean restaurant, situated at the back of the Hotel Del, as part of a San Diego Restaurant Week preview!
Restaurant Week will be September 20-27, featuring special menus with lowered prices from over 100 restaurants in the area. It's a fabulous opportunity to sample the best that the area has to offer, at a price that makes it a bit easier to try the more expensive places. I adore this event (of course), and was super-excited to try 1500 Ocean!
After taking in the views, we got a couple of their handcrafted drinks, and took in more of the atmosphere. The drinks were strong and delicious. The menu was impressive, but I wound up sticking with my favorite, an Old-Fashioned. I have to say, it was probably the best Old-Fashioned that I've ever had. It was strong with whiskey, but had a perfect blend of sugar and a Luxardo cherry to make it extra special.
Steve had the blackberry margarita, a favorite of 1500 Ocean. I was worried that the drink would be far too sweet, but it had a great salty kick, as a margarita should have, and was refreshing and delicious. Beautiful presentation as well, with a rim of Hawaiian black sea salt.
The Restaurant Week menu is fabulous! It is three courses (appetizer, entree, dessert) of delicious choices of their best dishes for $50. It is an absolute steal for the quality of food and atmosphere. The hardest decision is which of the items to order! Everything just sounds so good. The menu for 1500 Ocean can be found here. After some deliberation, I decided to go with the crab cannelloni for my appetizer, while Steve went with the Venus steamed clams.
A tiny amuse bouche was served out of ceramic spoons just before our appetizers arrived. A sweet fig wrapped in proscuitto (swoon) with a dollop of goat cheese on the bottom. Perfect.
The lump crab cannelloni was such a refreshing take on a seafood favorite. Rather than use pasta, the crab was actually situated in very thinly sliced zucchini. The finished product was topped with tobiko and circled with a carrot vinaigrette. So scrumptious, and very light. A perfect start to the meal.
Steamed clams done well can never be a bad choice. The Venus clams were another light appetizer that improved on a classic. The clams were soaked in a flavorful, spicy garlic and ginger broth, and steamed to perfection.
Our delicious entrees were next! It was daunting to decide which of the SDRW entrees we should try -- 1500 Ocean has really outdone themselves, and will be offering several impressive options. The classic special occasion meal, a filet mignon, Jidori chicken roasted, proscuitto-wrapped pork tenderloin, local fish, scallops, and a vegetarian dish that actually sounds appealing, vegetable wellington. I was a vegetarian for many years, and felt that vegetarian options were often as yucky as the chef could possibly manage.
I decided that seafood had to be on the menu (when seafood is offered, you eat all of the seafood). I chose the seared sea scallops with a lemon risotto with sweet corn mixed into it. The scallops were seared to a perfect doneness and the risotto was just heavenly. Even though this was a date night, I really wished that my daughter were there, as she adores risotto!
Steve ordered the Cortez halibut with garlic shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. At this time of year, tomatoes are still in season in Southern California, so it is absolutely the time to order items with them! The fish was quite flavorful, as is characteristic of halibut, and was accentuated with the tomato vinaigrette. The shrimp were to die for! I would recommend this dish to anyone who enjoys a good piece of fish eaten right by the ocean!
Dessert was phenomenal! Of course I ordered the chocolate dessert, which featured chocolate mousse, macarons, cake, ganache, sauce, and white chocolate meringue! All of it was rich and silky, a decadent end to the meal.
Steve went with the tropical coconut tres leches cake. Very light, and so needed and perfect for the heat wave we are experiencing. The cake was airy and surrounded with tropical melon and basil. I never thought that I would consider a cake "cooling" but this one was.
Make your reservations now! 1500 Ocean is sure to fill up, as will the other favorites.