Restaurant Week might be over for now, but I'm looking forward to it returning in September. With so many great choices in our fair city and surrounding areas, it's quite difficult to make a choice as to what restaurant should be the one to try on this amazing week. Personally, I always enjoy trying somewhere new, as the three-course menu usually is a good sampling of everything that the restaurant offers. I've discovered many favorites by trying them at Restaurant Week.
This time, we visited Florent in the beautiful Gaslamp District. Something about going downtown and seeing all of the gorgeous, tall buildings just makes me feel so chic. I love the energy and the bustle, but being in San Diego, you also get the friendly, coastal vibe that makes our city so wonderful.
Florent has a beautiful front area. Like many restaurants downtown, there is a patio with outdoor (heated) dining. We're very lucky in San Diego to have the pleasure of outside dining almost every month of the year.
The interior is just as beautiful, with a kind of speakeasy, retro feel, hearkening to the building's beginnings as a city hall.
During Restaurant Week, Florent was offering $20 bottles of wine, so we decided to indulge. A nice pinot grigio always goes down easy, and matches well with most food. We don't often get an entire bottle, but during a special meal, why not?
For Restaurant Week, Florent decided to use the event to launch some delicious new menu items, like their General Tso's pork belly. Pork belly has been popping up everywhere in the last few years, and I, for one, am ecstatic! This juicy cut was covered in the famous sauce and topped with light greens. A great way to start the meal.
Poke is another item that is quickly gaining popularity, and Florent's spin is a winner! Served with Maui onions and cucumbers, and scooped up with homemade potato chips, it's irresistible!
Of course, my daughter had to have a grilled cheese sandwich! It was good, and she was so hungry, she ate the entire thing! Score one for Florent!
The main courses were very good, featuring a lamb schnitzel. Schnitzel is a breaded and fried meat, served with a sauce, and usually over spätzle, which is sort of like German gnocchi. The meal was rich and filling; definitely something to warm you up on these cold, rainy evenings that we've been having in San Diego.
I love anything that comes from the sea, so when I saw sea scallops on the menu, I knew that I had to try them! Seared and served over a saffron risotto, this meal was to die for. Asparagus just rounded it out, and made it even more special. I always feel like asparagus is a special occasion vegetable, anyone else?
Everything about these scallops was divine, with a perfect texture, and the risotto was a flawless accompaniment.
I thought that we were finished with dinner, but after finding out that we were from Baltimore, the chef insisted that we try the crabcake! As a Baltimore native, he felt it was imperative to have a proper crabcake on the menu, with all backfin, no filler, lightly seasoned with Old Bay and other traditional seasonings, then lightly fried. This was legit, and my husband especially is very serious about his crabcakes.
Dessert held more Baltimore goodness with the Baltimore Bomb pie! Why is it a Baltimore bomb, you ask? Because it's made of Berger cookies! If you've never had them...well, you need to order some, or better yet, get down to Florent and have this pie! They are true nirvana on their own, but this pie was a true example of using one thing and making it even better!
Our other dessert was the apple crisp with ice cream, which was just how I like crisp -- with loads of cinnamon and oatmeal! I really loved this crisp, with the contrast of the warm filling and crust, with the cold, creamy ice cream.
These new items will appear on the menu going forward, so if you missed out on Restaurant Week, don't worry! They'll be available regularly!