San Diego - The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro
Has anyone been to The 3rd Corner since it has changed around? I couldn't find any previous postings (if there were any!).
I have gone 3 times in the last month and like the place very much. Good tasting food, moderate sized portions, and dinner entrees range in price from +/- $10 - $17. I have had their signature chicken dish, shrimp arrabiatta (recommended), and pork tenderloin. All have been good and it is a comfortable ambience, especially at the bar on nights I dine alone. They also serve appetizers and dessert.
I had dinner at 3rd Corner last night. Ocean Beach was HOT last night, too hot for even patio dining so we opted to eat in the red wine room. One of the best things about 3rd Corner is that it's also a retail wine store with thousands of bottles, making it easy to choose somthing to suit one's tastes. My friend and I chose a St. Emilion Grand Cru red that was light and refreshing and managed to complement everthing we ate.
My friend started with the Stilton & Goat Cheese Terrine with dried fruits and pistachios. A generous slab of the terrine arrived on a wooden bread board surrounded by some dried cranberries, apricots, dates, a scattering of walnut halves and 2 slices of sweetish brown bread. I don't think I would have thought about putting pistachios together with stilton but it's a combination that works.
I had the Three Cheese Souffle baked in a crepe. This too was a delicious starter. The light and airy souffle made from boursin, parmesan and goats cheese was complements with an assortment of greens that added bite and interest to the souffle.
Both entrees were winners. I had the panko encrusted mahi that came with a lime and jalapeno aioli. My friend had the pork tenderloin with mustard sauce. Our consenesus was that the mahi was better than the pork. Both plates came with mashed potatoes and green beans.
I finished with the chocolate marquis, a very dense and very rich slab of chocolate. It lay in a luscious pool of raspberry coulis. My friend had fresh berries and gelato.
And lest I forget, we munched our way through a fabulous olive sampler while perusing the menu.
Portion sizes are managable and not overwhelming. We left full but not stuffed. Service is knowledgable and efficient. I'm not sure if I like the idea of dining in a retail space yet or not. It was a bit odd to be eating while people were kind of milling around behind me looking at wine bottles. The food, however, is excellent and would probably be enough to keep me coming back. Desserts are $6, the olive sampler is $4, everything else is pretty much between $10-$14 and an extremely good value for the price.
I think the problem with most pork tenderloin is that it's usually from over-hybridized hogs that have been bred to be too lean. Tenderloin is by nature the muscle with the least amount of internal fat and/or marbling. If it isn't cooked properly I think it looses it's flavor and becomes just another piece of indistinguishable tender meat of undetermined orgin.
I love beef tenderloin, but on a pig it's one of my least favorite cuts.
There is a great selection of wines here and the food is consistently good.
However, I have not experienced stellar customer service here. When asked for a recommendation, the bartender's appear to get a glazed look in their eyes and give what sounds like a memorized recommendation. Not what I was expecting...but this has happened now three times. There is a lot of potential, but the staff need some customer service training.
A word of caution about 3rd Corner: it a huge success and very popular with the locals so understand there will be a wait Friday and Saturday nights prime time. Try get there early, then sit back and watch the place fill up.