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30th Anniversary Dinner

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After 30 years of marriage, my parents are finally taking a honeymoon! They are traveling to San Diego at the end of July, and my sister and I would like to send them to a nice, possibly romantic dinner (price range max about $150 - 200, but less works too). We would like to send them somewhere to eat dishes that they couldn't eat at home (they live on a small cattle farm - so steakhouses are unimpressive). My mom will try anything, but my dad is an unadventurous eater so limit recommendations to tamer fare - new american, seafood-centric, and, possibly, french could work.

Thanks, CA chowhounds!

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  1. Well congrats to them! I hope they enjoy San Diego as much as I do. I would really recommend the Marine Room. It is very romantic, the waves hit the glass as it is built right on the water. It is fine dining but the price would be right at around 150-200. Another suggestion is 1500 Ocean at the Hotel Del Coronado. This is said with a caveat though, the chef recently left and so the quality may be up in the air.
    marineroom.com
    hoteldel.com

    1. I think they could do dinner for 2 at Laurel and keep within yoru budget. Your dad would find something safe and traditional and your mom would find some more interesting fare. Or, go across the street and up to the 14th floor and Bertrand's at Mr. A's. Spectacular view and the food is usually up to equaling the view. This one might get to the top end of your price range.

      For seafood the Oceanaire Seafood Room is pretty good. Portions are large and splitting an appetizer and side dishes is a good idea. Can be pricey, but well within the price range you've provided.

      Do you know where they'll be staying and if they'll have a rental car? That may have an impact in their decision about where to eat.

      7 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        These are great recommendations but I would find it nearly impossible to stay in that budget at Marine Room, Oceanaire, etc. Their menus are online if you want to see what you think. If your parents don't drink wine or cocktails, they might sneak in at $150-200, In that price range I would go to Top of the Market and sit on the enclosed outside area and enjoy the fantastic bay views, which I find very romantic.

          1. re: fauteuil

            Two of us ate at Oceanaire Seafood room for less than $150, that included drinks, oysters, 2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 sides (took some of both home), 1 dessert (comped because it was a b-day), tax and a nearly 20% tip. Even had the dessert not been comped the total tab would still have been in the vicinity of $150.

            The same two of us at at Laurel and had 2 cocktails, a bottle of wine, 2 apps, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, tax and tip for less than $150.

            It is possible for 2 people to eat well in this city including beverages. Now, if a couple wants to drink 2 or 3 bottles of wine and order the most expensive think in every category of the menu, then no, it would probably not be possible.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Well said. I have also left the Marine Room with $150 dollar tab for two. With drinks, an app, entrees and a split dessert (just cause I don't really love sweets.)

              1. re: jturtle

                Well, that's why I suggested taking a look at the menus. Presumably the OP knows these parents' tastes. Of course if you are careful you can come in under $150 almost anywhere, but I don't always want to order the cheapest bottle of wine or not get the special, especially on a special occasion.

                PS are you sure Top of the Market is gone? You can still make reservations on their website, and when you call, they answer "Top of the Market...."

                1. re: fauteuil

                  Opps I misread and thought you said Top of the Cove....that is gone for sure.

                  1. re: fauteuil

                    The Oceanaire menu lists menu items without pricing. Not much help. Trust me...divas don't drink the cheapest bottle of wine ;-}