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Need a little help in San Diego North

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I am the go-to guy for company retreats. Having spent my first career as a restaurant critic and food writer, I am the one always on the hook for making the reservations and finding the latest and or greatest wherever we go. We will be in the Del Mar area and I need some help finding some great places within 15 - 20 miles. Price is not an issue either high or low, what I look for is appeal from the menu, reasonable service, best quality ingredients, and either great comfort or great creativity - even both together sometime. Thanks

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  1. Best place in Del Mar--Market on Via de La Valle

    Addison in the Grande Del Mar Hotel off the 56 and Carmel Country Road is very good, although I prefer Market better. Addison's flavors are subtle while Market's are a little more brighter and bolder.

    Cavaillon in the Santaluz area, roughly 10 minutes going east on the 56 freeway from Del Mar has excellent bistro French food for less than what you'd drop in Del Mar or La Jolla. The chef/owner used to be at Tapenade in La Jolla. They also have an excellent Sunday breakfast.

    Arterra in the Carmel Valley Marriott was good, although I have not been since their head chef left to open and own Market a few years back.

    Further south in La Jolla:
    AR Valentien
    Tapenade
    Nine-Ten
    Jack's Formal Dining Room

    1 Reply
    1. re: daantaat

      Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.

    2. The Four Seasons at Aviara has a wonderful Italian restaurant called Vivace. There are also California Bistro and Argyle at the hotel, but I've only had lunch/breakfast at those spots.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Juji

        California Bistro @ Aviara has changed their menu under new chef ( formerly at Star of the Sea) (r.i..p). Wonderful comfort and innovative food ....a treat to taste his food again.

      2. All the great ones have been mentioned. I was a bit disappointed with Valentien..lunch was great but dinner OK. My hubby just ate at Jack' s and has been talking non stop about the foie gras he has there.

        1. Milles Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe is a drop kick away from Del Mar. Some of the very best food in San Diego with a steep price tag to match but always worth it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: deckape

            Mille Fleurs is sort of a drop kick away if you don't mind wandering through the Ranch at night without street lights. The food is good but not great in the sense of being creative and interesting. Somehow I always get lost trying to get out of the Ranch and back onto the 5 freeway at night...