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Nov 25, 2008 02:57 PM

No-budget dinner reco please (San Diego)

Howdy 'Hounds,

I'm in the enviable position of choosing a restaurant for a vendor to take a few of us to. Past venues have included Lou & Mickey's and A.R. Valentien.

I see this as an opportunity to try a place that would otherwise stretch my budget, but of course I still want to make sure it's reliably worthwhile.

I'm currently considering Bertrand at Mister A's and El Bizcocho. Any other suggestions? Any cuisine is fine, although we'd like to move away from steakhouses, and there should a reasonable range of flavors.


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  1. It's hard to go wrong with El Biscocho, but imho, if money were not an object, I would definitely recommend Addison at the new Del Mar Plaza Hotel. We recently celebrated a special occasion there, and this was clearly one of the finest dining experiences we've had anywhere is Southern CA. Check out their website: www, for more info. The menu is prix-fixed with about 4-5 choices for each course, however the chef is very talented and will happily work around any dietary requirements! Highly recommended for an outstanding treat!

    Check out my previous posting at:

    1. I 2nd Addison.
      Market in Del Mar is also very good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: daantaat

        Agree that Market in Del Mar, as well as Blanco in Solano Beach are very good....but for a "no-budget blowout dinner" neither compare with Addison.

        1. re: josephnl

          Thanks for bringing up Addison! I hadn't even thought of that.

          Blanco is also a place I've been meaning to try. A good foodie friend raved about it soon after it opened.

          I was underwhelmed by Market the time I went. I think I need to go back and focus more on produce, since that seems to be where they shine.

      2. My inlaws recently dined at Addison just weeks after having a blowout dinner at Guy Savoy in Paris... and they thought Addison compared favorable - particularly considering the price differences (apparently Addison's prices are like ordering from the $1 Menu at McD's in comparison).

        Restaurant Guy Savoy
        Rue Troyon, Paris, Île-de-France 75017, FR

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Spent a long weekend at the Grand Del Mar last month and I gotta say that Addison's was outstanding..

          I LOVE dining at Guy Savoy in Paris..and yes Eat Nopal, Addison's is like ordering off the McD's $1 menu!

        2. Bertrands combines excellent food, service and views. I have been to the others, but I believe none compares to the whole experience at Bertrands.

          1. Thanks everybody! I just wrote up the recommendations for the group to decide, and I'll let you know where we end up!

            4 Replies
            1. re: debren27

              I'll definitely chime in for Addison' long as you're not paying. Quality is outstanding, the experience is superb. I ate there two weeks ago on someone else's dime...We didn't think ourselves too extravagent, brought in two bottles of wine (corkage was very reasonable $35 for the attention they paid. 3 bottle limit, so long as it's not on the wine list), and we still managed to be around $400/person. Yikes! I hate to think what Guy Savoy is if this is the dollar menu!

              1. re: philhh

                Wow. I can't imagine how you rang up a bill of $400 pp while bringing your own wine. We ate there last month and with cocktails and a modest bottle of wine it came to just a bit over $200 pp with a very generous tip. The prix fixe dinner is, if I recall properly, about $90-95 pp. In any event, for a truly outstanding dinner, this is definitely the place to go!

                1. re: josephnl

                  So glad to hear the reinforcement!

                  We were trying for the Chef's Table, but with only 5 people the $2500 minimum killed that idea. For more people, it would be perfect -- 7 courses for $145, plus $100-$125 for a good wine pairing. I was told the chef presents each course, and the sommelier follows him with the pairing. There's even a TV in the room so you can watch the chef prepare the next course!

                  But we'll be in the main dining room, which is $98 for 4 courses IIRC. I'm sure we'll order appys and wine and cocktails.

                  It's tonight, so I'll report back in.

                  BTW I agree that $400 pp with no real wine bill is very impressive!

                  1. re: debren27

                    Waiting with baited breath to hear about your dinner. Please report back when you have the time!