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Dinner suggestion for a rainy night

  • m

Hi everyone!
I've been reading your posts for a while now and love getting great restaurant ideas from all of you. Thanks to your reviews, we've tried some great new spots (BLAH, Okan, Wine Vault) and are working through a list of places we still need to try. We have a babysitter tomorrow and are trying to decide on where to have a delicious dinner on a rainy night. If given the choice, would you pick Cafe Chloe, Cucina Urbana or El Vitral (has anyone been there lately?). I'm looking forward to your recommendations. Thanks!

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Cafe Chloe
721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

El Vitral Restaurant
815 J Ave, San Diego, CA 92118

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  1. Hm... that's a tough one. I haven't been to El Vitral, so I can't say anything about that one. Both CC and CU are going to be busy. I'd actually pick Cafe Chloe because it's such a cozy and intimate setting. It's rainy, you have a babysitter, and that French bistro vibe is perfect for such a night out. CU is crazy-loud and a place I like to go with a bunch of friends (actually going this Sunday with friends)... if you pick CU though, definitely check for reservations. There might not be any left at this point.

    4 Replies
    1. re: geekyfoodie

      Cafe Chloe isn't much quiter for dinnet than CU

      1. re: honkman

        I didn't say Cafe Chloe was quiet. It has a more intimate ambiance than Cucina Urbana. It is quieter, though... I've been at CU and felt like I had to shout across the table.

      2. re: geekyfoodie

        Thanks for the information geekyfoodie. I took your advice and called CU - the earliest reservation available is 10:30 (so that's out). I called CC and they don't take reservations for parties fewer than five. The gentleman answering the phone said we shouldn't have a problem being seated. Has anyone been to Cafe Chloe on a Saturday night? While we are perfectly content having a drink while we wait for a table we also don't want to have to pay a babysitter while we wait for a table for two hours!

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        Cafe Chloe
        721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

        1. re: geekyfoodie

          Cosigned, and they have a lovely bar to sip some wine while waiting.

        2. Haven't been to El Vitral but without doubt would choose Cafe Chloe over CU (much better and consistent kitchen).

          1. I'd want something hearty and comforting. Perhaps pho, or yokohama yakitori. They have a wonderful stew. I can't remember the name, but it is tokyo... something. It's delicious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chezwhitey

              If the OP wants to consider Yakitori, I'd recommend Yakyudori Ramen & Yakitori over Yokohama Yakitori Kobou for having much better Yakitori. However YYK does have a broader menu, but when it comes down to the quality of the Yakitori, the Yakyudori folks wins hands down. (They also do an incredible Shio Ramen...)

              But to extend your thought of something stewlike on a cold rainy day, I think a good fit would be Oton for their wonderful Nabemono (one pot dishes). This is heart-warming food to be enjoyed when it's cold out, great with Sake. Better yet with friends and family in one of their private rooms.

              1. re: cgfan

                2nd Oton for their Nabemono. Last time we went, it was pouring outside and we had the spicy miso nabemono pot--completely delish and I can still taste it!

            2. We just got back from Bruno and had a terrific meal. I suppose I can't just type one sentence, as poor Honkman will object.

              But it was terrific, and I highly recommend.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Fake Name

                Thanks everyone. These all are great ideas, and places I'll add to my ever-growing list of new places to try!.

                1. re: Fake Name

                  At least let us all know what you had :)

                  1. re: honkman

                    MrTen had the meat and cheese plate, Mrs Name and I shared the BrunoVerde and the Campania, with plenty leftover to make pizza eggs this morning.

                    Sadly, they no longer have Czechvar on tap, so I chose Moretti and pretended I was drinking cheap beer, but in Italy.

                    Yes I'm a beer philistine, but what do you expect from someone who ranks Addison and Super Sergios as the equivalent dining experiences?

                    We'd not been for a while, and found the place to be fairly busy and the crust just as flavorful, but a teeny bit less dishraggy. Perfect for a rainy night.

                2. Eating in on a rainy night: Mustard-crusted pork chop, parsely risotto, tomato/basil salad (small), lots of TiVo'd entertainment...and wine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Maxmdwinter

                    Well eating IN- that's a Chicken Pot Pie.

                  2. Spicy City

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                    Spicy City
                    4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA

                    1. How about Pomegranate? Not too noisy, unusual (but not new), great borscht for a cold rainy night!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: wrldtrvl

                        Thanks to everyone for your great suggestions. We ended up at Cafe Chloe and had a wonderful dinner. The atmosphere struck just the right note for a rainy night and the food was fabulous. Had a glass of wine at the charming bar and didn't have to wait long at all for a table. We shared the pommes frites with the trio of dips (ketchup w/harissa was our favorite), grouper & prawns with jambalaya (the grouper had a beautiful sear) and the plat du jour - bavette steak with green onion raviolis and mushrooms. The dessert was a really delicious pistachio bread pudding - the perfect combination of salty & sweet, crunchy and chewy. Can't wait to go back (after also trying Bruno's & Oton & Pomegranate!).

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                        Cafe Chloe
                        721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                        1. re: melee

                          Love Cafe Chloe! Would also suggest The Red Door in Mission Hills. Know they take resos for any party size. I know some people on this board have not liked their food but I've always had wonderful food and service there. Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park is more minimalist but the food is really good - organic, local, sustainable.

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                          Cafe Chloe
                          721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                          Sea Rocket Bistro
                          3382 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104