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Best New Restaurant of 2011

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What was the best new place you ate in 2011?

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  1. With or without a spoon?

    2 Replies
    1. re: notjustastomach

      Good one.

      I am actually having a hard time racking my brain for "new" restaurants in 2011 that I ate at. Plus I was gone this year for almost 8 months.

      I was actually temped to say Underbelly since I know they are new, it was pretty good, and I admire that they are pushing the envelope a little regardless of the "no spoons" thing.

      And that you either need to wear a beenie, a fedora or have messy hair to fit in.

      1. re: stevewag23

        That was my thought as well (Underbelly).

        Which speaks volumes.

    2. Technically it was Blanca with Chef Gavin Schmidt, but since it's now closed it probably doesn't count.

      If we're talking about chefs new to San Diego but existing restaurants, I'm going to say The Experience at Blue Point Coastal was my best meal in SD for 2011. Yes, it is a Cohn restaurant, but new Chef Daniel Barron displayed a proper and fun molecular gastronomy meal that the entire table enjoyed. Chef Barron also won "chef of the fest" for the food and wine festival this year: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/20...

      If we're actually talking about physical new restaurants, I'm not exactly sure... I'll have to think about that.

      2 Replies
      1. re: karaethon

        I remember that looked interesting when you posted your blog writeup. From the website, looks like it's now $99 for 11 courses (was $125 for 14 when you went) and Thursday or Friday nights by reservation.

        What were the options for drinks -- pairings, order on your own, etc.?

        1. re: CTDub

          When I went, I asked for "the best you can do" and also asked for a "duck pate" course to be included. I capped the price at $150 per person, but "cheaper if possible." What resulted was the 14 course for $125. (Note to moderator: you have to call the restaurant to arrange this meal normally so it's not anything a normal customer wouldn't get)

          I did also ask about alcohol and I think this was a communication error, but it was suggested that pairing 14 different alcohols would be too much, so we ended up bringing something like 5 bottles for the entire meal. Once we got to the restaurant we figured out that the restaurant actually had an extensive collection of wines that is not normally on their wine list and that they could have easily accommodated us by pairing 5 bottles.

          I suggest if you want the restaurant to take care of the alcohol, you discuss a pairing ahead of time to be included with the cost of food. I'm sure they can give you some options provided you speak with the correct people.

      2. Birreria in NYC.

        In San Diego? Ummm, let me think on that one and get back to you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Josh

          excellent answer!

        2. outside of SD:
          Jaleo in Vegas
          Lotus of Siam in Vegas
          Yun Nan Garden in Vegas

          In SD:
          had lunch at Moonlight Lounge today and found it quite good.