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ar valentien or delicias??

Narrowed down to these 2 restaurants-looking for a special occasion for out of town guests including non-foodies. have private room booked at ar valentien and courtyard booked at delicias in rancho santa fe. price is a consideration-is the higher price of ar valentien worth it for better food/view? I haven't eaten at either restaurant.

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  1. AR Valentien. It's not even close. (Although, I will admit the Delicias' patio is a nice space.)

    1. I would go to Delicias. My recollection of the private room at A.R. Valentien is that it's alittle claustrophobic, and I don't remember a view. I'd check it out in person if you haven't already. The courtyard at Delicias, especially after dark on a summer's night, is simply wonderful. The cuisines of Chefs Jackson and McCabe are equally top notch. If Delicias is less $$, it's a pretty clear choice in my opinion.

      1. i know the private room at ARV. It's not fantastic. There is a window but no view. Why not the terrace at ARV? That would be my choice.

        1. I'd avoid Delicias- major service problems recently (now hearing that from multiple people). That plus the recent mediocre food experiences I'm hearing about suggest avoiding it all together again.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Fake Name

              Horrible service, mediocre food, expensive.

          1. Chef McCabe took over Delicias recently so most of the people who say "Kitchen 1540" probably mean Delicias (at least if you're talking about the savory food).

            Kitchen 1540 has a great bartender and Pastry Chef though....

            1 Reply
            1. re: karaethon

              I heard (but haven't tried yet) that the new chef is doing great things with their new menu. Some of the pics from sous chef Bautista look very good

            2. Haven't been to Delicias since McCabe took over, have a reservation next week and really looking forward to it. I agree about the private dining room at ARV. The view is outside on the terrace overlooking the greens and some blue ocean. Nice breeze too. I love the food there, shift the reservation to outside and you have a winner.

              7 Replies
              1. re: foodiechick

                I hope you post your impressions. My own dinner experience at Delicias 2 weeks ago was very satisfying. Chef McCabe has created an interesting menu and the execution for us was splendid. I can't believe the negative posters in this thread are talking about the same place. I can only wonder if some may have dined there before McCabe took over.

                1. re: mcgrath

                  Those of us who have dined there since then can't believe that you're eating at the same restaurant either- i have to believe that they're having major execution issues if he's not there holding the place together or something like that- but its a sign of consistency issues. We'll not be returning.

                  1. re: chetatkinsdiet

                    Look, I meant no personal offense and don't think a "tit for tat" exchange is helpful in evaluating this restaurant. I note in a previous thread you said your visit to Delicias was in approximately mid-May and I do believe this is before McCabe's new menu was set. My visit was two weeks ago. Opinions certainly can differ, but two weeks ago the dining experience was flawless, except for some small service issues.

                    1. re: mcgrath

                      mcgrath, you bring up an excellent point. A chef/menu change is significant and probably occured cus there were big issues to correct. I'll return to a resto that has made such changes as IMO, it is worth the risk-to-reward potential. Also, I'll pretty much always try a place multiple times before calling it quits.

                  2. re: mcgrath

                    Had a wonderful dinner at Delicias last night. We shared:
                    Hamachi crudo with pickled peach and fried oats (great texture)
                    Bison tartare with bacon sabayon and toasted brioche points (best tartare ever)
                    Heirloom tomato salad with fried green tomatoes and biscuit
                    Diver scallops with bacon and summer succotash (moist, delicate, perfectly cooked)
                    Whole roasted baja fish with blistered shishito pepper & pickled Daikon
                    Grilled nectarine and blackberry cobbler with sour cream ice cream

                    Sat outside on the lovely patio, service was efficient but not rushed. We could actually hear our conversation without raising our voices (but the noise level was a little more elevated in the main dining room and the when we left the bar had exploded with racetrack patrons). Everything we ordered was very good, the only small complaint that I have is that our particular table was very dark and the tiny candle did not provide any light to read menus.

                    Can't wait to go back, really want to try the Charred white corn risotto with huitlacoche before it goes out of season!

                    1. re: foodiechick

                      that succotash was amazing. Probably my favorite dish from my visit.

                      The white corn risotto is great, but don't expect a tremendous amount of huitlacoche, there are scattered drops of a huitlaoche sauce for flavor, but it's really not a main player.

                      1. re: foodiechick

                        Glad your experience there was similar to mine. We must have had the same table. I had to use my cell phone light to see the bill.

                  3. I haven't been to AR Valentien, but I can vouch for Delicias. The menu is designed to be appealing to everyone with a selection of small, medium, and large plates. Your guests won't be disappointed.

                    1. I've been to both and it's not even close. AR Valentien. Delicias was bad all the way around. Bad service and overpriced food that was below average.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: araknd

                        Agreed, although the tomato salad and bison tartare were really nice. BBQ sweetbreads, rib-eye cap, flatbread and the ice cold cheese course were not. Wine markups are high and the Ipad wine list was poorly designed.

                        1. re: stevuchan

                          Sorry to hear that, I had a completely different experience. I still need to try AR Valentian.

                          Araknd, have you visited since McCabe joined?

                          Stevuchan - I recognize the items and believe you have. But the cheese is throwing me, I had a great charcuterie plate and really enjoyed the sweetbreads..what was wrong with yours?

                          I can't comment on the wine, I'm not much of a drinker.

                          1. re: Rodzilla

                            Yes, we were there last week. Finished the meal with the Roaring 40s Blue and it was cold and compressed like it was vacuum sealed, placed in the fridge and removed for service. BBQ sauce on the sweetbreads killed the dish for me, too sweet/too much and washed out the flavor of the sweetbreads. The unsauced corn grits were really good and had enough sweetness on their own. Everthing else was just OK for me. I probably went in with expectations set too high, my wife was happy with her meal. Happy wife, happy life.

                            1. re: stevuchan

                              The Sauce was strong, but I enjoyed it. I do agree that the grits would have been enough though, I would have loved to have a side of them.

                              I started off with the a selection of meets and cheeses, but I didn't have that problem.

                              Do you recall what the wife had? Just trying to figure out if we had more of the same dishes.

                              I do still want to visit AR Valentien, does anyone know if Chef Jackson is still in the kitchen himself or do they have a chef de cuisine?

                              1. re: Rodzilla

                                I was at ARV last night on the terrace. Everything we had was excellent. Chef Jackson is very much involved in the kitchen, although they do have a new Chef de Cuisine who has been a part of their kitchen for eight years-- which is as long as my book club has been meeting there every month, which makes it truly the best book club in town.

                                1. re: Rodzilla

                                  Yes, I could have eaten a bowl of those grits. I've had the sweetbread/grits combo elsewhere and really loved it. The wife and I shared just about everything. I wanted to try the charcuterie, but we had over ordered already, glad to hear you enjoyed it.

                        2. Arv on terrace is sure fire. Consistent food and service Chicken under a brick is a must Haven't been to delicia's recently.

                          1. Update:
                            in the end we visited AR Valentien, although now I"m intrigued to try delicias on my own. AR Valentien was absolutely perfect. The service really stood out of all the restaurants I've been to in San Diego. We canceled the private room and sat out on the terrace. even though several of us have been there for drinks before, dinner was an entirely different experience. Perfect for including polite small children, by the way. all dishes were well enjoyed!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: smile81

                              Thanks for reporting back and please do so again if you try Delicias. Suggest sitting outside in the front patio right about at sundown.