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Not Beer, But Wine

I have a friend who is coming to town who, like most of us, enjoys good food and ambiance. But he also has two other things he likes to have in a resto:

1. Well-rounded wine lists.
2. Food volume. He thinks California restos tend to be on the lighter side, he likes plates that have enough food for what is admittedly a voracious appetite. He has at times ordered two entrees if the meal (protein and greens) is about 10 ounces...

I've done the usual searches through the past few pages, but most of the discussion centres around beer and very few reviews address volume per se. I rarely look for either of these qualities specifically, so I thought I'd give a shout out to our local folks and see what names people came up with, or else places to avoid.

Suggestions welcome!

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  1. I'd skip Wine Vault. Great place, but portions appropriate to the price they charge.

    Maybe Hash House? Never had a larger portion.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fake Name

      I tremble at the thought of Hash House portions.

    2. Wine Cellar is a solid choice- very large french portions. Also Whisknladle with appetizers may work.

      You might check out the Cowboy Star wine list- I dont know it well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chetatkinsdiet

        I've never been to the Wine Cellar or Cowboy Star, although the latter has been on my to-do list for some time. Thanks!

        1. Suggest you check out The Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo. It's a wine bar and Bistro dedicated to pairing wine and food. Serving sizes, quality, and prices are very reasonable. Food is solid and service has been very good. Wine list is well balanced with lots of choices without being overwhelming.

          Their motto:

          "The Barrel Room was founded on the idea of good food at a reasonable price with a world class wine list. We wanted this place to be just like having people over to our own homes."


          3 Replies
          1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

            This was an excellent suggestion, thank you! He liked everything and I loved their duck quesadilla.

            1. re: TeeBeeinSD

              I'm very glad the rec worked for you and your friend. The resto next door, Urge, is owned by the same family and is geared towards pub food and great beer. Last time I was there they had somewhere between 100 and 200 different beers on their list with probably around 60 on draught. Their wild boar burger is one of the best burgers I've ever had.

              1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                Another home run! Went there today and I picked the wild boar burger. It was excellent. He's gone now, but I will be going back for the rabbit.

                The Stone numbered beer (epic or something) was also amazing. Hints of clove and gingerbread, yum!

          2. For a great wine list dedicated to CA wines and representing every conceivable varietal and price, consider the Lodge at Torrey Pines. If you eat in the Grill the portions are larger (they offer small and large plates, or did) and it's not as expensive as upstairs. And there's always their burger.

            Another wine list I love is at The Fishery. Some items are large-portioned, others not so much. Both places have very knowledgeable sommeliers.

            If your friend is a real wine lover, he may prefer perusing a wine list rather than a tasting menu. You may want to ask him.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pickypicky

              He prefers a comprehensive wine list. I haven't eaten at the Lodge in some time, thank you for the suggestion.

              I haven't been to the Fishery but it was on my personal list, so I'm glad to hear it also has wine for him. A good reason to get out and try it!

            2. Late to the party, but Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe has a good list and I believe your friend would be content with an Entree, starter and sides.

              Del Mar Rendezvous has an extensive list, and the portions are on the generous side.