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Cavaillon in Santa Luz

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Cavaillon has been open since the end of last year, and I have not seen a post on the restaurant. The long time sous-chef of Tapenade has opened a terrific neighborhood bistro in a small commercial center in Santa Luz.

Much of the same food as Tapenade, just not as complicated or pricey. Wonderful staff and great french bistro fare.

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  1. address, hours, website, more details??

    2 Replies
    1. re: daantaat

      14701 Via Bettona
      Suite 200
      San Diego, CA 921217
      (858) 433-0483

      Dinner only, with a brunch on Sundays.

      1. It's appeared here several times. Excellent food, service good, great people, but I couldn't warm to the atmosphere. For me, something just felt wrong. Cold, maybe, even though the temp was fine. If I lived way up there, I'd probably go again, but not going out of my way.


        1. I have to agree, that it is not a stuffy place for the fine food served. The casual atmosphere and friendly service is MUCH appreciated. Since it is in my neck of the woods, it is becoming a weekly favorite!

          1. My wife and I tried Cavaillon on the night we find out she was pregnant (8 months ago). The owner clearly could tell that we were excited about something, and was so wonderful and gracious when we told him the news. That sense of personal touch and personality is what I associate with my favorite restaurants in Europe, and along with the knockout food, makes me feel that Cavaillon is a place well worth the excursion (we live in Point Loma).

            1. We really like Cavaillon as well. The best coq au vin this side of the Atlantic, and Verpland is a wonderful host.

              1. Several Mondays ago, I went to Cavaillon for the Monday Prix Fixe Menu - $32.

                The choices for Appetizer were Escargots Classique, Mushroom Raviolis, Maine Lobster Bisque
                Main Course choices were Roasted Qualil, Atlantic Salmon or Veal stew "blanquette", which was excellent.
                Dessert choices were Profiterole, Confit Tangerine, and my pick the Golden Apple lasagna with Caramel, parfait, caramel sauce, which was outstanding!

                Now Cavaillon is the regular for Monday night dining. I would rather eat at home on Sunday nite and save Monday for these kind of special treats.

                  1. The service is EXCELLENT with timing and concern for everything being right without any atitude. You can actually have a conversation as normal adults with the waitstaff! Relaxed and informative! That is the charm of the place. No pretense!


                    1. We have heard great reports about it, but have also heard it is not necessarily worth a trip if you live far away (like downtown). What do folks think? Is it worth a trek?

                      21 Replies
                      1. re: whatwedig

                        I think it is definitely worth a trip. There are not a lot of good French Bistro style restaurants in SD. And there is also never a trip too long for good food :) (I just went this weekend to Maison Akira in Pasadena for good food - great French-Japanese fusion)

                        1. re: honkman

                          aah--can you elaborate on Maison Akira? :-)

                          1. re: daantaat

                            Chef Akira Hirose is trained in French cuisine (he worked also for Robuchon) and his restaurant is focused on French dishes but with an asian/japaneses twist. We had a 7-course tasting menu:

                            1) Smoked salmon with sobu noodle aspic and a horseradish creme (very good salmon with an interesting aspic)

                            2) Grilled Foie Gras with roasted pineapple and celeriac and truffle sauce (You had to taste all components of this dish at the same time which gave you very complex taste sensations)

                            3) Tuna and hamachi sashimi with wasabi tobiko caviar (I am not an expert in sushi/sashimi but really liked this melt-in-your-mouth feeling of the sashimi). After the sashimi we got a small bowl of ginger scented lobster bouillon to drink which was very refreshing

                            4) Fish of the day was monkfish (I like it when fish taste likes fish and is not covered by too many other tastes)

                            5) Sangria-Granite au Yuzu (very refreshing and unusual taste for a granite)

                            6) Mesquite smoked duck breast in calvados sauce with asian vegetables (Mesquite smoke gave the duck breast an unusual direction and the vegetables fit nicely)

                            7) Timbal Elysee + Coffee (hard to describe but one of the highlights.Here is a link to a photo from another food blog). http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/VRZ3DW...

                            Some people might call the restaurant old-fashioned but I liked the very relaxed, not trendy ambience. The service was great (all waiters are from French) and nobody was rushing us (the whole meal was over 2.5 hours).

                            1. re: honkman

                              Sounds like a good place to put on my list for an upcoming trip to Pasadena! I've been wanting to go up there and do the Flea Market and house tours.

                              What are the prices like?

                              1. re: Alice Q

                                They have a 5-course tasting menu for $50, 7-course for $70 and 10-course omakase menu for $110. I think those menus are good value for money but the entrees are between $28-$50 and I think a little bit (too) pricey. Look also on the LA board for more reviews

                                  1. re: Alice Q

                                    You might also look into Bistro K. I tried to get a reservation but was too late. I heard by several people it is by far the best and most innovative but at the same time cheap restaurant in this area, some say even in Southern California.

                              2. re: honkman

                                wow--this place sounds delish and a good deal to boot! It's on my "must eat" list next time I'm up there!

                                1. re: daantaat

                                  Back to CAVAILLON for the Monday Prix Fixe Menu-$32!

                                  Tonite, I enjoyed the French Onion Soup, Cubes of Beef Shortribs, Fresh Thyme. without any cheese. Marvelous!
                                  Other Appetizer choices were Goat Cheese Grostini, Eggplant Puree, Walnut, Dry Cranberry. Or Artichoke Risotto, Brown Chicken Stock,Sicilian Black Truffle Oil.

                                  My Main Course choice was the Flat Iron, Braised in Red Wine, Celery Root Mousseline, Baby Carrots. Also available was Atlantic Salmone, Shallots, White Wine, Lightly Creamed Spinach. And Mushroom Agnolotti, Port Wine Sauce, Aged Parmesan, which I had before and still dream about having again. But I am determined to keep choosing foods, that I have never tasted before. No doubt, it may take the rest of the year, fortunately!

                                  Dessert was an outstanding Warm Chocolate Tart, Fresh Exotic Fruit, Passion Fruit Sauce. It was a work of art and tastes! Other choices were Profiterole, Pistachio Ice Cream, Hot Dark chocolate Sauce, or Coconut Ice Cream, Pinapple and Golden Raisin Marmalade.

                                  It is amazing how perfect every dish is every week!

                                  1. re: nutrition

                                    Due to traveling and other commitments over the past several weeks, lit was time for a visit to Cavaillon, last night. During the interlude, I tried a couple of places in NYC and they did compare weill to this creation.

                                    Monday's Prix Mixe Menu listed some new choices for me.
                                    The Tiger Shrimp Appetizer, Fine Herbs, Avocado Condiment, Gaspacho was a wonderful taste treat to get back in swing. Other choices were Wild Pheasant Terrine, Cornichon, Black Figs Mouseeline, Spring Mix, or the Mediterranean Fish Soup, Saffron Garlic Aioli. Unfortunately, I knew I would have room for only one!

                                    Main Course choice was the Pan Roasted Salmon, Provencal Ratatouille, Basil Oil. It was a perfect Entre, different from previous Salmon orders. The other choices were Coq Au Vin, Creamy Potatoes, Vegetables Brunoise, or the 7 Hours Braised Flat Iron, Sweet Potato, Baby Carrot, Cipolini Onion.

                                    Desserts choices were Chocolate Tart, Semi Bitter, Exotic Fruit Salad, Passion Fruit Sauce (a repeat pick). Light Yogurt Mousse, Red Berries, Coulis, Almond Crumble, or the "Profiterole", Coconut Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate Sauce.

                                    It will be time to start ording from the regular Menu, when I run out of choices on the Prix Fixe Menu. So many enticing choices, so little time! :)

                                    It was nice to see comfortable groups of guests enjoying their choices!

                                    Their Sunday Brunches have become very popular, as well.

                                    1. re: nutrition

                                      Monday night proved another winner at Cavaillon after a couple month absence due to traveling. The Prix Fixe menu featured new choices and didn't disappoint.
                                      Appetizer choices proved difficult to pick, since I wanted to try then all. Picked the Roasted Eggplant, Organic Tomato from our Farmer, Fresh Mozzarella. Delicous Summer tastes! Other choices were Red Beet Soup, Served Chilled, Goat CHeese, Granny Smith Apple, or Poached Shrimp, Veggie Nicoise, Tomato Consommme.

                                      My Main Course choice was Risotto, Shitake Mushrooms, White Corn, Diver Scallops with a marvelous sauce. Other choices were Atlantic Salmon, Butternut Squash Moussline, Green Asparagus, or a Sirloin Steak, French Fries, Mesclun, Au Poiore Sauce.

                                      The Dessert pick was the White Peach Poached, Lemon and Mascarpone Ice Cream with Rasberries. This was worth the trip alone! The other choices were Local Apricot, Light Yogurt Mousse, Pistachio Crumble, or the Petit Basque, Sheep Milk Cheese, Red Cherries Preserve.

                                      It is very difficult to eat better then this anywhere and have the best prepared foods for the price.

                                      1. re: nutrition

                                        nutrition--you should also go for their Sunday brunch. It was by far the best $10 breakfast (w/o drinks) we've had in SD. The execution and precision they put into their dinner menu is evident in their breakfasts. Perfectly scrambled eggs, omelettes, French toast and beignets!

                                        1. re: nutrition

                                          If you call a couple days ahead and just say: We want to spend $X per person for Y courses, they can do some even more spectacular stuff. Especially during truffle season! Sweet spot seems to be $70-$100 per person for about 5 courses. I'm sure that The French Laundry is better, but some friends who went there within the last couple of weeks ended up spending $650 per person and that was bringing in 10 of 11 bottles of wine...

                                          1. re: mikec

                                            Is there food really worth that much?

                                              1. re: nutrition

                                                Good food and especially good tasting menus in excellent restaurants are often worth their money

                                              2. re: mikec

                                                I second this recommendation! We did this in June for my hubby's bd and it was spectacular. I think we each paid about $70 for what seemed like 7 courses. It was such a memorable meal I think we would've paid twice that and not felt ripped off!

                                                We were there on a Monday when they have the prix fixe and I think that helped the chef in his ability to be more creative with us (since most diners were ordering from a limited menu.)

                                                1. re: mimosa

                                                  mimosa, can you elaborate when you say "we did this in June" (sorry, sometimes hard to tell which post which reply is referring to). We're thinking about Cavaillon for my bday on a Saturday in Sept (just romantic for 2) -- it's a bit out of the way from home in OB so we haven't tried it yet, but if we could do something unique I'd love to hear about it.

                                                  1. re: fauteuil

                                                    let the "hubby" chip in. It was 5 courses, plus an amuse bouche. We called them a couple days in advance, told them we'd be a party of 8 for a birthday celebration, and would be bringing some high end wines for the dinner. We asked if chef would make us a special meal, and said we wanted to put ourselves in his hands as to what that meal would be. The meal included an amazing salad with whitefish, a foie gras course, a duck confit course, etc. Total was around $80 per person, but since one of our friends is a regular, they waived corkage and gave us free dessert. So I'd be prepared to spend up to $100 per, depending on how many courses you'd like. Worth every penny. Not sure they could accommodate such a request for a party of 2 though, especially on a Saturday. However, there is always an excellent foie gras appetizer on the menu, the best coq au vin I've had in the states, and some amazing desserts, so it would be hard to go wrong even if you just ordered from the day's menu.

                                                    1. re: rotie77

                                                      This Tuesday, a stop at Cavaillon ordering from the Seasonal Menu.
                                                      The Shrimp/Scallop Saffron Risotto, green peas, shitaki mushrooms was a real treat, which was excellent I had the Scallop Risotto on the Monday Prix Fixe, so I taught I would enjoy this variation . I skipped the Appetizer and was rewarded with the Warm Chocolate Tart coconut ice cream on a bed of fresh fruit for the little bit of rooom, that remained.

                                                      1. re: nutrition

                                                        Time away from Cavaillon has flown by for too long, and it is time to introduce a friend Chief Medical Surgeon from Johnson NASA Space Center in Houston to fine dining in San Diego. Perhaps a $100.00 Chef Surprise Menu Dinner is in order.

                              3. All Flyertalkers and Frequent Flyers are invited to join the First Flyertalk Dinner on Sept 24, 2007 at the Cavaillon Restaurant, see Menu and driving information at . http://www.cavaillonrestaurant.com/ca...

                                The PrixFixe Monday Night Dinner-$32. menu can be found by Clicking on Special Events in the top bar of the Home Page or http://www.cavaillonrestaurant.com/c....

                                Everyone has a choice of the 3 course Special Monday night menu or the regular Seasonal Menu http://www.cavaillonrestaurant.com/ca.... It will be informal and it is recommended to make reservations directly with the restaurant. The Manager stated he could arrange the tables for two to six guests. Each party will take care of their own charges. Believe me, it is a bargain for any restaurant of this quality of preparation.

                                You can read the many reviews for Cavaillon at http://www.chow.com/search?search&amp... or http://www.chowhound.com/ by doing a Search for Cavillon. You may also click on the California Board to find Topics titled Cavaillon. Cavaillon should come up in the Latest Posts string.

                                It is an extraordinary French restaurant with the freshest of foods and tastes of Cavaillon - Provance prepared to your order. :-
                                I have never been disappointed. It is now my Favorite in the San Diego area.

                                Cocktails at the Bar or on the Patio 6-7 PM
                                Dinner to follow, but the timing is NOT etched in stone, so come when you can, and share your Frequent Flyer experiences and learn from the seasoned Flyertalkers, while enjoying the best of foods.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: nutrition

                                  Chef Phillippe was the Head Chef at Tapanade for seven years, which must be why it has such an excellent rating.

                                  Last evening, I had the Pan Seared Organic Salmon Calamari Paella, which was excellent. Followed that with the Apple tart with Almond Crumles and Vanilla Ice Cream. Made to perfection.

                                  1. re: nutrition

                                    Remember the Monday night PrixeFix dinner at Cavaillon on Sept 24 for everyone that likes to or has to travel and meet with others, who contribute so much to Flyertalk.com about Frequent Flyer Miles and points, Airlines, Hotels, Destinations around the world, etc.
                                    If you have any questions about the Ins and Outs of travel, someone will be able to answer them for you.
                                    This is open to all. Join us.

                                2. I liked Cavaillon and would definitely return. I posted a review of it on my blog back in May.