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Jun 21, 2013 08:57 PM

Birthday dinner in north county- expensive but not stuffy

Boyfriend's birthday in a few days, don't want to go the Cheesecake Factory route. We live in north county, but I'm willing to drive if the place is great. I have a budget of around 200, I want to impress, but we are 24 yrs old and I don't want a stuffy restaurant. He doesn't like Ruth's Chris. I am tempted by mister a's (Bertrand?) but I fear it's too stuffy, plus it's kind of far. Any suggestions?

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  1. Top of the Market on the G-Street Mole would be great for this. A 25-min drive from North County. Parking can be troublesome there, so plan for that. Ask for an outside table when you reserve. (They'll honor your request.) Get a reservation that's a half-hour before sunset. If you go here or to Mr. A's (Bertrand) or somewhere else, have fun!

    1. I would check out Veladora at Rancho Valencia Hotel in RSF....before you assume it's stuffy, it's really not (in contrast to ambiance and vibe I get at the Grande Del Mar) and the food is very good.

      If you are looking for something a little more casual, I always enjoy myself at The 3rd Corner in Encinitas.

      1. Might want to look at Bellamy's, might be a bit on the stuffy side - depending on how you define stuffy.

        1. How about Red Tracton's in Del Mar? Good menu, not stuffy.

          1. I would go to Rancho Valencia resort in RSF at Pony Room/ Veladora.
            Inn at RSF
            AR Valentiens at the Lodge at Torrey
            Hacienda de Vega in Esco.
            Georges or Eddie V's in LJ.
            La Costa resort Blue Fire grill.
            Park Hyatt for brunch in Carlsbad.