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BlueRibbon Rustic Kitchen. Yes, indeed.

Fake Name Jul 18, 2013 08:55 PM

We shared some happy hour apps- both bruschetta type things with Prosciutto- one with fig, another with peach, both with Arugula or some sort of other fancy-schmancy green stuff. Both VERY tasty.

We proceeded to an appetizer of grilled asparagus, herbed ricotta (I think) chees and a fantastic fried duck egg. Amazing.

She had a lemony-bright Troffi pasta dish- fresh and clean. I had the opposite- a rich short-rib ravioli with a very complex horseradish cream sauce.

We finished with a butterscotch pot de creme (they call it a pudding) that was equally spectacular.

She had a nice glass of red wine, I had a 24 oz can of anti-craft PBR.

We agree it was the (trumpet fanfair) The Best Meal Ever in Hillcrest (proper).

Walkable for us, we will return. But are unlikely to get a seat.

Service personable efficient and kind. Knowlegeable, too.

Go there.

  1. d
    DoctorChow Jul 18, 2013 09:14 PM

    Nice review, FN. Sounds like a Must-Go place -- at least I'm sold. Honestly hadn't ever even heard of it before now. I take it this your first time?

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoctorChow
      Fake Name Jul 18, 2013 09:18 PM

      Yes, it just opened- this week, I think. Same folks as Blue Ribbon Pizza in the LA/Encinitas area, but no pizza.

      Different concept.

    2. foodiechick Jul 19, 2013 01:47 AM

      So short ribs (at least as an ingredient) are off the "do not fly" list"?

      Sounds great, it was already on my list. Now we will walk over after the next Landmark movie date night. Do they take rezzies?

      Meaniehead revoked.

      1. c
        cstr Jul 19, 2013 04:31 AM

        A PBR??? Gutsey FN! Was it wrapped in a brown paper bag? BTW - nice food description.

        13 Replies
        1. re: cstr
          Fake Name Jul 19, 2013 06:08 AM

          No bag, no glass.

          A 24oz tall boy can, sitting right on the table, without a coaster, taunting the crafty-beer types with its red,white and blue patriotic splendor. It was happy hour, and it was $3, just like a beer should cost.

          Take THAT, beer fetishists!

          1. re: Fake Name
            MrKrispy Jul 19, 2013 10:49 AM

            $3 is $2.50 more than that beer is worth haha. Thanks for the review, will check the new place out soon

            1. re: Fake Name
              DougOLis Jul 19, 2013 11:50 PM

              If I'm ever invited to your house, I'm bringing a box of Franzia

            2. re: cstr
              Tripeler Jul 20, 2013 05:22 PM

              I wouldn't call PBR an anti-craft beer; rather it is a beer that just doesn't acknowledge the craft beer movement, and sits back and ignores it.

              1. re: Tripeler
                cstr Jul 21, 2013 04:56 AM

                I rather think of PBR as one of the 'original' craft beers!

                1. re: Tripeler
                  Josh Jul 21, 2013 09:04 AM

                  I don't really get the "anti-craft beer" thing, but for those who feel like they're sticking it to whomever by filling their belly with low-grade swill, here's an interesting story about the owners of PBR and their marketing efforts (the fact-averse may not want to click through):

                  1. re: Josh
                    Fake Name Jul 21, 2013 10:55 AM

                    I don't want to click through.

                    1. re: Fake Name
                      Josh Jul 21, 2013 11:44 AM


                      1. re: Josh
                        Fake Name Jul 21, 2013 12:41 PM

                        Pfft. I'm going to take an old bleach bottle down to the "old pub" and get a "Growler" of local crafty microbrewski made by artisans- they call it ,like, Sweet Kitty Hoptimizer, bro.

                        1. re: Fake Name
                          Josh Jul 21, 2013 12:46 PM

                          You must be confusing me with someone standing on your lawn.

                          1. re: Josh
                            cstr Jul 21, 2013 12:50 PM

                            What.... you're a Lawn Jockey? Go back to SF.

                            1. re: Josh
                              Fake Name Jul 21, 2013 12:53 PM

                              I am easily confused.

                            2. re: Fake Name
                              cstr Jul 21, 2013 12:48 PM

                              More like 'Sweet Kitty Pee Hoptimizer'!

                  2. foodiechick Jul 19, 2013 11:34 AM

                    Nice review hot off the presses.


                    1. l
                      Lynnester Jul 19, 2013 11:41 AM

                      Could not agree more. Big fan!

                      1. Dagney Jul 19, 2013 02:01 PM

                        PBR? Can this Fake person be trusted?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dagney
                          Fake Name Jul 19, 2013 02:24 PM

                          Only the trustworthy would use a Fake Name.

                        2. w
                          wanker Jul 19, 2013 03:21 PM

                          Good to know. I'm a big fan of Wade Hageman and his wife.

                          1. Fake Name Jul 28, 2013 01:11 PM

                            Returned there last night.

                            The food was excellent, but it was a weekend evening AND THE PLACE GOT PRETTY LOUD.

                            Service was a little wobbly as well.

                            Still on the "A" list, but...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Fake Name
                              Josh Jul 29, 2013 04:58 PM

                              Glad we skipped it. Loud places drive me nuts.

                              Wine Vault was very good, though. And peaceful.

                              1. re: Josh
                                wrldtrvl Jul 29, 2013 11:18 PM

                                The Wine Vault peaceful? Do tell. I am so surprised. We used to go there often some years back but finally gave up because of the noise level. Was it just a slow night? Has Chris finally redecorated and added sound dampening...?

                                1. re: wrldtrvl
                                  honkman Jul 30, 2013 06:34 AM

                                  We went also recently and it was surprisingly quite as it didn't seem as crowded as before and it was also easy to just walk in on a Saturday but still very good food

                                  1. re: wrldtrvl
                                    Josh Aug 4, 2013 07:48 PM

                                    We were there at 8:30pm on a Thursday, so I guess it was pretty late.

                              2. s
                                salustro Jul 30, 2013 11:39 AM

                                we went on Sunday night (6-8pm) and it was pretty empty.

                                Service was good (although it was a bit confusing - we couldn't figure out exactly who was our waiter - there seemed to be multiple).

                                The food was pretty good:
                                - calamari: fine, a little soggy
                                - sweet corn soup: very good
                                - risotto with marrow: good, but it lacked some 'umph'
                                - bruchetta with argula and canned peaches: refreshing and tasty
                                - the other couple had the short ribs and ravioli, which were both very good.
                                - carmel pot was delicious, as always

                                the cocktails were a mixed bag - some were great, others were meh. They were not very boozy (which, for me, is a drawback, but I understand others like them lighter).

                                The problem for us though was the total expense. It was a bit more than we'd like to spend for a night out with friends (about $180 before tip and tax for the four of us; yes, we drank a lot). Not sure if it will be in our usual dinning out rotation.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: salustro
                                  honkman Jul 30, 2013 12:48 PM

                                  Canned peaches ? Seriously when they are now in season ?

                                  1. re: honkman
                                    RB Hound Jul 30, 2013 01:45 PM

                                    Peaches come from a can; they were put there by a man, in a factory downtown.

                                    1. re: RB Hound
                                      honkman Jul 30, 2013 01:47 PM

                                      I guess like meat and most other things we eat

                                      1. re: honkman
                                        RB Hound Jul 30, 2013 09:40 PM

                                        That would have worked in that song!

                                      2. re: RB Hound
                                        phee Aug 5, 2013 10:44 AM

                                        Love the POTUS reference, RB Hound!

                                      3. re: honkman
                                        cstr Jul 31, 2013 04:48 AM

                                        And I'll add, soggy calamari??

                                        1. re: honkman
                                          SaltyRaisins Aug 5, 2013 10:10 AM

                                          Call them preserved peaches. Problem solved.

                                          1. re: honkman
                                            ipsedixit Aug 13, 2013 06:12 PM

                                            Canned peaches ? Seriously when they are now in season ?

                                            Seriously? Canned peaches are in season now. Who would've thunk it.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              cstr Aug 14, 2013 05:21 AM

                                              Just made me some peach jam and no canned peaches please!

                                              1. re: cstr
                                                Beach Chick Aug 16, 2013 09:51 PM

                                                Wow sledge...you really made peach

                                              2. re: ipsedixit
                                                honkman Aug 14, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                I have yet to find a dish were canned peaches are tasting better than fresh ones

                                                1. re: honkman
                                                  ipsedixit Aug 14, 2013 06:35 PM

                                                  Jell-O salad?

                                                  With organic, all-natural Jell-O of course.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    cstr Aug 15, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                    I'm not surprised.

                                          2. j
                                            jlynn149 Jul 30, 2013 12:50 PM

                                            Cannot wait to try this place! sounds awesome!

                                            1. j
                                              JennyJet Aug 3, 2013 08:54 AM

                                              Sad to say i didnt enjoy this place. Tried to get an entree order in at last call. They switch to kitchen snacks at 10. Ordered scallops entree over zucchini cakes and leeks w meyer lemon beurre blanc and potato ricotta crispy gnocchi w wild mushrooms ciopollini onions and truffle cream. Both came out fast from the kitchen and cold. Everything cooked through just cold. Hard to enjoy that. Super loud place which wasnt enjoyable. Looked forward to trying this place will give it another try for kitchen snacks

                                              1. a
                                                artisen Aug 13, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                Went last Friday. The service was great, the food, so so.

                                                Albacore--really very good, served on top of an avocado, pancetta mix. Great portion and very tasty

                                                Calamari--Agree with another reviewer, nothing remarkable here.

                                                Zucchini--Looked great on the menu, didn't taste so great.

                                                Trofie pasta--Couldn't find much shrimp, tasted O.K. At 19.00 expected better.

                                                R.K. short ribs--The short ribs (rib) were dry to the point of being inedible. The pasta was good but again 26.00 for a small dry piece of meat on some pasta seemed a bit excessive.

                                                Again, the service was great; they really try hard. The menu looks fantastic on paper, if only a bit pricey on some items. Unfortunately, on the day we were there, the food just didn't taste all that great. Probably deserves another try after they work out all the kinks.

                                                1. foodiechick Sep 20, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                  Yes, indeed! Hello deep fried brussels sprouts, come to Mama.

                                                  Husband enjoyed the largest, juiciest, most tender short rib I have ever seen with heirloom carrots on a bed of house made pappardelle.

                                                  The short rib ravioli was complex but surprisingly delicate and was paired perfectly with a Malbec that both the Manager and Chef recommended.

                                                  The infamous butterscotch pudding was best I have EVER had...sweet, slightly salty, caramel creamy heaven.

                                                  Because I choose to ignore the hype of restaurant week, we found ourselves there in the middle of said event, but without a problem. The room was fairly empty at 630pm but full and loud an hour later. Excellent service and a bonus to those that don't live in the area: validated parking the Village Hillcrest parking garage.

                                                  Now if I can just find the recipe that was published a few years ago for that butterscotch pudding!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: foodiechick
                                                    wanker Sep 20, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                    The butterscotch pudding recipe is provided on Blue Ribbon Pizza's website.

                                                    1. re: foodiechick
                                                      Katherine H Sep 20, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                      I also went this week, forgetting it was restaurant week. We arrived at 8ish on Wednesday night and had dinner at the bar. The food was great, but the room was so loud we had a hard time hearing each other, even though we were sitting side-by-side. I hope it will quiet down once restaurant week is over!

                                                    2. honkman Mar 22, 2014 02:33 PM

                                                      We tried last night for the first time Blue Ribbon Kitchen and were very impressed. All dishes were excellent, smoked salmon, sweetbread saltimbocca, brussel sprouts (truely addictive), short rib ravioli, scallops, butterscotch pudding. Nice ambience (which somehow reminded us on Gjelina), relaxed service and nice, rather simple but for the food fitting, cocktails. They are also open late on Friday and Saturday so it is also a good late night bar with snacks. So far Cucina Urbana were our favorite spot for Italian inspired food but based on the first visit Blue Ribbon Kitchen clearly surpassed them.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: honkman
                                                        DoctorChow Mar 22, 2014 03:53 PM

                                                        Yes, indeed, to restate FN's OP. A great place for Italian-inspired food.

                                                        There are some additional comments specific to their pasta offerings by foodiechick and me here:


                                                        On a side note, I never thought I'd see the day when brussel sprouts became so popular; they seem to be almost ubiquitous in restaurants these days. (And a good side effect is that they're more available in grocery stores.)

                                                        1. re: DoctorChow
                                                          Fake Name Mar 23, 2014 05:57 AM

                                                          Last time I walked by they seemed slow- must remind myself to go back and support these good places.

                                                          1. re: Fake Name
                                                            beantowntitletown Mar 23, 2014 11:32 PM

                                                            We went there two months ago after a late Sunday matinee around the corner. We had 7 pm reservations and had to wait awhile for a table, because they were slammed. The staff apologized profusely, but I hope they're doing that more often than waiting for someone to walk in the door.

                                                        2. re: honkman
                                                          Josh Mar 24, 2014 10:45 AM

                                                          Gjelina? High praise indeed. We'll have to make it a point to visit on our next trip down.

                                                          1. re: Josh
                                                            honkman Mar 24, 2014 01:23 PM

                                                            Comparable to Gjelina in terms of ambience and quality of food but the kind of dishes are obviously quite different between both restaurants (even though there are some overlaps like the brussel sprout (which are better at Blue Ribbon Kitchen). Foodwise it might be closer to restaurants like SPQR but on a much more rustic level. Overall it was the best italian inspired dinner/restaurant we had in 12 years living in SD. (It will be interesting to see with Chef Jason Seibert back in SD at an Italian restaurant if we see some drastic improvements for italian cuisine)

                                                            1. re: honkman
                                                              Josh Mar 24, 2014 02:12 PM

                                                              Whoa, where's Jason going to be? That is exciting news.

                                                              Cafe Cerise was way ahead of its time. I would imagine now it could be successful.

                                                              1. re: Josh
                                                                honkman Mar 24, 2014 02:36 PM

                                                                He is now exec chef at Vivace at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad

                                                          2. re: honkman
                                                            honkman Mar 30, 2014 12:17 AM

                                                            Tried it last night from 10-11:30pm for their late night/bar menu and it is a great addition to our rotation - great food, good cocktails, relaxed ambience. The food had the same quality as their regular menu, good portion size and cheap, e.g. the pork belly was much better quality (meat/fat ratio), better prepared and actually larger than at Urban Solace (our regular place for pork belly) but just $8 instead of $23

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