Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Restaurant Week: Amaya at the Grand Del Mar

UPDATE: San Diego Restaurant Week is extended for another week! Check here for participating restaurants, including Amaya.

San Diego Restaurant Week's going on from September 19-24, with participating restaurants throughout the county. Check out their website for locations and menus.

It was one of those meals where I wanted to curl in the fetal position and have happy dreams about the food, but unfortunately, I was in public.

I received an email about a San Diego Restaurant Week preview meal and it presented several options. Only one jumped out, as I've always wanted to visit the lovely Grand Del Mar resort, but it's a little out of the way for me. Jenna and Stacie from McFarlane Promotions set up a reservation at the Grand Del Mar's Amaya Restaurant, described on their website as their casual dining option. I wouldn't call it casual, because it's not a place I'd wear jeans to, but it's luxurious without being stuffy. The dining room is gorgeous and warm, with an ambiance suited to many occasions. D. and I were on a date, but nearby was a group of girlfriends out for a birthday or girls' night, and we saw a family finishing up their meal.

I wasn't sure what to expect at this dinner, but I know I wasn't expecting a meal that knocked our socks off and had us planning a return visit. Chef Camron Woods talked with us about the Restaurant Week menu and how its popularity led to Amaya's chef's tasting menu. For $40 ($65 with wine pairings), it's a three-course menu with two choices for each course. For our dinner, our appetizers would be part of Restaurant Week's menu, but we'd choose our entrees from the regular dinner menu. I'm just a schmuck who compulsively writes about her meals, so a visit from the chef was pretty awesome.

Amaya's Restaurant Week menu. Subject to change, of course.

Choice of First/Appetizers Course

Golden Tomato Gazpacho
Avocado Parfait

Terrine of Smoked Duck and Foie Gras
Aged Balsamic, Strawberries

Grilled Breast of Boneless Quail
Cheddar Grits, Tomato Marmalade

Choice of Second/Main Course

Seared Loch Duart Salmon
Sweet Corn and Smoked Onion Risotto, Basil Coulis

Slow-Cooked Beef Short Rib
Tagliatelle Pasta, Pancetta, Roasted Baby Root Vegetables

Grilled Colorado Lamb Loin
Truffle Pierogi, Grilled Chard, Zinfandel Jus

Choice of Third/Dessert Course

Spiced Sugar and Lemon-Filled Bombolonis
Raspberry-Buttermilk Ice Cream

Caramel Praline Crunch Bar
Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet

Pavlova with Fresh Berries
Lemon-Poppy Seed Sherbet, Minted Vanilla Syrup

We started off with the golden tomato gazpacho.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Too cute.

No, we don't spoil him at all.

From Crate and Barrel's new pet accessory line.