Top 10 Mother’s Day Brunch Restaurants in San Diego
Mom has fed you so many times, so this Mother’s Day, treat her to a special brunch. The whole family can enjoy everything from strawberry waffles with a cappuccino to a succulent plate of crabs’ legs paired with a Mimosa.
Amaya Restaurant Review: Set in the elegant old-world Mediterranean resort The Grand Del Mar, Amaya may be the casual restaurant at the hotel, but it’s still a study in opulence and good taste. Opt for a seat in the attractive bar area, a large booth in the dining room or an al fresco spot under the striped awning on the terrace. Guests can start the day off with a plate of smoked salmon and an egg white frittata with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese, or nibble on truffle fries and burgers at lunch. Chef Camron Woods deftly prepares lovely California-meets-the-Mediterranean-style food that’s impressive. His mushroom risotto makes for an earthy, aromatic delight, while seared scallops are served three ways, with caponata, rosemary potato with tomato-caper berry jam, and apple-raisin chutney. Toffee cheesecake and strawberry-almond shortcake are sweet ends to the meal. Go big with a memorable three-course tasting menu with wine pairings ($85) from an exciting list (focusing on Spain, Italy and France) prepared by sommelier Jesse Rodriguez. If you choose to bring your own wine for your meal, corkage is $25.
A.R. Valentien Restaurant Review: Dining at A.R. Valentien transports us back to a more genteel turn-of-the-century time. From the moment we arrive at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, an homage to the craftsman movement, we are mesmerized by the architecture, the stained glass, the ambient lighting and handcrafted furniture. Start with a drink in the lounge by the copper-hooded fireplace, then wander into the cozy restaurant. The timbered, stylish room overlooks the 18th hole of the golf course. Executive chef Jeff Jackson and chef de cuisine Kelli Nicole Crosson’s farm-fresh fare constantly evolves based on what is in season. We like the duck and pistachio pâté with fuyu persimmon, cranberry and persimmon mostarda, and the albacore tuna carpaccio with horseradish crème fraîche and crispy capers. Seasonal ingredients are also featured in main dishes such as Moroccan-spiced chicken thighs with roasted beets, Anson Mills farro verde and mustard greens, or oak fire-roasted Niman Ranch pork loin with house-made sauerkraut, double-smoked bacon, roasted carrots and apples. Lunch means dishes like Prince Edward Island mussels with chorizo or Maine lobster and butternut squash risotto. Don’t miss the Thursday night Artisan’s Table, where diners are seated with other epicureans and served family-style. Complement your meal with a selection from the California-centric wine list. One-of-a-kind desserts include a steamed persimmon pudding with brandy crème anglaise.
Bertrand at Mister A’s Restaurant Review: You can’t beat the view—this mid-city dining room is located on the twelfth floor, allowing patrons to see all that San Diego has to offer. Check out the streets of Hillcrest, Balboa Park and the downtown skyline. And don’t be surprised if you can see the pilot of an incoming DC10 as they land at the nearby airport. All the hoopla aside, Bertrand’s at Mr. A’s offers some delicious food courtesy of famed restaurateur Bertrand Hug (of Mille Fleurs success). Chef Stéphane Voitzwinkler’s menu includes Maine lobster strudel; duck confit and roasted duck breast with Yukon potatoes; and pan-seared beef tenderloin with Gorgonzola cream sauce. Don’t miss the dulce de leche and banana bread pudding or the chocolate and caramel trio off the dessert menu.
Crown Room Restaurant Review: Sunday brunch at the Hotel del Coronado’s Crown Room is quite the event. Whimsical crown-shaped chandeliers were designed by The Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, no less, and the high-domed, sugar-pine ceiling was constructed without nails. The buffet itself is a feast for the senses, with over seven action stations with white toque-wearing sous chefs delivering a bounty of food: eggs cooked to order; pancakes fresh off the griddle; waffles with toppings like shaved coconut and pecans. The carving station features prime rib with truffle demi, legs of lamb, glazed ham and smoked turkey. A display of salts from around the globe awaits to add a little flavor to the meats. The International section showcases the tastes of Baja, New Orleans and the wine country. Enjoy short ribs in sweet potato mash or ranch-style smoky beans. There are endless fresh salads and nice vegetarian dishes as well. Dessert commands center stage with such sweet indulgences as a chocolate fountain and a candy bar for the kids. Don’t skip the handcrafted Bloody Marys with horseradish cheese. We appreciate the wealth of choices, skilled execution and old-school servers.
George’s California Modern Restaurant Review: This restaurant embodies good taste on myriad levels. We believe the secret to its success is the culinary triumvirate of affable owner George Hauer, executive chef/partner Trey Foshee, and partner/GM April Johnson, whose talent for training her staff in the art of service shines. Chef Foshee has been instrumental in defining San Diego’s regional cuisine as his dishes are paeans to seasonal ingredients, the finest products and coastal treasures. Through his farm-to-table approach, Foshee focuses on coaxing the true essence and flavor from his ingredients. The ever-evolving menu captivates with dishes like grilled local octopus with potato confit, celery, piquillo peppers and a fennel-saffron aïoli, or pancetta-wrapped grilled sardines with white bean bruschetta, sweet-and-sour onions and arugula. For meat aficionados, the braised Colorado lamb shank delights with comforting butternut squash risotto, a sweet onion raisin relish and feta salsa verde for a little piquant kick. The notable wine list, which offers more than 375 selections, adds to the dining experience. Mixologist Frankie Thaheld has composed a distinctive drinks menu; his “Xolo" blends Don Julio Anejo tequila with grapefruit, lemon and honey. Desserts also push creative boundaries, with pastry chef Lori Huffman’s creations reflecting the seasons in theme with Foshee’s menu.
Herringbone Restaurant Review: Herringbone is a shining example of cutting-edge style and progressive food in a harmonious union. L.A.-based designer Thomas Schoos strikes again with playful yet elegant décor in this warehouse space that features 100-year-old indoor olive trees sprouting from the ground, a pufferfish chandelier, colorful-tiled bar and a whale skeleton hanging above it, to name a few details. Diners get front row seats to watch chef Amanda Baumgarten (formerly of Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles) at work in the glass-enclosed exhibition kitchen. She specializes in surf ‘n’ turf with twists — an ocean bazaar theme in a high-energy setting. A nice start for oyster fans is a tilt of the head to allow a medley of Kumamotos, Malpeques and Fanny Bays to slide down the throat. Fresh hamachi is spirited with a kick of chile and luxurious with lardo, while arancini offer a nice play of textures with a crisp outer layer and soft belly. Baumgarten’s troll-caught king salmon is a composed plate with smoked bacon and zucchini compote. Harissa aïoli adds a nice heat to her seafood stew, also redolent of fennel. The fall-off-the-bone lamb shank features savory black olive, a hint of sweet orange and feisty piquillo peppers. Pastry chef Rachel King delivers a winning finish with her chocolate-hazelnut crunch bar. In-house mixologist team Pick & Rocks creates handcrafted libations that are scent-inspired and come with their own perfume strip to add an aromatic olfactory element. The smartly curated wine list features gems like Hudson Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay, ideal with fish, and Bueyes Torrontes from Argentina with crisp floral notes, a nice companion to the raw bar delicacies.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Coronado Bay Rd.
Coronado, CA 92118
Market Cafe Restaurant Review: Market Café is the most casual of the Loews resort offerings; guests and savvy locals will enjoy dining al fresco on salads, sandwiches, pasta and pizza. On Sundays, it offers one of the best brunches in town. Don’t miss the homemade waffles or the variety of meats grilled before your eyes. After your meal, wander the market—hence the name—replete with specialty olive oils, international vinegars and gourmet foodstuffs.
Mille Fleurs Restaurant Review: Mille Fleurs continues to impress by serving farm-fresh cuisine alongside a topnotch collection of wines. Located a mere mile from famed Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe, Mille Fleurs employs those and other fine ingredients as chef Martin Woesle prepares such dishes as lobster soup with Cognac; antelope loin with huckleberries and hazelnut spätzle; and rainbow trout “Meunière” with green asparagus and potatoes. Service is suave and professional, while the atmosphere is formal but not overly stiff. A casual bistro menu is also available reflecting Mille Fleurs shift to a more relaxed style of fine dining. Long frequented primarily by an older, horsey set, Mille Fleurs has also gained popularity with younger foodies and folks outside of Rancho Santa Fe.
Urban Solace Restaurant Review: Urban Solace teams up the talents of chef Matt Gordon, who brings Northern California wine country panache, and GM Scott Watkins, who takes a “comfort service” approach, hoping guests will feel like they are dining at a friend’s home. Go straight for the Sonoma goat cheese and butternut squash dip with cornmeal crackers or the warm cheese biscuits lavished in orange-honey butter. We like the braised beef cheeks with smoked tomato jam, nestled artfully on sweet potato mash. Mac ‘n’ cheese takes on two incarnations: duckaroni—yes, duck confit with blue cheese and arugula, or the house favorite with New York sharp white cheddar with caramelized bacon and charred tomatoes served up as a side in glass mason jars. Boutique, off-the-beaten-path wines create an interesting list. Keeping with the comfort theme, a hazelnut-butterscotch puddin’ is a befitting sweet ending. During the lively bluegrass brunch, try the Monte Diego, egg-dipped bread with smoked ham and Fontina cheese sweetened with grilled pears and strawberry-currant jam. Add a house-made spicy Bloody Mary and you’ve got the makings for a glorious afternoon of good eats and fine music.
Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant Restaurant Review: Located in the Rancho Bernardo Inn, the Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant has transformed into a romantic, comfortable setting with well-crafted food from sous chef Alaun Grimaud and chef de cuisine Ryan Grant. This stylish yet casual al fresco eatery serves up hearty breakfasts like Veranda french toast with house-made cinnamon bread and Vermont maple syrup or lighter bites like egg white omelets with arugula, shiitake mushrooms and vegetable hash. Lunch calls for Maryland lump crab cakes, “build your own” salads or juicy Angus burgers. After a day of golf or spa lounging, fresh ingredient-driven cocktails like lavender cucumber mojitos or pomegranate sangría prove to be perfect sippers with small plate nibbles like grilled mahi mahi tacos with mango salsa or a trio of Wagyu beef sliders. Friday’s “taste of San Sebastian" features an all-you-can-eat Spanish-Mediterranean buffet, a tantalizing spread. Don’t miss desserts crafted by pastry chef Margaret Nolan, like her blood-orange coffee mousse bombe in raspberry sauce. As the sun sets and the firelight flickers, Veranda is further enchanted with the notes of Spanish classical guitar music on the weekends.
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