That rumbling you felt back in January wasn’t an earthquake. It was chefs from all over the state simultaneously doing a happy dance when the ban on foie gras was officially lifted in California. Love it or hate it, the controversial French delicacy is back on menus causing a foie gras frenzy in restaurants across San Diego. While an appeal has been filed, restaurants are still serving it in the meantime, so here are eight places where you can get your fill while all the delicious drama unfolds.
Grant Grill in the Gaslamp will be switching up its foie gras offerings pretty often, with Chef Sam Burman creating options like seared La Bella Farms foie gras, caramelized red cabbage, Applewood-smoked bacon, walnuts, and apple cider broth.
S&M is all about anything and everything meat, so its no surprise that it added a foie gras plate to the menu. The dish is made with pan seared foie gras, wilted arugula sautéed in duck fat, fried shallots, Asian pear, and sherry reduction. Submit to this dish!
Before the ban was lifted, Chef Tim Kolanko was using duck liver pate to create the classic French dish Tournedos Rossini. Now the duck liver is out and the foie gras is back in. Chef Kolanko is using seared Hudson Valley foie gras stacked on top of filet mignon and a brioche crouton that has been shallow-fried in clarified butter until crispy. Because that clearly isn't enough, the whole thing is then drizzled with a demi based Madeira black truffle sauce.
Rancho Santa Fe
Being a French restaurant, of course Mille Fleurs jumped at the chance to get this stuff back on the menu. Its serving pan-seared foie gras with apples and shallots -- as well as foie gras terrine with pear chutney, sautéed with shallots on brioche.
Over in Coronado, Chef Meredith Manee is putting her signature California coastal spin on the French delicacy at 1500 OCEAN. She'll offer nightly foie gras specials like foie fried rice with duck confit, lemon grass infused jasmine rice, and Thai basil. You can also add foie gras as a topper to any of the special dishes, like the surf and turf, for an additional $15.
Derek Jaeger, the cookie chef over at The Cravory, is even getting in on the action with a specialty foie gras cookie. The sweet and savory desert is made with graham cracker cookie dough, asian pear, olive oil, seared foie gras, raspberry balsamic drizzle, and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. These will be available for special orders of a dozen at the shop in Point Loma.
Right now, Bertrand at Mr. A’s is serving a foie gras torchon with raisin-walnut toast, candied tangerines, and poached pears. They’ll be changing it up regularly, but foie gras in one form or another is now on the menu daily.
Chef Redzikowski is using foie gras from Hudson Valley Farms, which he has personally visited on numerous occasions, to make seared foie gras atop a seared scallop with roasted balsamic. He's also doing a cold preparation of foie gras mousse, hazelnuts, radicchio, fiselle, and acacia honey vinaigrette -- but ultimately, the specials will be changing steadily, like your waistline.
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1. Grant Grill326 Broadway, San Diego
2. S&M Sausage & Meat4130 Park Blvd , San Diego
3. Stake Chophouse & Bar1309 Orange Ave, Coronado
4. Mille Fleurs6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe
5. 1500 OCEAN1500 Orange Ave, Coronado
6. The Cravory3960 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego
7. Bertrand at Mister A's2550 5th Ave. , San Diego
8. Kettner Exchange2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego
San Diego big shots have been flocking to Grant Grill to wheel and deal since 1951. Leather seating, white linen-topped tables, and mahogany wood floors create an executive dining room setting that's amped up by seasonal dishes like foie gras torchon, roasted duck breast with Brussels sprouts and figs, and local sea bass with spinach cavatelli. The cocktail lounge pays homage to Grant Grill's past as San Diego's original speakeasy, with timeless selections like the Smashing Pumpkin and the US Grant Centennial Manhattan.
Scott Slater, the guy who started Slater’s 50/50, opened this meat-centered eatery in town - but instead of burgers, this place is focused on game meats, sausages, and house-made bacon. And this spot isn't just a restaurant; it’s also a deli where you can take your meats to-go.
Stake Chophouse in Coronado is one of the priciest steakhouses in the area, but it's a modern dining experience that puts the old boy’s club of steakhouses past to shame. Not only do you get to choose the cut (rib eye, NY strip, tenderloin, etc.), you also get to choose what to cut it with: when the meat is served, you’re presented with a box of knives to choose from. The elusive wagyu is available, but the Brooklyn bacon steak is among the best bacon in San Diego.
This upscale French restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe offers delicacies like frogs legs, as well as staples like a delicious lamb burger.
The headlining restaurant at the Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Ocean brings guests California coastal cuisine in a ritzy, beachfront setting. Highlights from the seafood-inflected menu include a daily selection of market oysters with coconut pearls and yuzu-ponzu, local black cod with savory corn custard, and a surf-and-turf entrée of filet, lobster tail, and truffle risotto. Dining here is an exceptional experience and best reserved for a splurge-worthy occasion.
At The Cravory, you can be sure that all of your cookie needs will be met. This Midway bakeshop specializes in wacky flavors made just the way you like 'em: each cookie is at once soft with a gooey center and perfectly crispy edges for a truly satisfying treat. Flavors range from sweet Salted Caramel Cream, citrus shortbread, and toffee coffee, to savory options like a pancake and bacon flavored cookie.
Located on the 12th floor, over looking downtown and the ocean, there's a wrap-around balcony where you can enjoy the view along with your chicken liver pate and escargots de Bourgogne. SD being the land of flippy-floppies, you can get away with wearing pretty much anything anywhere you go, however this place has a dress code. Because it's classy like that.
This Little Italy spot's named after the highly held William Kettner, a democratic governor of San Diego in the early 1900s, and its theme does him justice. A sleek and welcoming space with a vague nautical theme hosts a slew of modern twists on American classics like roasted chicken, New York strip steak and Maine diver scallops. After dinner, head up to the rooftop bar to peruse the long wine and sprit lists or order a house cocktail like a spiked egg nog or the PD Collins with blood orange, cinnamon and peach bitters.