Judging by the three restaurants we’ve visited over the past week, this year’s first San Diego Restaurant Week is one of the best. Last night we dined at Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. You’re struck by the beauty of the property as you turn onto Grand Pacific Drive and head down the entryway surrounded by towering palms. Twenty/20 gets its name from the awe-inspiring panoramic views.
Twenty/20’s dining room is modern, with both tables and round booths and a dramatic backlit bar. Food and Beverage Director David Putnicki welcomed and seated us and put us in the hands of the very able and charming Nicole. She suggested wines for us according to what were going to order. For my pork chop she recommended Meiomi Pinot Noir and for Kat’s butternut squash ravioli she chose Michael David Syrah from Lodi.
Their restaurant week menu offers a starter, a main course and dessert for $40. I thought the avocado mushroom toast with truffle oil and Manchego cheese sounded incredible and Kat couldn’t resist the coriander cauliflower soup with a garlic parmesan crisp and Nueske bacon. Both were superb, plated artistically and absolutely delicious. The toast was just the right bite, with all the flavors melding beautifully and the truffle oil wafting into my nostrils. The cauliflower soup was piping hot and savory. We each tasted a bit of both.
The entrées followed in short order. I opted for the Salmon Creek Farms pork chop, served with herb-roasted marbled potatoes, braised greens and roasted delicata squash and an apple cider gastrique. Kat had the butternut squash ravioli with crispy Brussels sprouts, pomegranate and sage brown butter. The Pinot Noir and Syrah Nicole had recommended paired extremely well with both dishes. Twenty/20’s wait staff is attentive without being obtrusive. Our water glasses were filled on a regular basis and we were asked several times if there was anything we needed.
We shared our desserts, a chocolate malted cheesecake and strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I love cobbler and this was exceptional. Served in a cast iron skillet, it came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The cheesecake was dense with small balls of malted chocolate on top, a raspberry and a caramel drizzle. We couldn’t have hoped for a nicer meal. Executive Chef Julian Quiñones was busy putting the finishing touches on the new menu set to launch in a few weeks so banquet sous chef Felipe Carillo stepped out from the kitchen to chat with us. Twenty/20’s focus he said is on farm-fresh, locally sourced and organic when possible. We enjoyed every bite.
San Diego Restaurant Week continues through Sunday the 28th. Check their website to see all the participating restaurants. It’s a dizzying choice, but we found three places we truly love. Twenty/20 is located inside the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa at 5480 Grand Pacific Drive in Carlsbad.
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