We picked up a copy of the San Diego Reader, and it provided capsule looks at two cool-sounding destinations for wine lovers:
- Proprietors Reserve. This wine bar in Normal Heights was described as a “little go-to place for people who are into wine and talk. It’s too small — 20 chairs — not to get involved with everyone around.” To complement the wine, you can order a plate of cheeses, salami, dried fruit and dark chocolate for $9.
- Wine Vault & Bistro. This destination in Five Points features “carefully crafted prix fixe menus that kept costs low and delights high, each course paired with a specific, complementary wine.” Owners Chris and Mary Gluck are said to be “the sort who knew who you were and when you had dined there last.”
The next time we’re down San Diego way, we’re going to check out those places for sure. This time, however, we were meeting friends at a place called 100 Wines Kitchen in Hillcrest. It’s a spot with a casual vibe, a menu brimming with shared plates, and an impressive, well-priced wine list.
It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Just take a look at three of the starters we had — from top to bottom in this blog, they are:
- Melted Brie — With house preserves, toasted nuts, dried fruit and a mini baguette ($10).
- Crispy Cauliflower — With pancetta, Parmesan and a balsamic Port reduction ($10.50).
- Coke-Braised Pork Shoulder Fried Mac-n-Cheese — With roasted corn, roasted garlic, roasted peppers, a heavenly cheese blend and Romesco sauce ($12.50).
It was happy hour, so we took advantage of the wine flights, bargain priced at $6 for a pair of 3-ounce pours. Michelle had the “White Night Flight,” consisting of a Torrontes from Argentina and a Vinho Verde from Portugal. I chose the curiously named “Lover’s Quarrel,” which featured two wines from Spain, a Tempranillo and a Garnacha.
The wines were served in easy-to-handle tumblers, and made nice companions to the three dishes we shared with our friends.
Then it came time to order our main courses. Michelle was pretty full already, so we decided to share a dish, and we selected the Pork Milanesa and a bottle of complementary wine. And that’s when what had been a fabulous evening was transformed into somewhat of a culinary disappointment.
I’ll tell you what happened in tomorrow’s blog. It’s a lesson that all restaurants — especially those that focus on wine — should heed.