Restaurants & Bars 4

San Diego Restaurant Week - Pamplemousse Grille

phee | Feb 4, 200512:15 PM

Sabra, Gayla and I had reservations at Pamplemousse Grille last night. Gayla, unfortunately, was unable to join us (we missed you!), so the two of us settled in for our dining experience. The ambiance was warm, decor trendy but beautifully so, and the staff was nothing short of completely engaging. We were seated in a booth, giving us a good view of the restaurant, which filled up quickly.

I wish I could say the food was as good as everything else, but this was only partially true. Sabra started with the salad of field greens, baked goat cheese and roasted shitake mushrooms. It was not overdressed, and very fresh. The highlight of this dish was the mushrooms. The roasting almost tasted a bit fried, but delicious, nonetheless. I had the roasted tomato and fennel soup with seared bay scallops. The soup was very tasty (I have a weakness for tomato soup!), but only received two small scallops in the bowl. No worries, as I'm not a huge fan of scallops. The basket of bread had the usual two slices of baguette, two small corn muffins, and two biscuits with a most interesting flavor. When I asked our server what spices were used, he said "lemon thyme". These were light and very yummy. Our choice of main dishes was quite the contrast. Sabra had the roast prime rib of pork, braised potatoes and baby vegetables. While it was good, it was not memorable. I had the kobe beef burger (my first!) with truffled cheese, wile mushrooms, and truffled parmesan fries. The burger was very good, but the fries were outstanding. I couldn't finish it all, and the young man who took away our plates asked, "are you sure you don't want to finish those fries?". Obviously, I'm not the only one who thinks those fries are darned good. For dessert, Sabra chose the sorbets with berries, while I opted for the trio of creme brulee. The sorbets (grapefruit, boysenberry, and mango) were refreshing and very flavorful. My creme brulees (one standard, one raspberry, and one chocolate) were good, but not extraordinary. But having been on a diet for two months, I finished them with gusto!

The one thing that consistently shined was the wait staff. They were all professional, engaging, personable and timely. And the chef/owner made the rounds to several tables, which is always a plus in my book. While Sabra said she probably wouldn't go back, I would. I have heard they do a fabulous seared ahi, good lobster ravioli, and a pear tart that is out of this world. For you wine drinkers out there, Pamplemousse has a very comprehensive (and expensive) wine list, and a small list of by-the-glass offerings.

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