Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lion's Share

Last year, shortly after I broke my toes, Brett's son broke his foot.  It was a doozy, freak of a break.  He crashed on his bicycle on his way home from work as the chef at a restaurant in San Diego.  The break required a couple surgeries, pins, plates and an immobilizing cast for what seemed like forever.  Needless to say, he lost his job since he couldn't stand or walk on the foot.

Around Christmas time, Scott was back on his feet/foot.  He was hired as the executive chef at a restaurant called The Lion's Share in San Diego.  The restaurant had a very successful bar, with exotic decor and creative drinks but the food side of the business was only so-so.  They hired Scott to work wonders on the food side and he has.  He created an interesting and creative menu and the restaurant side has been steadily gaining in popularity.  They serve a lot of game and exotic meat -- the restaurant name and decor give you the feel of being on an African game hunt.

Last Sunday evening Brett and I went to dinner there with Brett's sister, Dana, and her husband, Doug.  We went early so we would all be home at a reasonable hour since Monday was an early work day for all of us.  We were also at the restaurant before the evening rush arrived so Scott was able to come out and talk to us about our food.
Brett and Scott

 Scott prepared a prixe fix meal for us with small, tasting size plates.  He wanted us to sample all menu items he was most proud of.  .... Three and a half hours and twelve courses later, we staggered out of the restaurant.  The food was amazing.  I'm not surprised.  Scott is a very talented chef (and I'm not just saying that because he is Brett's son).  I took pictures of each course to share with you -- although sometimes I forgot and took a bite first.  I couldn't help myself.  It was all so good and so interesting.

Ready?
Doug and Brett

Me and Dana
Here we go...
1.  Chicken livers chopped and mixed with herbs and dates.  Dana called this "pizza" but it was way better than pizza.

2. Crispy White Anchovy with lemon and golden raisin vinaigrette, Arbol chili and egg.  I'm not a huge anchovy fan, other than mixed into sauces, but this was really good.  Salty, but not too much, and sweet.  I would definitely order this again.

3. Deviled Eggs:  There were four eggs, each with a different filling (caviar, proscuitto, vegetable and a savorysweet one).  We cut them in half to share and  forgot to take a picture while they still looked pretty. 
4.  Poblano Braised Frog Legs with black garlic and scallions.  Okay, I had never had frog legs before and wasn't sure what the texture would be but, OMG, they just melt in your mouth.  So tender and tasty.  Yum!

5.  Grilled Oysters with truffle, parsley and lemon.  I thought of our friend, Christian, who loves oysters when this course came out.  He would have been in heaven.  After eating the oyster, I picked up the shell and licked it.  No lie.  Don't tell.

6.  Texas Red Fish with grilled tomatoes, polenta and beet sauce.  This is Brett's new favorite fish.  It was moist and mild with a wonderful crunchy skin.  The tomatoes burst in my mouth, warm and juicy. 
7.  Braised duck meatball with grilled peach & ginger coulis, cilantro, serrano chili.  I love duck but I'm not a big meatball fan so I didn't go as crazy over this as the rest of our table.  They all thought it was amazing.
8.  Roasted Bandera quail with Calabrian chili couscous, caulifower, arugula sauce.  Brett dutifully tried the cauliflower despite "hating" that particular vegetable.  Then he gave the rest to me.  That was A-OK with me.  This was another of my favorite dishes.  Everything worked great together from the couscous with a hint of heat to the crispy salty skin of the quail to the roasted sweet cauliflower. 

9. Rabbit wrapped in savoy cabbage with thyme potato gnocchi, brown beach mushrooms, sweet pea puree and madeira jus.  This is one of the most popular items on the menu and I can see why.  By this time, I was full and having trouble finishing my little plate.  But I did.
10. Lamb Bolognese topped with goat cheese ravioli.  This was very good and also very rich.  I ate half and gave the rest to Brett.  He scarfed it down.
11.  Grilled kangaroo with a chickpea waffle, pea tendrils, and a cherry reduction sauce.  Brett thought the meat was delicious.   It certainly had good flavor and the sauce was perfect (Scott has always excelled at sauces).  Kangaroo is lean, the way grass fed beef is, so it isn't a tender meat.  I was really too full to enjoy it at this point.  Both Dana and I were sliding most of our food onto the plates of our husbands (who were happy to oblige).

12.  Dessert!  From the left:  Hazelnut Bread Pudding (too full to do more than taste it), Goat Cheese Mousse with blueberry and basil (I ate every bit of this), Mexican Chocolate and Chipotle Cookie (I ate half.  A good cookie with a hint of heat.  Dana wrapped hers in a napkin to take to work the next day.  Smart girl; I wish I'd thought of that).


If you ever find yourself in San Diego, make a stop at The Lion's Share.  The food, the drinks and the ambiance are fantastic.










7 comments:

  1. Wow, you eat good, and I do find myself in San Diego now and then, so I'll remember it.

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  2. Holy Moley! I'm so impressed with all those special dishes...and the presentation! That place will be jumpin'. The four of you had some serious staying power to get through all that food...just 12 courses.

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  3. I'm with Brett - that Texas red fish looks amazing. And the desserts? Yum!

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  4. Sorry, just drooled onto my keyboard... shouldn't have read this post before I ate breakfast!
    It ALL, EVERY SINGLE DISH, looks amazing... I'm unlikely to get to San Diego tho :-(

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  5. Wow,what an awesome night out. You and Brett must be so proud of Scott. That guy sure knows how to cook! You ate frog legs!!! did it have the skin on?? xoxo

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  6. Wow! What a feast! You were treated like royalty. Very talented and creative chef indeed.

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  7. Wow, everything looked beautiful! Now I'm hungry too. :)

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.