What do you get when you cross a restaurant with a free spending owner with a taste for fine wines and a well versed Sommelier, happy to recommend the best vintage to accentuate your meal? Add London and New York veteran Executive Chef, Damon Gordon, who has a distinct design of culinary approaches and you get Quarter Kitchen in The Ivy Hotel.
You can enter Quarter Kitchen through the hotel lobby or straight from the street. We recommend the lobby as The Ivy is quite a sight to behold. With its ultra contemporary design and striking lines, it pulls of fashionable style without being pretentious (well maybe just a touch). The flow of the décor continues into Quarter Kitchen with a spacious and inviting bar separating the lobby from the restaurant. Solid wood and imposing grand pillars contrast the airiness of the seating area. All throughout, subdued lighting and smooth grooving music sets the tone of style and trendy chic.
Once seated you will be impressed with the elegant, simple décor of the dining area. An open kitchen dazzles the senses with its chefs performing a seeming ballet as entrees are created and dishes arranged. Ornaments float above, dancing as if stars lighting a midnight sky. The servers are adorned in classic black and the whole venue has a vibrant avant-garde feel to it. Yes, the ambience is captivating.
The menu itself is a distinctive interpretation of traditional comfort food meets sophisticated stylings. Be daring and sample the Dungeness Crab Ravioli or the zesty Seasonal Truffle Pizza. I challenge you to find anywhere that has a Kobe Beef Pot Pie. There’s also their intoxicating version of mac & cheese featuring Elbow Macaroni & Gruyere Cheese. You get the idea.
Our group of four began with salads and appetizers which were eagerly shared. A must have are the scrumptious Caviar Tacos (Iranian Osetra Caviar prepared with horseradish cream, red onions and chives) which were not only served on a sculpted iron, almost tree-like ornamental stand, but the soft, delicate texture and taste left us ohhing and ahhing. Not to be outdone was the light and citrusy Tuna Tartare (prepared with daikon sprouts, avocado, citrus and tobiko) that was perfection in its consistency and flavor.
Keeping with the vibrant, enticing culinary tone came the outstanding entrees. Okay, so when you go to an upscale restaurant the last thing you’d expect is Spaghetti and Meatballs. Well there it was, made with Japanese Kobe Beef and we lost all control. This we must have and we are so glad we did. The perfectly firm, thin pasta was enhanced by the light sauce and the meatballs, hmmmm so savory and tender, just fantastic.
Also for our palettes delight was the delicious Grilled Sea Bass (seared rare with a mushroom & herb risotto with shellfish foam). This was a wonderfully prepared light meal, enough to satisfy without feelings of guilt the next morning. The bass was cooked perfectly, very moist and the sauce gave it just the right amount of edge. Both dishes were presented beautifully. Clearly lots of TLC went into these entrees. Add a side of the zesty Truffle Fries and enough said.
Dessert was bantered about (whether it was “to be” or “not to be”) but once we spied the Banana Bonanza (Banana cream Pie, Flaming Bananas Foster, Fried Banana ice Cream Crusted with Candied Walnuts) we were helpless. If you enjoy banana desserts at all, you have been warned. The textures, the smoothness, the sweetness are all beyond compare. This is heaven.
Complimenting the entire meal was an evening of fine wine and Quarter Kitchen has truly one of the most interesting wine lists we have seen in San Diego. While Quarter Kitchen is a bit pricey but not out of reach, you will get more than you bargained for. The Good: An overall lovely dining experience with knowledgeable and polite staff, perfect for a special occasion. The Bad: A $20 valet fee is about double anywhere else in town. Enjoy!
- City: San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 814-2000
- Name: Quarter Kitchen
- Address: 600 F Street