REVIEW: The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar
A Red Door in folklore signifies a safe haven; a place of comfort where one is welcome to rest. In Feng Shui philosophy red doors signify good luck and good fortune. The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar in Mission Hills reflects all of these principles. The owners believe in the comfort of a calm restaurant to relax and unwind after a day of work or play, a place where comfort food intersects with garden fresh sensibilities. Their desire is to welcome you and indulge you with flavors of freshly picked herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Now in the restaurant’s third year, they are transitioning to an earth-to-entrée eatery. Co- owner Trish Watlington loves plants and gardens. She has brought this passion to her Red Door Family Garden. After a mere two months of planting her garden, it is thriving and supplying many varieties of tomatoes, chili peppers, squashes, cucumbers and herbs. Fall plans include collard greens, root vegetables, carrots and melons. Trish is growing cucumbers for the famous cucumber martini. Definitely a “must try”.
The small, charming and well-appointed sister restaurant, The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge nestled next door is also owned by the Watlingtons. Both restaurants share the kitchen and chef.
Designed by daughter Sarah, both have distinct décor, ambiance and menus. In the small, darkly lit steakhouse reminiscent of Hollywood past, a dynamite picture of Marilyn Monroe hovers next to sparkling crystal chandeliers, black leather, mirrors and tabletop candles glisten while you enjoy a rich and hearty meal centered around beef. The Red Door, in direct contrast features distressed white farmhouse chairs, dark wood tables and thickly stuffed pillows. The French country dining room features one entire wall displaying wine while another wall is covered with newspaper wallpaper. It gives one the feeling of home; relaxed with a casual elegance.
Executive Chef Daniel Manrique, cooks for both restaurants in the same kitchen. He is inspired to create new dishes based on what is fresh for the day, week or season. Chef Daniel is a young 29 years old, and was recently promoted from sous chef. He calls the staff of the restaurant the “Under 30 Management Staff”. Camaraderie amongst the staff is very important and he relies on everyone’s input to make sure that patrons are happy with their meals. Chef Daniel was raised in his Filipina mother’s kitchen, surrounded by people who loved to cook. Food was always the centerpiece for family gatherings. He learned at a young age to take whatever ingredients were in house and create a meal...
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- City: Mission Hills
- Phone: 619 295-6000
- Address: 741 W. Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103