Just when you’ve resolved to make healthier choices and purge your fridge of that processed pollution, Restaurant Week returns as our first line of battle in temptation. The two-course lunch options and three-course dinner menus will be rolled out at over 180 San Diego restaurants throughout the county, January 13-18. Here’s how to dine out during Restaurant Week without sacrificing your waistline.
Discover the healthy routes to Restaurant Week 2013
Pinzimini: Inside of the renovated Westin Gaslamp Quarter, Pinzimini boasts Italian cuisine from Chef Joan Kosowski. The modern Tuscan-style entrees and small plates make up a colorful menu that entertains the locals who head downtown for cocktails, meetings and mingling. (Main Image)
Your Healthy Route: Kick off your health-conscious meal with the Mushroom Flatbread drizzled with truffle oil. We next recommend the Roasted Salmon with pan-flashed spinach, artichoke and pear tomatoes (other entrées are various pizzas and pastas). For dessert, options are limited to an Espresso Coffee Mousse or Citrus Italian Cheesecake – since both aren’t the lightest of fare, we vote Espresso Coffee Mousse to energize your evening workout. $30 dinner. 910 Broadway Circle, Downtown
Seasons 52: New at Westfield UTC, Seasons 52 introduces San Diego to seasonally-inspired dishes and an international wine list that makes guests swoon. Seasons 52 boasts a menu that will change four times a year, and all dishes vow to be low in calories.
Your Healthy Route: Navigate your path to a non-regrettable evening with our recommendations for Seasons 52. Start with a first course of Ripe Tomato Flatbread. Your second course can consist of either the Organic Mixed Greens Salad or the Organic Baby Spinach Salad. For your main entrée, order up the Cedar Plank Atlantic Salmon with asparagus, rainbow carrots and Weiser Farms roasted potatoes. Dessert is one choice only: Season’s 52 award-winning mini indulgences. $40 dinner. 4505 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla
100 Wines: The Hillcrest eatery from the creative minds of BO-beau kitchen + bar added to the Cohn Restaurant Group roster of hot spots not to miss. Executive Chef Katherine Humphus brought over her European flair with dishes meant for sharing and flavors enhanced to spark interest.
Your Healthy Route: The lightest plan of attack is to start with Watermelon Three Ways served as pickled rind, compressed watermelon and watermelon radish. For your main dish, choose the Prosciutto Pizza which features house made mozzarella, green grapes and a balsamic port reduction. Finish off with the Apple Tart Tatin. Throwing caution to the wind? Other options will include 100 Wine’s applauded Crispy Cauliflower, Oven Roasted Chicken, Freeform Ravioli and a Chocolate Soufflé. $30 dinner. 1027 University Ave., Hillcrest
d bar: The “d” stands for drinks, dining and dessert, and might as well be for daring, too. The lively Hillcrest restaurant gets a lot of hype for its desserts made in front of guests, just as you would see in a sushi bar.
Your Healthy Route: Start with the Tomato Basil Soup, then dine on a dish called the Veggie-licious served with asparagus, sundried tomato pesto, grilled flatbread, black bean hummus, quinoa and crispy faro or Tahini Grilled Salmon with edamame and toasted almonds. Your best bet for dessert is the Big Apple Crisp. $30 dinner. 3930 5th Ave., Hillcrest
The Red Door: It’s beloved because the produce at Red Door comes straight from its own organic garden. Chef Miguel Valdez is constantly creating a seasonal menu that also features artisanal breads from Sadie Rose, homemade pickles from Happy Pantry and fresh brunch jams from Jackie’s Jams. The adorable cottage-like seating makes guests feel right at home.
Your Healthy Route: You’ll want to start off with the Garden Salad featuring the day’s harvest of Red Door garden greens and tangelos, pickled red onions and tangelo vinaigrette. Next, opt for the light and flavorful Garden Cauliflower Bolognese with house-made herbed pumpkin and goat cheese gnocchi and sautéed delicata squash. Our top-pick for dessert is the Mini-Banana Crème Pie. $30 dinner. 741 W Washington, Mission Hills
Brooklyn Girl Eatery: This neighborhood eatery presents approachable cuisine in a restaurant that embodies this “old-time” spirit morning, noon or night. Chef Tyler Thrasher helms the kitchen.
Your Healthy Route: Start with the All Kale Caesar or the Pear Salad with spinach, arugula and crispy shallots. For your main entrée, opt for Squash Carnaroli Rice Risotto with roasted kabocha and butternut squash, pepitas, sage and onion soubise. For dessert, snag the Keylime Pie in a Jar. $30 dinner. 4033 Goldfinch Street, Mission Hills
Davanti Enoteca Del Mar: You know and love the Davanti Enoteca of Little Italy. But for North County locals and those headed in that direction, Davanti Enoteca’s Del Mar location is consistent with the Francesca Group’s urban Italian eats, as realized by chef and owner Scott Harris.
Your Healthy Route: Who said Italian can’t be done light? At Davanti, start with the Roasted Squash served with farro, goat cheese, hazelnuts and watercress. In the spirit of Piatti, order up the Spada Davanti, a grilled swordfish with toasted breadcrumbs, calabrian chili and Brussels sprouts. For your dolci dessert, feel no guilt with the Torta al Limone con Mirtilli, a lemon torta tiramisu with lemon curd and fresh blueberries. $30 dinner. 12955 El Camino Real, Del Mar
Poseidon Restaurant: The beach ambiance and San Diego lifestyle vibes are just a start to falling for Poseidon Restaurant. Next comes the fresher than fresh menu with seafood, steaks and an enticing wine list to pair. Chef Mourad Jamal raised in Oujda, Morocco brings his passion for freshly prepared seafood to the Del Mar spot.
Your Healthy Route: Start with the Baby Spinach Salad or the Warm Goat Cheese and Beet Salad. Then, go ahead and order the Shelton’s Farms “Free Range” Rosemary Chicken Breast or ask your waiter for the Ginger Pesto Day Boat Scallops. Dessert doesn’t leave guests with many many options, but between the Vanilla Crème Brûlée and the Chocolate Lava Cake, our vote is for the brûlée. $40 dinner. 1670 Coast Blvd, Del Mar
Terra American Bistro: The farm-to-table concept is alive, well and delicious at Terra. Chef Jeff Rossman’s creative use of seasonal and sustainable agriculture has rallied up locals to support this gem of a restaurant. The cuisine at Terra has been labeled as New American food with an emphasis on ingredients and preparation styles from North, South and Central America.
Your Healthy Route: The Restaurant Week menu is huge here, so choose thoughtfully. Start with either the Salty Peppery Calamari, Herb Seared Tuna or the Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese. For your main entrée of the night, the Grilled Tofu and Quinoa stands out, served with acorn squash, smoked tomato, mushroom and garlic. Get your sweet-fix with a Ricotta Cheesecake for dessert. $30 dinner. 7091 El Cajon Blvd., La Mesa
But that’s not all…San Diego Restaurant Week boasts over 180 restaurants participating in lunch and dinner, January 13-18. To view the entire list of participating San Diego restaurants, and to sort by neighborhood, price or community, visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com.