This past weekend the hand model and I had a little getaway to the Rancho Bernardo Inn near Escondido in San Diego County. We were really impressed by the hotel staff's friendly & excellent customer service, from the valet who gave us a tour of the grounds to our waitress who comped us drinks for our extra 5 minute wait.
Avant is the hotel's sexier restaurant vs. their more casual Veranda. It features a Charcuterie & Wine Bar with rotating Wine, Beer – even house-made Mustard on tap. There's a fireside patio that's first-come-first-serve, a dining room, and a private chef's table for 12.
On a Friday night the place was loud 'n lively with great music and a modern Spanish feel.
- a meal in itself with thick toasty bread, large meaty mushrooms, stinky melted cheese, fresh herbs, and pickled veg, Foraged Mushroom Tartine with Grilled Provolone, Ramps & Chimichurri $12
- overwhelming helping of tomato, needed more creamy cheese, pistou stole the show, Heirloom Tomato & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Croquette, La Quercia Prosciutto & Sorrel Pistou $9
- the rich 'n buttery tomato clam sauce made this my 2nd favorite seafood dish of all time, Sauteed Prawns & Basil Risotto with Manila Clams, Jamon Serrano & Piperade $29
Believe it or not, the hand model and I were full after the first two dishes. But, the MUST ORDER Seafood Risotto was so irresistible, we managed to leverage our dessert & beverage space.
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, San Diego, CA 92128. 877-517-9340.