While I was studying for the California Bar last year, Mr. Tall had promised that when I pass the Bar that we would celebrate at The Marine Room. Even though the July 2010 Bar results came out in November (yay, I passed!), Mr. Tall and I decided to wait until summertime for a better sunset. Also, Mr. Tall was saving his change for almost a year for us to go to there. So, finally, the time came a few weeks ago for us to finally go to The Marine Room.
The evening didn't start out perfectly. Mr. Tall made reservations for 7:00pm on a Saturday, which was not the best idea because that is apparently the middle the restaurant's dinner seating, so we were not able to get seated at one of the tables by the windows (which obviously have the best ocean views). If you plan to go there, I would recommend making an early reservation for 5:00-6:00pm or a later reservation at 8:00-8:30pm (but you will likely miss the sunset with a later reservation). But without further adieu, here is the rundown of our dinner.
I started with the Ocean Trilogy Tasting--Vanilla Lobster topped with Spanish Trout Caviar, Plum Tuna Tartare in Sesame Cone, Yellowtail Sashimi, and Lemon Myrtle Aioli. The tuna tartare was probably my favorite tasting, followed by the yellowtail sashimi and then the lobster. The tuna tartare was prepared impeccably--each piece of tuna was diced perfectly; the plum sauce had the perfect sweet and salty balance; and the sesame cone provided a tasty, crunchy vessel for the tartare.
Mr. Tall started with the Ancho Cacao Rubbed Brandt Farm Beef Carpaccio served with Winchester Cumin Gouda, Watercress, Fig Vincotto, Tamarind Pate de Fruit, and Horseradish Oil. There was also a toasted rye cracker and cocoa nibs. As you can see, the presentation is impressive (and the portion size was quite generous as well). There were so many unique components on the dish that you don't usually see with beef carpaccio. But once you put them all together, each bite was amazing and flavorful.
For the main course, I ordered the Lemon Verbana Annatto Basted Lobster Tail, which was served with Plaintain Timbale, Habanero Mango Sausage, Tangerine Lace Canton Ginger Butter, and seasonal vegetables. It was getting dark, and the photo doesn't do the lobster justice. The lobster was cooked just right, and the ginger butter was absolutely delicious and well-balanced. The dish was not as innovative as the appetizers, but really well executed.
Worth noting that The Marine Room has an impressive wine list with many wines by the glass and bottle, as well as classic cocktails. My appetizer and entrée went really well with a glass of Voignier (my new favorite type of white wine), and Mr. Tall enjoyed a Pimms Cup No. 1 (which is dangerously delicious considering how much liquor is in the cocktail).
Mr. Tall ordered the Midwestern Center Cut Filet Mignon, served with Hazelnut Potato Pie, Tilston Point Blue Cheese, Moutain Berry Chutney, all atop Mustard Seed Garnacha Sauce. He was initially going to order a halibut daily special, but they were out by the time we ordered. The filet mignon was cooked to a perfect medium, and the sauce was deliciously savory with a hint of sweetness.
Of course, we couldn't pass up desserts. We ordered the Spindrift Cobblestone Pie, which is definitely their most popular dessert item. It is essentially a gelato pie with a chocolate cookie crust, layers of Vanilla and Espresso Gelato, topped off with toasted hazelnuts and Myer's Rum Butterscotch. The pie was good, but nothing to write home about--and the butterscotch made the dessert too sweet.
We also ordered the Organic Cordillera Chocolate Bomb with Gianduja Crunch Crust, Griottes, and Red Currant Coulis, served with a shot of Pomegranate Aquavit. This is definitely the dessert for chocolate lovers--it was deep, rich, dark chocolate--and the more sophisticated dessert of the two we ordered. Mr. Tall and I took sips of the Aquavit, but it was powerful and had a really strong taste of cardamom.
The Marine Room is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and best fine dining restaurants in San Diego, so Mr. Tall and I definitely had high expectations. Our waitress was knowledgeable, friendly, but not intrusive, and the service was first-class as expected. The Marine Room didn't exceed my expectations because I was expecting perfection, and The Marine Room was perfect.