brigantine at portside pier

i love a birthday celebration and after the last year we’ve had, i would argue that it is even more important to give your people their flowers while they are still here to enjoy them. since i already knew that i would be in san diego for some much needed quality time with hilly, we (hilly, lauren and i) made sure to do a birthday dinner for our girl t. she has been kicking ass and taking names all year as a registered nurse amidst a pandemic and has done it with grace. when we asked her where she would like to go, without hesitation, she mentioned brigantine at portside pier. i have been dreaming about it ever since.

dining with the four of us is easy as we all have similar palettes. we started with the crab and shrimp fondue with garlic toast, a jumbo lump crab cake and fresh steamed black mussels. to say we thoroughly enjoyed our starters would be a gross understatement.

for my main course, i had two oysters and their crab and lobster cobb salad. because i was also strongly considering the shrimp and louie crab salad, i had them bring the dressings for both on the side so i could have the best of both worlds. 10/10 would do again.

the cocktails were unreal. all of us are vodka girls however the three of them enjoyed a few dirty martinis that were made to perfection while i had three different vodka based cocktails. one was more floral (with elderflower), one was more fresh (with basil and citrus) but my absolute favorite is what i am going to call a blackberry smash. i cannot find the actual name anywhere but it had muddled blackberries, fresh lemon and the perfect punch of vodka.

between the great service, the beautiful view and the extraordinary meal, i never wanted to leave. already counting down the seconds until my return to san diego and brigantine at portside pier.

xoxo,

k. tap

p.s. i would highly suggest making a reservation through opentable to streamline the process and guarantee swift seating

herb & sea

to say i love san diego would be a gross understatement.  it is the perfect escape when wanting to get out of la but not be too far from home.  it helps that one of my closest friends, hillary, moved here a few years back.  we make a conscious effort to visit one another.  when looking for a little staycation during a time when i would typically be catching a flight somewhere tropical, a quick drive to san diego seemed like the perfect solution.

 

when choosing where to go to dinner, the choice was easy.  we love to support small businesses, we love seafood and a dear friend of ours, sara, is both the executive chef and partner at a restaurant in encinitas.  last night, i finally got to experience herb & sea.

 

 

founded by brian malarkey, who you might recognize from top chef, herb & sea is truly a gem.  even amidst the pandemic, they have found a way to create an extraordinary dining experience.  rather than each get a starter and an entree, we had sara suggest some of her favorites.  because this was not hillary’s first rodeo, she had an item or two that she knew we should tack on as well.

 

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it was unreal.

 

we started with drinks (we got the mezcal and flowers and even as someone that typically gravitates towards vodka, it was to die for), burrata, oysters, hamachi crudo, smoked salmon dip and shrimp toast.  there was nothing i would not order again but i will say this – i could have ordered 10 of the hamachi crudo plates and still wanted more. it was that good.

 

 

 

for our main courses, we went with the local field greens, linguini and crab, peaches and prosciutto pizza and the crispy boardwalk potatoes (which aren’t pictured due to us being in a trance from all of the goodness on our table).

 

 

 

and for dessert, there was a special cheesecake with tropical fruit and berries and for you chocolate lovers, a lava cake.

 

i really cannot say enough great things about this restaurant, the drinks, the food and the quality of service.  brian happened to be there while we were dining and stopped by our table to say hello, ask how our dining experience was and wish us well.  there is something magical about restaurants like this one where you can tell that every single person who works there genuinely loves people, food and what they do.

 

if you find yourself in the san diego area, stop by herb & sea. you will be happy you did.

 

xoxo,

k. tap