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.
p.s. i would highly suggest making a reservation through opentable to streamline the process and guarantee swift seating
over the weekend, i took a much needed road trip to vegas with my mom for an early birthday celebration. on saturday, we were lucky to have hillary join us for the day as we adventured to the most magical place in vegas – the vanderpump cocktail garden.
it is like stepping into the most beautifully lit forest. the experience was outstanding and the garden certainly had the lisa vanderpump touch. an added bonus? i have never seen a more efficient line/check in process. every single person working there was friendly, knowledgeable and aesthetically pleasing. and of course, the food and drinks were to die for.
if you are familiar with villa blanca, you probably already know and love the goat cheese balls. well guess what? you can get them here, too! we also did the crispy chicken sliders and the truffle potato puffs. not only was everything fresh and decadent, it was the perfect size to pair with a cocktail.
speaking of cocktails, our waitress, ashley, was able to answer all of our questions. she also returned in the blink of an eye with the most amazing drinks for us to try. my mom and i both went with the “please her, caesar!” and hilly had the “puff the magic dragon” – both were insanely delicious. my drink was vodka and champagne based while hilly’s drink was mezcal based. there truly is something for everyone.
both ashley and brandon (another employee at the cocktail garden) were just delightful. we felt right at home. when brandon realized he was in the company of a fellow virgo, he asked my mom what her favorite spirit was. when she replied with vodka, he brought these amazing shots for the table with an edible flower that numbs your mouth a bit and enhanced your tastebuds. my mom was SHOOK. she said that in all of her years of drinking, she has never had drinks this delicious or unique.
it was the perfect way to kick off a week of celebrations and we can’t wait to go back.
have you been to the cocktail garden? if so, what did you get?