I’m still on a butterscotch high from last Friday night’s dinner at Roseville, crowned one of San Diego’s hottest new restaurants by San Diego Magazine. I happened upon this restaurant by chance…while surfing the web, trying to find a place to suggest for dinner to celebrate happy news from one of my dearest friends from high school. She put the pressure on me, being the Princess Gourmet and so with my trusted MacBook, my manicured fingers whose typing speed slowed down considerably (damned nails!) and good ‘ol Google, I began to search lists, reviews and old favorites to try and find the perfect place.
I googled “Top San Diego Restaurants” and came up with a list of sites to peruse. They say third time’s a charm so when I clicked on the link for San Diego Magazine, I knew I hit pay dirt! Under the “Eat & Drink” section, featured was a story on “Hot New Restaurants”. I quickly clicked on the link and on the top of the list was Roseville. After reading the brief review on the restaurant, I then went on to their website to check out their menu. The French-Mediterranean menu boasted dishes that were simple, fresh and inventive. What sealed the deal for me was their “Butterscotch Pot de Crème” dessert. Just the description alone had me salivating. I simply had to try it!
I made the reservation thru Open Table at 7:00pm. I love using Open Table for making online reservations. You can quickly see what reservation times are available and with a few clicks of the mouse, you’re done. Joining me for dinner were childhood friends—Anita, Glyn, Jackie, Semo and Jessie. I was very excited to see them again and looking forward to experiencing what Roseville had to offer.
We made the short drive to Roseville located on the “quieter” part of Rosecrans Street in Point Loma, a marina community northwest of Downtown San Diego. About ten minutes after we exited the freeway, we arrived at the corner of Rosecrans and Canon. Roseville stood between a laundramat and a pharmacy. If it wasn’t for the bright red neon sign, I might have driven by it. I made the left on Canon and then an immediate left into the back parking lot. I noted that there is also an entrance to the restaurant in the back. Unfortunately, the restaurant had limited parking in the back so I set off to try to find street parking within a reasonable distance from the restaurant. I scored a parking space about a block and a half away and while walking to Roseville, also noted other restaurants and a chocolatier nearby. Note to self—make a return visit soon and definitely check out that chocolatier!
I walked into the restaurant from the back and quickly saw my friends already seated at a table for six in the middle of the restaurant near the front entrance of the restaurant. There was an empty seat and friend Jessie had not yet arrived. After hugs and hellos, we sat down to study the menu, giving ourselves some time to allow Jessie to arrive. I took a moment to scan the room. It’s a beautiful open space—the bar area had a view into the kitchen and on the north side of the wall were oversized booth large enough for 5-6 people to enjoy a comfortable, intimate meal. I love the dark woods, the muted yet warm colors, the crisp white linens on the tables, and the romantic ambient lighting. The service staff was attentive and friendly—always filling the water glasses as soon as they became empty. I noted a nice selection of wines from all over the world available by the glass, designed to complement Roseville’s menu. I was even more surprised to see a few bottles on the list that were a bit pricey—a bottle of the 2000 Chateauneuf-du-Pape commanded a $2,950.00 price tag!
My friend Anita and I decided to order a glass of wine to enjoy with our dinner. Anita ordered the 2008 Zenato Pinot Grigio from Venezia ($9) and I ordered the 2007 Fallbrook Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles ($11).
The menu, though simple, made it quite difficult to make a choice. So many savory items on the menu, utilizing unique ingredients that would be paired with traditional entrée items such as pork chops and flank steak. I also like the fact that they offer starter and entrée vegetarian choices. After a few minutes, we decided to go ahead and order, hopeful that our absent friend would soon make an appearance. My starter the Foie Gras Torchon, seared and crusted with a hazelnut brittle, served atop a toasted brioche, and drizzled with orange vincotto and fig compote. The foie gras was perfectly seared, creamy and buttery in texture and was absolute heaven! Paired with the Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a perfect marriage. For my entrée, I chose the Duck Confit with sautéed dandelion greens, roasted cippolini onions and a tart cherry/whole grain mustard reduction. The duck’s skin was beautifully crisped with a deep caramel coloring and sat atop the dandelion greens which tasted very much like spinach. The cherry/mustard drizzle added a nice touch and color to the dish.
Glyn ordered the Chilled Beet Soup with bacon lardones, drizzled orange cardamom chile and tarragon crème fraiche. Glyn described it as very fresh and very earthy. For his entrée he ordered the Vegetarian Risotto made with fresh seasonal market vegetables. We each had a little taste of the risotto which was very good but as Glyn and I noted, not as creamy as we would have liked it to be. Another 10 minutes on the stove would have made it perfect!
Semo ordered the Steamed Mussels prepared with fennel, leek and an orange salsa verde to start. The mussels were large and plump, steamed to perfection with a very flavorful broth with a nice kick to it. It was the best mussels Semo ever had and he generously shared it with Anita. Between the both of them, they polished off the dish and mopped up the broth with the sourdough bread. The broth alone made Semo giddy with happiness! For Semo’s entrée, he continued with his seafood theme for the evening and ordered the special of the day–Provencal Stew of Fresh Fish & Shellfish which included shrimp, clams, mussels and grouper and again, steamed in this amazing broth! Another home run!
Anita and Jackie both ordered the Juniper Berry Brined Pork Chop served with and English pea puree, sautéed pea vines and coriander-hefeweizen glaze. Sadly the pork chop was a bit on the dry side which tells me that the chops weren’t brined long enough. It was also too peppery for their taste, however, the pea vines were excellent.
Overall, we agreed it was an excellent meal and our attention turned to dessert. There were so many tempting choices. The five of us decided to order three of the five desserts on the menu: the Butterscotch Pot De Crème with Walnut Shortbread Cookie was a definite yet, the Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake with Cherries, Hazelnut Brittle & Marscarpone Gelato sounded promising and the Meyer Lemon Chiffon Parfait with Citrus Supremes was worthy of our taste buds. Semo had stated that he didn’t want any dessert; he wanted to preserve the memory of his meal and not ruin his happy palate with dessert!
While we were waiting for our desserts to arrive, Chef Chad White came by our table and introduced himself to our group. We were effusive with our praise–I gave him excellent kudos on the preparation and presentation of the Foie Gras starter and he shared that the tart cherries that brightened up my Duck Confit entrée were from the cherry tree of a local neighbor/friend who happened to be enjoying a drink at the bar.
A few minutes later, our desserts arrived. Anita and I went for the Butterscotch Pot De Crème first. OMG! Yeah, I’m going to say…it was orgasmic! It was smooth, buttery and had the right amount of sweetness. Absolutely delicious and everyone else agreed; so much so that Semo had to give it a try. The Meyer Lemon Chiffon Parfait was incredibly light, airy and lemony—not too tart and not too sweet. It was perfection. The Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake on the other hand was was just okay—it was a bit on the dry side; not as moist as I’d like it to be. The Butterscotch Pot De Crème and the Meyer Lemon Chiffon Parfait were at the top of our list!
Overall, we enjoyed our Roseville experience. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I am looking forward to a return visit. And I am most definitely going to order my own Butterscotch Pot De Crème!
1125 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92106