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Bertrand at Mister A’s Valentines Dinner

On Valentines Day, CP and I had originally planned on spending the whole day together but we both had too much work to get done.  So we both begrudgingly went into the office that day.  However, CP had planned a wonderful dinner which was a surprise until a couple weeks before when he told me.  I don’t know who broke down first: me in asking and curiosity taking over, or him because he really wanted me to know.  Either way, he was able to get an early dinner reservation at one of the restaurants with the arguably best view in San Diego: Bertrand at Mister A’s.  The reservation was much earlier than I would normally eat dinner, 4:45pm, but it was just perfect to watch the sun set!

It was our first time at the restaurant and apparently, according to CP, he had been trying to get a reservation here for other Valentines Day which fills up quite quickly.  Once we step foot into the dining room, we both knew why.  The whole west and south side of the dining room had a panoramic view of downtown San Diego and the harbor.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The restaurant must definitely factor in the view into their prices because you are getting superb food and the best view of the city.

For Valentines Day, Mister A’s had a separate pre-fixed menu:

Once we decided on the items for the night, we moved to the bread:

The selections for the evening were sliced sourdough and baguette.  This came with room temperature butter.  It was perfect for spreading onto the soft and tasty bread.  I normally refrain from eating too much from the bread basket, but the fact that the nice, warm bread with soft butter melting just right…it was hard.

The amuse bouche helped me break away from the bread.  It was a small, savory pancake topped with a slice of smoked salmon, creme fresh, and capers.  A nice play on lox and bagel.  I really enjoyed it and wished we had more, but then…I suppose that the amuse bouche did its job! 🙂

First course, my appetizer was the House Made Maryland Blue Crab Ravioli with Crawfish Tarragon Sauce And Leek Fondue.  The appetizer was actually quite generous in portion.  There were 5 decent size raviolis stuffed with blue crab meat and no fillers!  It was straight up blue crab and the sweetness of the crab played wonderfully with the crawfish tarragon sauce.  In the middle was a pile of chopped, sauteed leeks.  A perfect bite had a little of everything together and it was absolutely delicious.  The raviolis were cooked just enough and the shellfish as well.

CP’s appetizer of Crispy Baby Calamari And Fresh Black Tiger Shrimp drizzled with Roasted Pepper Oil.  This came with a side of Basil Aioli Sauce.  Ok…first off, this dish looked great!  However, it goes against 1 of the 2 rules I have with eating which is that I cannot eat something that is still staring back at me.  I’ve said it many times that if it wasn’t for the fact that I love animal proteins so much, that I would be a vegetarian.  I don’t like to see how the animal that is on my plate was once alive.  I know they were once alive, but when I want to eat them…that’s the last thing I want to think about!

Anyways…back to the dish!  CP loved his appetizer.  I tried the calamari and loved it too.  However, I wonder why they pair it up with this aioli sauce?  I think it would have been just as good without the sauce, but that doesn’t mean I did not think the sauce was not good either!  I was just wonder…

For my entree, I had the Pan Seared Maine Diver Sea Scallops with Saffron Emulsion and Bell Pepper Polenta.  I apologize for the bad photo…I realized it doesn’t really do much for this dish as I was cataloging my pictures.  Let’s just go from the main to the supporting players:  The scallops were seared and cooked perfectly so it was not tough or chewy (nothing worse than that, it gets me real angry when I get an overcooked scallop).  However, the downfall to this wonderfully cooked shellfish was that it was over salted!!  I was so sad that I kept hoping it was just one scallop that got over salted, but alas it was not!  Also, I think the foam topping it was made from basil or parsley and it was not necessary in my opinion.

The supporting polenta on the other hand actually the unexpected surprise.  It was smooth with just a little texture from the grains of cornmeal, mixed with the saffron emulsion, it was absolute, pure delight!  I wanted to pick up the plate at the end to lick it right off the plate.  The subtle sweetness danced like merry little lambs across my tongue!  Loved, loved it!

CP went all out and order the surf and turf: Grilled Prime Angus Beef Tenderloin “Rossini” with Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce and Maine Lobster.  Ok, even I had no idea what “Rossini” was and had to research this one.  Turns out that it’s a style of cooking that includes foie gras, truffles, and a demi-glace sauce.  This now makes perfect since as you can see, front and center: a beautifully grilled tenderloin, topped with foie gras and shaved black truffle.  Talk about decadence!  I’ve never tried foie gras and CP just couldn’t get himself to eat it, so I wasn’t going to let it go to waste!  I knew it was rich, so I grabbed a slice of baguette and ate it with that.  I was expecting myself to be torn by the taste, but found myself really liking it!  So instead, I was torn on the fact that I liked it!  Well…it is not like I will be getting this everyday so I just let myself enjoy the fatty, smooth, goodness.

I really did not try most of CP’s dish, so I took his word that he told me the lobster (all 1/2 pound of it) was sweet and delicious.  The beef was cooked to medium just as he likes it.  Oh! I did try the mashed potato stack that was with the dish.  It was mashed potatoes mixed with (oh look..) more black truffles, and sitting on top of little hash brown crisps!  At first I thought it was Parmesan, but to my surprise, it was potato!  It was seasoned just right and I really liked the idea of how it was presented.  Maybe I’ll use this one in my next dinner party ;).

Finally, as all good things must come to an end, our dessert courses were shared between CP and myself:

Red Velvet "Napoleon"

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

By far, the biggest disappointment of the whole meal.  So we had the Red Velvet “Napoleon” with Cream Cheese Mousse and Sweet Cream Gelato, and the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Where should I start with my sadness?…The “Napoleon” was just 2 slices of dry red velvet cakes with a not so stellar cream cheese mousse, topped with meringue.  The cake was much too dry and the mousse could not save it at all.  The best part of this dish?  The sweet cream gelato and even then I’ve had better.

The Macaron ice cream sandwiches came in 3 flavors (left to right): chocolate, pistachio, and raspberry (with vanilla ice cream).  Ok…first off, the macaron shells were way too thick and cakey to be a proper macaron.  A macaron should be light, airy, and moist. Yea…these were none of the above.  It was the right vehicle for the ice cream which was too icy!  UGH!  The dish kept failing at every turn!  Even the flavors of each ice cream tasted artificial and I was just over it by then.

Thank goodness for these views to save the evening!

I had a wonderful night with CP and with views like that, I can overlook little things that brought me down during the meal.  Since I had my love with me, I was literally on top of the world that evening!  Thank you love XOXO

Bertrand at Mister A’s is a great restaurant, romantic feel, impeccable service, and…hm, what was it?  Oh yea! BEST VIEWS EVER!  I would highly recommend the restaurant for very special occasions because they will treat you right.  I think this will also be a great place for lunch or brunch during the weekends!  Maybe I’ll come back later this summer to try it out again (skipping desserts this time).

Bertrand at Mister A’s
(on the 12th Floor)
2550 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103


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