San Diego is having somewhat of a restaurant renaissance. Although there are comfort foods that I crave when I’m home—Board and Brew chicken club, Pannikin breakfast bagel, Souplantation—I have never thought of my hometown as a “food city.” But recently, lots of interesting restaurants have been sprouting up in my hood. My momma took me out to a new place called Cucina Enoteca, just down the street from my house, that took over the Chevy’s where the majority of my childhood memories took place. The space is large, yet somehow managed to be completely full—eclectically decorated, with incredible attention to detail, and a nod to the neighborhood horse-racing culture. We had to poach a table in the communal area for a while, but it made for great people-watching and cocktail sipping.
We started with my personal favorite dish of the evening—the polenta board with pork cheek, served just like that. On a board, creamy polenta spread out and the stew-like pork cheek ladled on top.
Next came the prosciutto and burrata plate, which was gorgeous. Among everything else we ordered it sort of got lost in the shuffle, but you really can’t go wrong with some beautiful heirlooms and milky burrata.
For our main course, we ordered a duck dish that I would never expect my mother to order, but she loves it. Tender, rich, and simple.
After these three dishes, we decided to go from entree back to appetizer, and per the recommendation of our server, we ordered the octopus with mushrooms. Perfectly cooked (which is tricky) with a little char on the tentacle, and the mushrooms complemented the flavor and texture perfectly.
And after all that, we were finally (almost) full. Some lovely gentlemen sitting next to us offered us a taste of their apple compote-filled donut holes with dark chocolate sauce, and being the well-mannered ladies we are, graciously
shoved them in our pie holes accepted, which allowed us to sample one of the other desserts that caught our eye, a caramel budino pudding with roasted peanuts on top.
Thank you for a delicious meal, momma! Can’t wait to try more San Diego treats with you.