Next time you have a hankerin’ for swordfish from Block Island, scallops from Georges Bank or Yellowfin Tuna from the Caribbean, there’s no need to charter a jet to satisfy your craving for seafood sensations like these. Instead, those fortunate enough to be in “America’s Finest City” can just head downtown to Eddie V’s San Diego location—adjacent to the waterfront Seaport Village dining and shopping complex—for seafood fare in extraordinary form.
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Serving decidedly fresh prime seafood from both the Atlantic and Pacific procured from pristine waters around the world that are delivered daily, including highly prized seasonal items, Eddie V’s San Diego can turn an average dining out experience into an unforgettable occasion. There, guests can expect artfully prepared dishes from a fine dining menu influenced by modern Asian, classic American and southern cuisine, aptly elevating not only prime seafood but steaks as well.
Upon walking into the chic eatery one would never know the location was once the hardened headquarters of the San Diego Police Department. Today, the space is warm and inviting with a charismatic vibe that draws you in, with each space in the split layout rife with art and fine furnishings befitting an upscale restaurant. In the back of the house, commanding the kitchen brigade is Executive Chef Cynthia Garcia who, after graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2007, subsequently showcased her talent at Harris Ranch and Season’s 52. Garcia has quickly risen through the culinary ranks. Initially hired as Sous Chef for Eddie V’s San Diego, in 2015 Garcia was named Executive Chef for the locale—one of twelve this brand boasts across the U.S. Garcia’s current culinary endeavor is to ensure all dishes at Eddie V’s San Diego are prepared in a way that elevates natural flavors and are presented in classic fine-dining fashion, where the proteins take center stage. And, with respect to proteins, while this restaurant is revered for seafood they also serve up an incredible array of USDA prime steaks that are hand-cut from fine 28-day aged, center-cut beef.
Whether you opt for surf or turf, Eddie V’s San Diego also has your libations covered with an award-winning wine list featuring more than 300 selections from regions around the world. If cocktails are more your thing, they also serve many that harken back to the prohibition era that continues to influence how we drink today. Poured with precision, the tasty elixirs are served tableside or in the V Lounge amid the stylish rhythms of locally and nationally acclaimed live jazz and blues musicians who play seven nights a week, proffering a memorable evening.
During my own visit to Eddie V’s, I was fortunate to sample a wide range of options from the menu. Among them were a few of the extremely popular “fan favorite” appetizers and sides, including the flaky Jumbo Lump Crab Cake jam-packed with a full half-pound of jumbo lump crab meat. This was expertly sautéed Maryland style to a gorgeous golden brown and served with a spicy chive remoulade that delivered tolerable heat with just the right amount of spice suitable for most palates.
Another resounding hit was the Cold Water Lobster Tail that featured a thin, crispy and well-seasoned savory batter ensconcing the super-sweet lobster meat within. Fresh lemon, drawn butter and honey mustard were fitting accompaniments. As good as this all was, by far my personal favorite among the starters, and perhaps the menu at large, was the Batter Fried Oysters—crispy fried morsels of meat topped with a fragrant light curry sauce, fresh cilantro and zesty pickled Asian cucumbers. All of this goodness then perfectly perched atop crisped lotus chips, resulting in a kaleidoscope of tastes and textures.
From there, the soup and salad course also aptly delivered. The Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder with smoked bacon and potatoes had a lovely velvety consistency and achieved a nice balance with the chunky comestibles contained therein. The rich and robust Shrimp and Crab Chopped Salad with avocado, hearts of palm, tomato, mushrooms, candied walnuts and Maytag blue cheese was also super satisfying—enough so to be a meal unto itself. Another fav among our group was the Wild Mushroom Salad warm goat cheese, cherry tomato and arugula tossed in a Champagne vinaigrette. Light and bright, this is a perfect salad dish to have prior to a heavier beef entrée.
Speaking of entrées, our party opted to share a few selections, which included the Jumbo Gulf Shrimp grilled “oreganata style” with fresh Jonah crab. The eatery’s mélange of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic, butter, seasonings and delicate crab meat crowned five sizeable prawns that were cooked to perfection, with all flavor and moisture duly maintained. Also impressive was the side dish ordered to accompany this entrée—Grilled Asparagus with just the right amount of char that was topped with a shirred (baked) egg and sprinkled with crispy prosciutto bits.
For its part, the 22-ounce USDA Prime Bone-In Ribeye was a force to be reckoned with. The sizeable steak was simply though well-seasoned and had a very nice sear whereby the outer crust was beautifully caramelized. Well-cooked throughout, much of the fat was rendered and the marbling, along with the bone, facilitated a mighty fine-tasting steak for purists. Served alongside were three seared sea scallops topped with bright citrus and herbs. Another surf and turf selection sampled was the Filet Medallions served Shrimp Oscar style with asparagus and hollandaise. Sitting atop the fresh veggies was the lean and buttery meat, piled high with sweet shrimp that glistened with a fairly light version of the classic cream sauce. Chopped chives added a nice pop of color to the plating.
For dessert, my party opted for another fan favorite—the house-made “Bananas Foster” Butter Cake served with butter pecan ice cream—for which mere words cannot do justice. Any one of the components would have been an individual win but, in combination, the result of this tantalizing rum and brown sugar-saturated trifecta overwhelms…but in the best possible way. It’s an impossibly rich, moist, sticky, creamy and downright addicting ending you won’t soon forget.
Whether you’re going out for a delicious night on the town or marking a special event for which only fine fare will do, do consider savoring the moment at Eddie V’s San Diego where pristine seafood reigns supreme—and then some.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
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