What’s behind the ‘Red Door’?

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We decided to have our Valentines day meal a few days late in order to avoid the crazy rush that is the day of love… and my hubby picked a great spot called the Red Door in the Mission Hills area of San Diego.  Overall I think this is actually one of my top 10 meals ever!  Great food, wonderful service (thanks to David!) and we had an excellent time.  Definitely left happy.

 We started with the crostini, which were amazing.  The filet was sweet and saucy, the goat cheese creamy, the jalapeno and microgreens lent a bit of heat and the jam and aioli somehow brought it all together.  Although it was a special dinner, we still wanted to be somewhat budget friendly, which lead us to arrive at the early hour of 4:30pm.  Yep, we are apparently old fogies, but we wanted to get our first couple of rounds of drinks on happy hour, which ends at 5 in the dining room, but 6 at the bar.

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Michael had the Pinot Noir and enjoyed it (especially for the $5 happy hour price!) and I decided to take a trip down the wild side and try the Red Door Julep, promising bourbon, basil and balsamic reduction…  well, I could definitely taste the bourbon but they used Red Basil, which looks nice but did not impart any detectable taste.  I couldn’t taste the balsamic either, and ended up asking for a Prom Night instead, and that was definitely amazing.  I guess I just need to embrace my girlie-drink side.
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 I just couldn’t help but order another appetizer when I saw this.  I am not one to go crazy for a single dish, but this was amazing.  Somehow both creamy and light, I will definitely be back to have this again.  *Excuse the smears on the plate below… couldn’t wait for a picture!  We dug in too quick.

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Time to pick some entrees… Michael went with these delicious meatballs.  They were well caramelized on the outside but still soft inside with none of the dense-qualities that so many meatballs have these days. image

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And finally, for me I went with something that looked to be out of the box.  The green pasta and the sweet butternut squash were great together.  The pasta had a very nice texture, still with a nice bite.  If it were me I might throw something in that had a different texture for crunch in the middle, but overall a pretty good dish.  Sadly the biggest disappointment here was that the fillings weren’t HOT.  The plate and the top was HOT but the filling was just warm enough that I didn’t send it back.  This could just be a timing thing for that night, so it wouldn’t stop me from encouraging others to give this a try!

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imageOverall we had a wonderful evening and I know I’ll be back to try the happy hour menu soon!  I also saw they have a few fun events, like tuesday night burgers paired with brews and half price wine mondays, so I will keep an eye out for those too!

 

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