“By George I Think They’ve Got It”

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Halibut Ceviche (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Halibut Ceviche (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

George’s California Modern offers an upscale, contemporary environment that reflects a distinct sensitivity to design, a sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance, and a stunning ocean view paired with fabulous food in a fun and energetic atmosphere.

Executive Chef Trey Foshee’s acclaimed and characteristically California cuisine is prepared with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.

“We have a great interest in the sustainability of our ingredients.  We don’t preach, but my goal is to expose people to a flavor experience they have never tried before,” said Foshee. “I want to create an exceptional dining venue for whatever level our guests are comfortable with; a beer and a steak, or an esoteric wine and a fish. We really want our guests to trust us!”

Specialty cocktail (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Specialty cocktail (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Foshee has worked with Niman Ranch for over fifteen years and uses Monterey Seafood in San Francisco as well as Pacific Shellfish, Chesapeake Fish Company and Catalina Offshore locally.  For the freshest in organic produce, Foshee visits Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe on a regular basis.

“I can’t imagine being a chef in San Diego and not having a relationship with them,” he said. “They have some of the best produce in the country, yet won’t sell to the big names no matter how hard they try to get them to ship; we are the luckiest chefs!”

Since the menu is based solely on local and seasonal ingredient, Foshee doesn’t have signature dishes that constantly remain on the menu.

“We do have seasonal signatures; things that may be fleeting on our menu, but tend to come back,” he said. “Each plate we serve has the potential to be the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth, not only because of its great ingredients, but because it’s been handled with skill, care, and no ego.”

Strawberry Figs from Chino Farms (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Strawberry Figs from Chino Farms (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

On the advice of our attentive waiter, my husband and I started our evening with a drink from experienced mixologist Frankie Thaheld. While he enjoyed the Bee Sting with kumquat, ginger, lemongrass and honey, I sipped and savored the Violet Sunset with Belvedere, blueberry, mint and lemon. From California varietals to international selections, the wine list is open to cultural influences from all corners of civilization. Choose from wines that maintain the center, explore the esoteric or carry a cult status.

An absolutely luscious signature appetizer that makes its way back to the menu when the season allows is the Strawberry Figs from Chino Farms with goats cheese, olive-oil, arugula and balsamic. Equally delicious is the Halibut Ceviche with avocado, citrus, jalapeno, cilantro, cardamom oil and Foshee’s unique take on “Fish Tacos” with yellow fin tuna, fried California avocado and corn nuts. Of course the Italian in me couldn’t resist every bite of the seared Beef Carpaccio with artichoke-watercress salad, truffle aioli and a levain crisp.

Dinner creations that truly satisfy include Seared Local Yellowtail with ragout of artichoke, spring onion, shelling bean and tomato, basil pesto and the Colorado Lamb Chops with braised shoulder stuffed zucchini, panisse, cherry tomato-black olive-mint jus and yogurt. Other popular favorites include the Niman Ranch 28 day dry aged Cote de Boeuf for two with roasted tomato-goats cheese panade, onion-mustard jam, smoked garlic, spinach, red wine sauce or the Basil Stuffed Organic Chicken Breast with creamed Chino Farms corn, Basque peppers, prosciutto, roasted chicken jus.

Olive Oil Cake (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Olive Oil Cake (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

For dessert, don’t miss the Olive Oil Cake with Chino Farms strawberries, yogurt pearls, candied black olives and strawberry sauce. For your chocolate fix try the Warm Chocolate Tart with honey roasted peanut crunch, chocolate fudge sauce, cocoa nib streusel and caramel peanut ice cream.

George’s will be celebrating their restaurant’s 25th anniversary this year. With a more casual bistro menu, the Ocean Terrace has the region’s best rooftop dining, while George’s Bar gives casual diners a choice of inside or outside. Reservations and gift cards are available online.

George’s at the Cove
1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla

Maria Desiderata Montana is an award-winning food and wine journalist, editor, and published author based in San Diego. She gained an appreciation of European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in Calabria, Italy. Visit her website at www.sandiegofoodfinds.com.

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