Unexpected Delights at Storyhouse Spirits

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If Storyhouse Spirits has taken one misstep, it’s their name. Putting “Spirits” in the name makes it far too easy to think of Storyhouse as a distillery and overlook it as an incredible restaurant, a destination for dining. Their delay in getting their own spirits bottled and served has been their window of opportunity to help San Diego realize that their food is sensational even without the distillery concept to set them apart from other restaurants.

Executive Chef Nick Pauleiro has created a menu of masterpieces. There may not be one distinct “style” of food, but each dish showcases an incredible attention to detail along with a made-from-scratch dedication you would not necessary expect from a distillery.

For an Argentinian flair, try the house-cured Sirloin Steak served over chimichurri. The steak is crispy on the outside but tender enough to cut with a butter knife. The sweet onion jam and creme fraiche balance out the dish. Pair it with a New Fashioned cocktail, rye whiskey with cherry, lemon and range liqueurs. Or try the locally sourced, pan seared halibut, served with piri piri sauce on top of a cauliflower mash.

Storyhouse Spirits, Courtesy Photo

There are also plenty of options to nosh on while sampling their cocktails, such as their happy hour-only pretzel. The housemade Bavarian style pretzel is served warm with a delicious beer cheese dipping sauce and two type of mustard. Brace yourself when picking up the pretzel – it’s much heavier than an ordinary soft pretzel! The dough is parboiled in a mixture of salt, sugar, and baking powder then baked in their wood-fired oven. Chef Nick uses brown sugar in the dough which weighs it down further.

Storyhouse Spirits, Courtesy Photo

If you’re prepared to have your mind blown, try the Duck Mac & Cheese, which uses duck three ways to create the decadent dish. The duck confit topping the dish, obviously, and then duck fat blended into the Muenster cheese sauce to give it a rich and creamy texture, plus duck fat to toast the bread crumbs sprinkled on top. Pair it with a glass of Champagne that cuts through the heaviness of the dish.

Gin and Vodkas will be released in early May and Whiskeys will be released in mid-summer. In the meantime, sip on their Gin Smash, a light and refreshing cocktail for summer that tops citrusy gin with lemon and La Criox.

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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