Restaurant: A.R. Valentien
Location: 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037. (858) 777-6635
Date: July 19, 2022
Cuisine: California Bistro
Rating: Solid for a hotel spot
My wife and I went for a romantic mini vacation to San Diego July of 2022 and stayed at the Iconic Lodge at Torrey Pines where we stayed just before our son was born.
It’s a lovely spot in full California style, located in La Jolla, California, just north of San Diego. The lodge is nestled in a grove of pine trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. The hotel is decorated in a Craftsman-style decor, with hardwood floors, custom furnishings, and hand-crafted details that evoke the warmth and character of a bygone era.
The Lodge is also known for its proximity to some of the most beautiful natural areas in Southern California, including Torrey Pines State Reserve, which is home to rare and endangered plant species, and miles of hiking trails. Other nearby attractions include the La Jolla Cove, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and the San Diego Zoo.
Overall, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is a stunning destination that offers a luxurious and relaxing retreat in a breathtaking natural setting.
The sunset view from the Lodge’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien. The restaurant highlights regional San Diego cuisine served in an elegant, timbered indoor-outdoor dining room overlooking the 18th hole of Torrey Pines Golf Course. Executive Chef Kelli Crosson sources only the best local provisions, and the menu changes frequently based on seasonal fare available. The restaurant takes its name from a talented early 20th-century California artist whose works are exhibited throughout the restaurant.
A favorite — can’t even remember if I brought the bottle or we bought it off the list — NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. Pale orange. High-pitched red berry, orange zest and jasmine aromas, with suave mineral and smoky lees notes adding complexity. Spicy and precise on the palate, showing very good punch to its strawberry and bitter cherry flavors. Opens up smoothly with air and picks up a bitter rhubarb quality that lingers onto the long, tightly focused finish. This bottling showed more brawny character than many past renditions of this cuvée, but with no lack of vivacity.
Stonefruit Salad. Young Lettuces, Whipped Goat Cheese, Marcona Almonds, White Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette.
Applewood Smoked Rainbow Trout. Burnt Onion Cream, Shishito Relish, Crispy Potato.
Braised Alaskan Halibut. Miso Broth, Bok Choy, Sprouting Cauliflower, Torpedo Onion, Cauliflower Mushroom.
Roasted Liberty Duck Breast and Confit Leg. Caramelized Fennel Flan, Hazelnuts, Roasted Grapes, Frisée.
Bonus of wax beans and romesco.
Cheese with Spiced Nuts and Jams. Caveman Blue. Rogue Creamery, (Cow’s Milk). Cave Aged Marisa. Carr Valley, (Sheep’s Milk). Lake Effect. Blakesville Creamery, (Goat’s Milk). Wagon Wheel. Cowgirl Creamery, (Cow’s Milk).
Beignets and candies.
Certainly a very pleasant romantic meal.