Il Dandy - Banker's Hill, San Diego
Il Dandy specializes in Calabrian cuisine from the south of Italy. Our meal was excellent! I highly recommend this place! We started with the house-made bread and I had a great cocktail (Il Freddo). For an appetizer, we split an amazing dish of roasted sunchokes and mushrooms. This was really a stand-out item: the sunchokes were tender and nutty; the mushrooms rich and creamy. For main courses, my friend had snapper cooked in parchment paper (en papilotte) and I had a creamy risotto topped with toasted almonds. I know from experience risotto is difficult to make. This was excellent! For dessert, I had a pumpkin souffle with creme anglaise and house-made ice cream on the side. The souffle was piping hot and the waiter poured the creme sauce table-side which cooled it. This is the kind of dish that makes me thankful to go out. It is imaginative and also technically difficult to make. Definitely not the type of thing I would EVER be able to make at home.
The prices were reasonable. Our total tab was $103 (not including tip) for our meal of: bread with olive oil, a cocktail, appetizer, two entrees and one dessert. It is a very attractive restaurant and has a patio overlooking Laurel Street.
The location is a short walk from Balboa Park. We actually parked behind Spreckels Auditorium and walked about 15 minutes to get to the restaurant. We enjoyed night views of the Park on the way back.
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