The San Diego Spot For The Mad Men That Live Inside Us
Deep in the streets of downtown San Diego, you’ll find a 130 year-old blend of class and style — a soul-filled slice of urban charm and history right smack dab in the Gaslamp Quarter.
In a place said to be for the Mad Men that live inside us, you’ll want to dress the part in your dapper best and come prepared ready to sip and socialize.
When the fine folks at S&W were kind enough to welcome the There San Diego team in for a private soirée, we did just that, and were lucky enough to relish in some sample renditions of their signature menu items.
First things first — there were the cocktails. Barman Nick Goers tends to over 600 whiskeys and has put together an eclectic menu of craft beverages that include menu ingredients like apricot liqueur, rhubarb and blackberry brandy syrup.
The Dusty Rabbit, which the well-clad bar men and women are understandably becoming famous for, is made with Horchstadter’s Rye Whiskey, roasted beet and carrot juice, maple syrup and sparkling cider.
Or you can go for a classic, like the Grand Manhattan, made with Templeton Rye, Vermouth and house bitters. Sip on a beer, a flute of bubbles, a goblet of red — whatever your heart desires.
With a wet whistle, you’ll want to indulge in a bit of elegant bar food — like the calamari with nectarine reduction, pickled jalapeno and lime creme fraiche. Welsh-born chef Aaron Thomas paves the way as the culinary mastermind in the kitchen, standing at the helm and ready to lead his creative team.
Try a starter or a shared plate, like the beet salad three ways (smoked, candied and powdered) orange, and sesami tuille or the sea bass ceviche with coconut milk, lime and chia. Or perhaps, the brussels sprouts with candied meyer lemon, magical pistachio dust and a bourbon grape reduction.
Move on to salmon with tangerine rice, scallops with tequila poached cucumber or fish and chips with triple cooked fries for your entree.
While sitting back on one of the burgundy leather loveseats or plush arm chairs, you’ll notice a certain timeless feel to the libations, the bites — the space, with its the subtle and softly soothing sounds that come from the piano in the corner.
And if after one-too-many-neat cocktails, you’re looking to stay the night, rest assured knowing that is always an option. In the morning, opt for a savory dish like chicken and waffles with chicken maple gravy (or honeybaked brioche French toast with caramel strawberries, candied walnuts and apple mint if you’re craving something sweet).
Wash it town delicately with bottomless mimosas or bloody marys, and you’ll be good to go and well-fueled for a day of exploration.
If you sleep in too late, however, you can always venture downstairs for the lunch menu offerings — like Welsh meatballs or a burger with smoked cheddar, pickled shallots, romaine and garlic aioli.
Trust us when we write, you’re in for a true treat of warmth, welcome, and beautiful tastes. Cheers!