AR Valentien The Lodge at Torrey Pines Jeff Jackson Kelli Nicole Crosson A.R. Valentien
Sophisticated dining at The Lodge at Torrey Pines with views of the famous golf course.
Openings: Dinner Wed.-Sun.

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A.R. Valentien, La Jolla, CA


A.R. Valentien Restaurant Review:


Dining at A.R. Valentien transports us back to a more genteel, turn-of-the-century time. From the moment we arrive at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, an homage to the craftsman movement, we are mesmerized by the architecture, the stained glass, the ambient lighting and handcrafted furniture. Start with a drink in one of the two small alcoves of the lounge, perhaps by the copper-hooded fireplace, then wander into the cozy restaurant. (It's named after artist Albert R. Valentien, who was commissioned to paint the local flora of San Diego in the early 1900s.) In the timbered, sophisticated space, you'll find tables and semi-circular booths along the wall. Parties of up to 12 can reserve the wood-paneled private dining room. There's also a pleasant deck overlooking the pool, golf course and the ocean beyond in the distance. The restaurant knows how to cater to the tastes of hotel guests and La Jolla professionals, starting with bread service that might bring squid ink bread, speck, house-cured salmon and mostarda. Longtime executive chef Jeff Jackson and chef de cuisine Kelli Crosson's farm-fresh fare evolves based on what is in season. At dinner, order à la carte or opt for the four-course tasting menu ($75, $115 with wines). The mainstay chicken "under a brick" is sure to appear on the menu alongside offerings like butter poached Maine lobster salad or braised beef short rib with polenta. Complement your meal with California cheeses and selections from the mostly American wine list. Classic and original handcrafted cocktails are also available. Don't miss the Thursday night "Artisan's Table," where diners are seated with other epicureans and served family-style.

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