Last weekend I was invited to check out Osteria Panevino to preview their upcoming San Diego Restaurant Week menu. San Diego Restaurant Week starts Sunday September 24th and runs until October 1st, 2017. San Diego Restaurant Week is a great way to sample a restaurant for a great price!
This year I was paired up with Osteria Panevino which is located in the Gaslamp Quarter. I made an early reservation (at 5pm) to avoid any crowds. Jake and I actually managed to snag street parking less than two blocks away from the restaurant. I was astounded!
Osteria Panevino had a wonderful restaurant week menu available for us and I’m glad there were two of us so we could sample more items off of the menu! Osteria Panevino’s three course dinner offering is $40 per person.
After speaking with the general manager on what items to order, she brought us out a basket of warm, crusty bread with delicious herb butter. The bread had a nice outer crunch that I enjoyed. I enjoyed the bread a little too much. I was so full at the end of the meal! I suspect it was because I ate one too many slices of yummy bread and butter…
I decided to treat myself to a little glass of Moscato wine [$10]. I had no idea I would get my own mini bottle! I tend to drink moscatos for their sweeter flavor. This little bottle ended up being almost two glasses of wine!
Jake decided to go for the Pork Belly as his appetizer. Doesn’t this almost look like an entree all by itself? It sure had a lot going on with the potatoes, broccolini, and mushrooms all in the mix surrounding the pork belly. Honestly I thought it would have been better to present the pork belly on it’s own as it’s a bit too filling as an appetizer. Jake didn’t quite love this dish. He didn’t think the pork belly was tender enough and didn’t dig the extra veggies around it. I had a couple of bites and thought the pork belly tasted good in one bite, and a little overdone in another bite.
For my appetizer I tried the Bruschettone Burrata. This arrived on a long piece of toasted bread covered in tomatoes, capers, burrata cheese, and fresh basil. I figured I would try this as is, knowing I don’t care for capers, just in case maybe I decided I like capers now. Yeah, after eating this, I still don’t enjoy the briny peppery whatever-that-flavor-is thing going on with capers so that kind of killed the tomato part of the dish for me and I ended up just eating the cheese with the bread. The cheese I liked. Mmmm. Cheeeeeeese!
The entrees faired much better than the appetizers for us. Out of Osteria Panevino’s three entree offerings, Jake went with the Short Rib. They added the extra shaving of black truffles [+$10] to his dish and I was in love with the truffles. I stole a few off of his plate and added them to my dish! The short ribs were incredibly tender! They were soft and moist; fall of the bone good. They had an incredibly rich and hearty stewed flavor that we both enjoyed.
The other thing that was great about this plate was the lemongrass polenta on the side! I’ve never seen lemongrass added to a polenta before and quite frankly the flavor is stunning. It adds a great depth of flavor to the polenta. It was creamy, warm, and comforting and I snagged a few bites of tasty polenta!
While Osteria Panevino is known for their fresh house made pasta, I decided to go for the Spigola all Aragosta which is Chilean sea bass, lobster bisque, and asparagus risotto. Some Australian lobster tail meat [+$15] was added to my dish for a little bit of crazy extra flair.
The Chilean sea bass was incredibly tender and flaky. It tasted a tad fishy to me. I’ve had it at other restaurants where it had no “fishy” flavor at all, but this didn’t bother me too much. Just something I noticed. But I did enjoy the white flaky fish especially with the creamy, rich sauce and that deliciously wonderful risotto! The asparagus bits are mostly hidden underneath and added a bright flavor to the dish. The risotto was so creamy and cheesy – delightful! The lobster chunks were large and plentiful and I did not even remotely come close to finishing this dish. I saved the rest for lunch the next day (and gobbled it up easily and happily).
Osteria Panevino offers two different desserts for San Diego Restaurant Week. We got one of each. First was the Tiramisu. I liked this at first but then I made the mistake of eating the second dessert and quickly forgot all about the poor tiramisu. The flavor of this one became kind of bitter after tasting the sweeter second dessert.
This Limoncello Cake really hit the dessert spot for me! One bite of it and I was HOOKED! It had a superb lemon flavor. It was light, airy, and had a great creamy top and middle. Once I had a bite of this it to was too hard to go back to the tiramisu, which tasted bitter after a bite of this limoncello cake. Sorry, tiramisu!
Jake and I enjoyed a very pleasant evening sitting on the outdoor patio and people watching while we enjoyed our dinner. This menu is well worth the $40 price tag – you great a great three course meal for a much lower price! I hope you’ll consider checking out Osteria Panevino during this year’s San Diego Restaurant Week!
722 5th Street
San Diego, CA
Disclaimer: Our meal was complimentary. I was not further compensated and all opinions stated here are my own.