the brigantine / coronado – san diego, ca

As a San Diego native I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve never dined at the Brigantine before! It’s a local chain of seafood restaurants and for whatever reason… I just never went. Probably due to the fact that the most of the people I hang out with are opposed to seafood for some ungodly reason. Oh, little sea creatures, come fill my belly with your delicious ways!

Ahem, you can just ignore me.

So, I was invited to come dine at the restaurant recently and I took Laura with me, since she’s my one seafood-faring friend who lives nearby. We met up at the Coronado location for a night of seafood treats!

[brown bread (wheat, rye & molasses) and sourdough]

Though we did start our seafood adventure with bread. I am not one who turns down bread. In fact I’m having a cheese and bread party very soon for my birthday, because, well… why not?! Bread and cheese, my two great loves. Mmm.

This complimentary bread was very tasty – served fresh and warm with a little vial of butter. The sourdough was crisp and the brown bread was delicious with that touch of sweetness from the molasses.

[lemon press – lemonade and ginger beer]

I wasn’t in the mood for any “hard” drinks, so I opted for this Lemon Press drink – a mixture of lemonade and ginger beer (or ginger ale… I can’t remember which, fairly sure ginger beer). Really delicious and crisp drink – a tad on the sweet side, but not overbearing.

Overbearing sweetness is so… overbearing.

Stop rolling your eyes at me.

[virgin mango margarita]

Laura wasn’t in the mood for the strong drinks either, probably because I wasn’t, and opted for this virgin Mango Margarita. I had a little sip of this frothy looking drink – had a good punch of flavor and was definitely very mango tasting. A bit sweeter than my Lemon Press. Maybe a touch too sweet.

[prince edward island mussels and littleneck clams in garlic wine broth]

We started off with appetizers after trying not to eat that whole basket of bread (it was hard). We started with this mixture of mussels and clams in a garlic wine broth. You have the option, too, of getting just clams or just mussels, if so desire. We so desired to have both though.

The clams and mussels were very nice with a tenderness and a slight chew. The garlic wine broth was a little on the weak side – I would have preferred a richer tasting broth with more garlic – but I’m kind of a garlic fiend. It was still satisfying though in it’s own way (though maybe I prefer Anthology’s version of this dish a bit more).

[crab & shrimp fondue with garlic toast]

Oh wow, I ordered something with cheese in it? What a surprise!


If you put something with a lot of cheese on your menu, I’m gonna order it. I think I have a special stomach just for cheese.

The crab and shrimp fondue was really a no brainer.

[ooey gooey cheesy goodness]

This sucker was rich, too. But so, so good! I’m not sure exactly what all of the cheeses are that went into this, but think of it along the lines of a spinach and artichoke dip – lots of rich cream cheese but with shrimp and crab instead of veggies. Nice, golden, bubbly and crunch top and the baguette slices were the perfect size for dipping and crunching. Very delicious.

[cup of new england style clam chowder]

I had to try a cup ‘ chowda. Had to!

Here’s what I think about chowder (and soups in general): please don’t put huge chunks of celery in it. Please chop that celery up into smaller pieces! I don’t like eating big chunks of celery. The only time I will do it is if I’m eating hot wings or you put peanut butter on it and make me eat it.

Okay, I feel better.

Suffice it to say, this wasn’t my favorite chowder ever. It did though have some nice large clam pieces, but a little heavy on the potatoes (and large celery chunks). Definitely needed to stir it up to get a better distribution of clams – I almost thought there weren’t any… but they were all at the bottom of the cup.

[parmesan crusted sand dabs with truffle fries and asparagus]

We also tried new things – as in, things I’ve never even heard of – in the form of Sand Dabs.

The sand dabs were very thin with a beautiful Parmesan crust on both sides of the fish. This resulted in a tender, crispy crunchy fish which I ended up liking a whole lot. The Parmesan added a lovely seasoning to the fish and best of all, it didn’t have that weird fishy taste that can sometimes occur when you’re not eating the best fish.

The truffle fries were also very good – I kept eating those suckers for way too long…

[scallops rockefeller with rice pilaf and mashed potatoes]

Laura and I shared the Sand Dabs and these Scallops Rockefeller for a mixed plate of food. Ever since Vegas we’re totally into sharing all of our plates!

[intense scallop closeup]

The scallops here were quite large! They had the perfect top and bottom sear and were so sweet and tender – truly melt-in-your-mouth worthy. I loved the scallops! Though I didn’t quite love the Rockefeller topping.

It was a blend of spinach, cheeses and bacon but it tasted really heavily of mayonnaise… which I just did not dig. It almost made the sweet scallops taste bitter and I ended up scraping off most of the topping and just enjoyed the scallop alone. Honestly the scallop didn’t even need a topping – they were simply delicious all on their own.

[decadent chocolate sour cream toffee cake – with toffee-laced chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream]

Dessert is almost never skipped. Of the choices, the dessert with the word “decadent” right in it kept catching my eye.

“Oh, hmm, mud pie.. or cheesecake.. or apple crisp.. or DECADENT chocolate sour cream toffee cake.”

What would you choose?

This very rich and intense chocolate cake has a chocolate ganache topping… which is really needed for the dessert since the cake was a but dry all by it’s lonesome. The ganache helps transform the dessert into decadence and I probably would not have liked it if it hasn’t been on top. There are hints of toffee – not a ton – and it ended up coming together nicely. While it wouldn’t make my top ten “dreamiest desserts ever” list, I did still enjoy it and though it was a more unique item on a list of rather “safe” desserts.

All in all I ended up enjoying most of the food we had at the Brigantine. The Coronado location is also in such a lovely spot, very close to the Hotel del Coronado and just a walk away from the other sights and sounds in beautiful Coronado. If you haven’t visited one of the six Brigantine’s locations, then you must go and treat yourself for a night out to some tasty little sea creatures seafood.

Brigantine Seafood
(Multiple Locations in San Diego)
1333 Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118

Brigantine Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I was invited to dine at the restaurant from Alernative Stratgies PR company. Our meal was complimentary. I was not paid for this review. All of my opinions are my own.

9 thoughts on “the brigantine / coronado – san diego, ca

    1. It was pretty darn delicious! I read about the renovated one in Del Mar but Coronado seemed like a good choice, too. It’s in such a pretty spot next to the Hotel del! I highly recommend that crab &shrimp fondue dip if you go… so yummy.

  1. Haha I’m the same way with celery, too – unless it’s loaded with pb I won’t eat it. The scallops look so delicious! I’ll have to try this out when the non-seafood-eater-boyfriend is away, haha 😛

    1. There should never be large chunks of celery in anything, ugh. Silly, non-seafood eating boyfriends! I have one of those, too 🙂

  2. Very nice selections you had!

    The last time I was at a Brigantine, it was after watching the god-awful Justin Bieber movie last year (WITH my daughter, not by myself and not by choice). Sadly, that Brigantine location has since closed (Eastlake). Haven’t been to the Coronado location but it seems like it have the prettiest views.

    1. Haha I don’t think you’d ever see that movie by yourself, CC! The Del Mar one probably has nice views, too. I hadn’t been to Coronado in awhile though, great place to take out of towners, too.

  3. If I ever get to the Western side of the US, I want to go here just to try the crab and shrimp fondue. That looks so good! I guess time to start looking online for something similar.

  4. I actually love going there. It reminds me of going out to a seafood restaurant growing up (brown bread!). The food and the drinks can be a great deal, too, if you hit the happy hour. Glad you liked it!

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