French Market Grille, a charming sister restaurant to downtown San Diego's Hexagone, celebrates the rich culinary heritage of France with an elegant spread of braised meats, local market vegetables, Mediterranean seafood, and tasty French and Californian wines. The impressive bill of fare treats guests to bistro lunches of salad niçoise and eggplant sandwiches, dinners of roasted rack of lamb and coq au vin, and desserts of crème brulée and apple tarte tatin. It also delights with its bouillabaisse—a fish stew that the San Diego Union Tribune once called “too perfect to pass up.”
Guests sip Beaujolais amid the flowers and sunshine of the brick-walled patio or curl up to the interior's crackling fireplace for a romantic dinner date or even more romantic business lunch.
Though it’s firmly planted in San Diego soil, Gourmet on 5th mimics the epicurean traiteur shops that pepper European roadsides. The store empowers its visitors to eat healthy, and at the same time helps them do so without having to dawdle over a hot stove or buy out a local vegetable farm. Brimming with French influence, Gourmet on 5th’s blackboard menu changes seasonally. It features full meals, including lamb shanks, duck confit, and coq au vin. But the store also has nutritious bites for on-the-move munchers, such as crepes and signature sandwiches, along with energizing drinks, such as espresso concoctions and exotic teas.
Hexagone takes its name from France's distinctive six-sided shape, celebrating its equally distinctive cuisine with a menu that seamlessly blends treasured traditions with contemporary influences. Diners dig their forks into tender beef bourguignon and sirloin, Muscovy duck, and seabass draped in rich bearnaise sauce and vegetable ragout. Appetizers and bistro lunches whet palates with morsels of mushroom ravioli, salad nicoise, escargot, and mussels mariniere elegantly plated with leafy garnish.
Fine French and Californian wines pair with any meal. The décor cultivates a refined atmosphere, with its linen-clad tables, sheer, flowing drapes that allow sunlight to filter through, and walls clad in French black-light posters.
Dobson's Bar and Restaurant is a hidden treasure in the heart of Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter.
For the last 26 years, this has been the hot spot for business lunches and frequented by many local and nationwide celebrities.
Within a classic '50s diner façade, the chefs at California Crepes spread house-made batter thin, creating light, fluffy enclosures for a variety of fresh fruits, savory meats, and breakfast fare. The light treats can be augmented with the shop’s selection of gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches, gelato, and coffee, offering a decadent lunchtime feast without the hazard of seasoning dishes with gold leaf. Patrons can nibble on the filled sweets during tête-à-têtes in the garden patio or watch the creation process unfold assembly-line-style at catered events.
The WineSellar and Brasserie brings together a bold bistro bill of fare to accompany its versatile vino cellar. Atop white tablecloths, artfully arranged plates of contemporary French lunch and dinner offerings rest, ready for oral adoption. Palate patrons may initiate noshing with The WineSellar's tuna tartare coupled with avocado, dijon-mustard-seed quenelle, and a mascarpone chantilly ($15) or by sipping on the butternut-squash soup ($9 for a bowl), harvested from the rare butter-seed bush and squashed with French tennis racquets.