France has graciously loaned three things to America: flag colors, Gerard Depardieu, and words that end with a silent but deadly x. Admire the taste of a tradition that has lasted well beyond the Statue of Liberty's original shine with today's Groupon to Cavaillon Restaurant in Santaluz. For $25, you get $50 worth of rustic Provence French cuisine prepared with authentic European techniques. Cavaillon's rich sauces and Old World tastes have won countless dining awards.
Under the Southern French tutelage of head chef and owner Philippe Verpiand, risottos dance around seared duck, roasted fish, and veal on the menu. Inaugurate a gourmet dinner with savory pommes frites in truffle oil and Parmesan ($6) or seared duck foie gras with pineapple and red-bell-pepper chutney ($19). (Verpiand's foie gras, a cold variety made by poaching, won a prestigious cooking competition in 2005.) The San Diego Union-Tribune recommends Cavaillon's risotto ($21 for English peas, beech mushrooms, and asparagus; $26 for seared scallops, red beet, and pickled butternut squash), which is "quite rich, but then those amazing flavors entice you to take another taste." Other tastes include pan-roasted beef tenderloin in a red-wine demi-glace with crisp potatoes fondant ($29) and roasted Atlantic salmon served with peppers confit, gnocchi, and a broth of herbs ($22). Afterward, douse taste buds in decadent desserts, such as a $7 trio de crème brûlée.
Cavaillon weaves luscious culinary symphonies out of fresh, choice ingredients whose flavors heighten one another in gastronomic pole-vaulting extravagance. It's an elegant dining experience with warm wood tables, curtains draping the walls, and subtle, intimate lighting. This Groupon is not valid on holidays and cannot be applied toward Cavaillon's brunch.
- In the hands of a chef like Philippe Verpiand, whose new Cavaillon in the far-north San Diego neighborhood of Santaluz showcases the heights that typical French fare can reach, the everyday profiterole is transformed into a delight that grows more ravishing with each bite and, while substantial, leaves behind a trace of regret when the last drop of sauce has been carefully scraped from the plate…Verpiand opened his restaurant after serving several years as executive chef at Tapenade, and he fulfills the promises made by the earlier courses of the meal by composing desserts that earn the comment “The entire dinner was marvelous.” – David Nelson, San Diego
- The Mediterranean style of French cuisine, warmed by bright flavors of tomatoes, capers and herbs, has a sunny, casual air that makes me feel like I'm on vacation. – Maria C. Hunt, San Diego Union-Tribune
- Verpiand's subtle but decadent foie gras torchon with fig mousseline and brioche sets the tone. The pencil thin-asparagus appetizer is cooked al dente and topped with a tart port wine sauce, a poached egg and shaved black truffle. The rich, creamy purple artichoke risotto is served in a rustic crock and flavored with aged Reggiano and a complex veal jus. Sauces are exceptional here. Standout entrées include duck leg confit with savoy cabbage, yellow chanterelles and saffron foam; and the Australian barramundi with tomato-olive fondue. The clever dessert of confit tangerine pleases the eye as well as the palate: Verpiand poaches the citrus with star anise and cinnamon to give it a light, flowery flavor creating an entirely edible fruit. Served with chocolate mousse, it becomes a fruit bomb. – Gayot
Black Mountain Ranch
14701 Via Bettona
San Diego, California 92127Get Directions