For the first time in my life, I live in a city big enough to have Off-Broadway shows and a secured stop on touring schedules. I’ve seen two musicals downtown at the San Diego Civic Theatre – the comedy Avenue Q, and If/Then starring Idina Menzel. I really enjoyed the message of If/Then and the heavenly sound of Idina Menzel’s voice. She is flawless.
The Civic Theatre is owned by the city and operates as the region’s largest and most attended performing arts venue. The community theater has nearly 3,000 seats and has hosted performances including opera, classical music, dance, comedy, contemporary music and Broadway. You can regularly see shows there presented by the San Diego Opera, Broadway San Diego, La Jolla Music Society and California Ballet Company. I hope to make it down there in December to catch “The Nutcracker” by the California Ballet, which I associate with childhood Christmases past.
For dinner and a show, head to nearby Osetra The Fishhouse for fresh seafood, named after one of the most high-end black caviars available. They serve fresh fish caught daily, but also offer beef, pasta and salads for those who don’t like to get fishy. Osetra is the only restaurant in California that has a 3-story wine tower with flying wine “angels” who collect your bottle of choice. Since their wine list has more than 3,000 bottles, the restaurant also uses a former money safe from the building’s previous bank tenant to store their wine collection.
Start your meal off with some caviar, raw oysters and a glass of champagne. Actually, this is how pretty much *every* meal should start. For additional appetizers, try the lobster salad (lobster meat, celery aioli, avocado, tomato, red onion, mango salsa and a tempura lobster claw) or the grilled octopus (garbanzo beans, potato, leeks, citrus emulsion, pesto aioli).
I’m a big fan of lobster ravioli, and there’s has a delicious sauce made with creamy pink vodka sauce and a touch of pesto. The chilean seabass is the best entree I’ve had there, served with pomegranate reduction, fennel risotto and grilled asparagus.
The stuffed sole is another popular dish that has spinach, shrimp, crab, fresh herbs, chipotle mango coulis and ratatouille mashed potatoes. For the beef lovers, Australian and Japanese wagyu beef is available at Osetra and will not disappoint.
The dessert menu is pretty standard with classics like New York cheesecake, homemade tiramisu and flourless chocolate cake. But with such an extensive wine list, I say go for the dessert wine!
Happy hour drinks and tapas are available daily at Osetra from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and again on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight. They also have live music on the weekends during late-night happy hour. Watch those wine angels fly!