Review: Spread in San Diego

September 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am so glad that I decided to try this place.

Located on an unassuming block on University Ave., you’d more than likely miss Spread if you happened to walk past. The food experience begins via the long-winded translation of the terse menu, and takes place in a hip dining room boasting Stockholm design elements. There may have even been a DJ booth in the corner! The menu options were scant -probably a byproduct of being a Tuesday night- as were the descriptions: pasta w. brussels sprout and zucchini in heirloom tomato sauce read as ‘spaghetti’, but quality scant just may be Spread’s charm.

1st course –> Bruschetta w. grape tomatoes: Syrupy vinegar and grape tomatoes, seasoned w. 18 spices on well-cooked bread: not dry, not hard, and most importantly possessing the satisfying baked-with-a-healthy-amount-of-oil chew.

2nd course –> Cauliflower fritti: Reminiscent of popcorn chicken coating w. a spicy sweet n’ sour sauce covering the tender cauliflower, which was cooked to the consistency of potato. This dish was definitely the star of the evening.

3rd course –> Gnocchi (originally meant to be a spaghetti, but the chef replaced the option with an eggless gnocchi for us): The gnocchi was tossed w. brussels sprout and zucchini in an heirloom tomato sauce. It was a good dish, but not great, missing the mark on the main course heartiness factor by a bit. The tomato sauce could have been great with a slight kick of spice and a heartier stock of tomatoes.

Dessert course –> House special spread w. assorted fruits: This pb/white-chocolate spread is Spread’s specialty. The dish is a light chaser to a wonderful meal, but nothing to write home about. I was expecting a full on fondue, which would have been awesome. The spread, however, is great and I would recommend buying jars to have at home on toast, or even as a cupcake filling.

On the whole, the Spread three course meal is really one of the best vegetarian multi-course restaurant meals I’ve had in a while, right up there with Millenium in SF, however they need to provide a more substantial dessert option to satiate the sweet tooth and turn patrons away completely enamored. I am dying to try the Sunday supper, and also to head back in the winter when the season change inspires a fresh menu.

Spread is located at 2879 University Ave. in San Diego. Open Tues-Sun, 6pm-close.

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