Humphreys Restaurant - media cooking class & anniversary dinner

Humphreys Restaurant is located on Shelter Island and provides California cuisine right next to the waterfront! I hadn't heard of this place until I received an invite to a media cooking class with Executive Chef Nicolas Bour.

lamb shanks at Humphreys

For the event, drinks and hors d'oeuvres started at 6pm. Dennis and I made our merry way alongside the serving tables. Here we had local grass fed lamb chops grilled to perfection!

tuna bites at Humphreys crabcakes at Humphreys

Seafood delights included tuna over seaweed salad with a little wasabi bite and meaty crab cakes sweetened by apple!

sample platter at Humphreys

One of our sample food platters. Ripe heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella kept this foodie feeling fabulously fresh while the raw vegetables were flavored by the hummus dip. A few slices of salami and cheeses rounded out the plate.

  drinks at Humphreys

As always, we like a little bit of spirits to accompany our bites. Three for the two of us sounds reasonable right?

Chef Nicolas Bour and Sergio at Humphreys

After everyone had plenty of bites and sips, Sergio (right) introduced Chef Nicolas Bour (left) as the executive chef of Humphreys. I believe he's been there for about a year now and has some claim to fame by being one of the few to cook at the famous James Beard House! More information on the chef can be found here.

ingredients for ceviche at Humphreys cooking class with chefs at Humphreys

Guests were provided a ceviche recipe and chose a food station to execute it! One group member (me above) even sliced the fresh fish with a sharp knife before mixing with ingredients like mango and lime juice.

completed ceviche at cooking class with chefs at Humphreys

The results were delicious and we were able to take home a small container of it! This was a fun way to be introduced to the restaurant plus everyone received a goodie bag including a voucher for the next visit!

Anniversary Visit

We decided to use the voucher for an anniversary dinner and were seated next to one of the windows.

view of the pier from the window at Humphreys

There are so many boats in the marina! This is taken from the back patio area.

Point Loma Paloma and Mai Tai at Humphreys

POINT LOMA PALOMA 11 Fortaleza Blanco tequila | Huana guanabana | grapefruit | lime | soda

MAI TAI 11 Appleton Estate rum | curacao | pineapple | orgeat | lime | house-made grenadine | Caribbean spices | dark rum float

We started out with some drinks. Tequila cocktails interest Dennis, especially when they have one of our favorites like Fortaleza. The Point Loma Paloma was served in a tall glass but was not as strong as other versions. For me, a tropical drink like a Mai Tai felt perfect for drinking by the waters. Mine was also a little stronger than Dennis's but I guess it's not a race haha!

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake at Humphreys

JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKE 16 coleslaw | creole mustard sauce | grilled lemon

The first appetizer to come out was the full size version of the delicious crab cakes we tried at the media event. These were burger patty sized with a slightly crispy pan fried edge. The plentiful crab meat kept its natural crab flavor and was wonderful dipped in the mellow mustard sauce. On the side was a mild cole slaw which was a little too raw for our tastes.

Red Quinoa and Stonefruit Salad at Humphreys

RED QUINOA & STONEFRUIT SALAD 10 elderflower | living cress | pomegranate

I like experimenting with quinoa dishes so this caught my eye. It turns out it was not a “green” type of salad but more of a grains based salad. The avocados and pomegranate seeds provided refreshing brightness against the filling chewy grains. After a while, the appetizer felt a bit drab, especially without much sauce to intertwine the heavy quinoa to the rest.

Maine Lobster Risotto at Humphreys

MAINE LOBSTER RISOTTO 28 carnaroli rice | lobster | chard | peas | smoked steelhead roe

Entrees came out almost immediately after we finished the apps. The lobster risotto seemed different than what we’ve had before; the creaminess was there but it was also much cheesier and decadently delicious. The bright orange roe would pop and provide a burst of saltiness in your mouth but we weren't fans of this addition. The lobster tail meat was unfortunately a little on the chewy side.

Jidori Chicken at Humphreys

JIDORI CHICKEN 24 bacon polenta | brassicas | pancetta | moscato

We almost ordered a side of brussels but our waitress helpfully mentioned that it was included as a side to this dish! These brussels tasted like they were soaked in a familiar flavor, less acidic but more brothy. The chicken pieces were a little hidden under the greens but were juicy enough with satisfying proportions. Dennis generally doesn't like polenta but the smooth and buttery flavor of this version changed his mind.

Blackout Chocolate Cake at Humphreys

CHOCOLATE CAKE ? chocolate chips | ganache | diced almonds

I couldn’t find a dessert menu online but apparently the one we ordered is from a shop in Los Angeles. The owner loves this item so much that it’s been served here for 10+ years! The slice is gigantic with chocolate chip nibs throughout. Despite being a little crumbly and falling apart while we ate, the nice chunk of chocolate on chocolate amid the nutty crust was savory without being too heavy!


In the middle of dinner, the lights were dimmed and we could barely see what we were eating, even by candlelight. Our waitress Amy mentioned it was mood lighting specified by the owner but she was able to increase slightly so we didn’t have to strain our eyes! That lasted about 10 minutes and suddenly they were dimmed again (probably by someone else). Oh well... Other than that, service was on point. Amy answered all our questions, gave good suggestions (like the brussels), and tried to help with the lights. We thought the food was a little hit or miss that night but since the media event executed other items well, we'd give this place another shot in the future.

Humphreys Restaurant map

Tip: Apparently Humphreys also has a concert venue and when I google mapped it afterwards, I couldn't figure out how we saw the view of the pier but not the concert area! If you look at this satellite map, the restaurant is the green building to the far left of the Humphreys Restaurant pointer! You can also drive down Shelter Island until you see the restaurant’s sign. I think we were confused the first time we drove to the restaurant because it was dark and had to call for directions!

Disclaimer: We were invited to this media event and our meal was complimentary. For the dinner, we used a voucher and paid off the balance. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.

Humphreys Restaurant
2241 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego CA 92106
(619) 224-3577

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Comments's picture
Submitted by (not verified) on Sat, 10/01/2016 - 12:50pm

That's awesome you got a free cooking class and anniversary dinner. Congrats! Pork chops look great!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 10/04/2016 - 7:46am

the ceviche was really good! i wonder if i'll ever buy fresh enough fish where i could do it at home!

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Wed, 10/05/2016 - 10:47am

What a beautiful anniversary dinner! This part of town is pretty with the boats and views. Was parking expensive? The mai tai looks like chocolate milk to me for some reason.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 10/05/2016 - 5:41pm

Parking was free because they have their own lot. I'm super curious what it would be like to see one of their concerts though. I peeked at the band list when I wrote this article. Would make for a fun night out!

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