Sea and Smoke (Del Mar) - brunch
*Update* This restaurant has closed.
Birthdays are awesome times to see old friends and it's even better when two friends celebrate together! Two birds with one stone baby! These two ladies picked brunch at Sea & Smoke in Del Mar. I'd heard mentions on local food blogs (kirbie, jinxi, mary) so I was excited to see what they had to offer!
The entrance is on the side, facing away from the street.
The hostess area has a view into their kitchens! Logo'ed glass!
Here's one side of the dining area. We sat in a private back corner that had these cool shadow portraits. There's a whole another section to the left of the hostess stand that is more of a bar environment, including a patio area perfect for happy hour.
The glassware for water is so cool here. It made everyone think of soda cans because of the curve on top! If you order a drink, those come in mason jars, at least for Dennis's. His fresh lemonade was really sour though. The best refill was the in-house ginger beer, a crisp mellow ginger taste.
Food time! Of course I was drawn toward ordering the Niman Ranch Pork Belly Benedict (14) since I love benedicts so much. This version had a twist, cooked over skillet cornbread instead of english muffins/breads and was so moist and delicious! My pork belly was cooked just right and proportions of meat and fat were excellent. Also the sauted spinach wasn't bitter in any way. The egg itself seemed unseasoned or unsalted but none was needed with all the surrounding flavor.
This instantly became my favorite benedict version. Can I have cornbread with ALL my eggs now? Also, the sliced fruit included persimmon, a unique bonus!
Dennis ordered the Croque-Madame (10.50), an open faced sandwich with soft yolk, sliced ham, and swiss over brioche bread. Just consider this beauty the rich man's ham and cheese sandwich.
Look at those insides! We loved how creamy and super melted the cheese was and the thin ham bit off easily, though it pulled the toppings a little. The egg yolk was yum. The bread was super cushy and dense but personally I would have wanted it a little heartier. Just a *tiny* bit more to contrast with the other soft ingredients. Dennis and I preferred our own dishes so you can't go wrong with either. On the side were simple mixed greens with a lemon zested typed of dressing.
I ordered a side of Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Feta and Balsamic (6). The feta did gave a nice contrast to the vinegar sauce but the brussels were a bit too soft. I have to say my favorite implementations have all been carmelized... so this didn't quite make it.
Our friend ordered the Orange Scented Custard French Toast (10). The color almost looked as if it were overcooked but it was moist. There was no orange distinction or it was just too subtle. Level of sweetness was ok with the crunch of pecans but I wasn't too impressed overall... seemed to be missing something, maybe like cream. The maple bacon side was as expected but on a thinner cut.
The staff delayed the check long enough to bring out some pretty french vanilla ice cream desserts. Happy birthday my friends!
I'm still quite smitten by the eggs benedict and I'm sure there are other tasty things we didn't get to try. We'll be back before you know it...
Sea & Smoke
2690 Via De La Valle
Del Mar CA 92014
Allrighty. I want to eat that benedict. Benedict with cornbread?! Man, that sounds like the best idea ever.
Do it! Plus Jake can help you with the egg part haha! Also, there are meat choices for your benedict if you wanna try something different!
No one tried the cinnamon roll bar? That's the best! A huge warm cinnamon roll that you get to top with anything (or everything) you want, including mounds of chopped brown sugar bacon!
Surprisingly, the pork belly benedict was the popular order. I'm hesitant on sweet breakfasts though but it does sound like we need to go back! ;)
I'm glad you were able to celebrate your birthday with such a nice meal, Lynn. I especially am impressed with the Pork Belly Benedict- I think I'd like to re-create recipe one day soon- hope I can do it some justice!
Well, friends' birthdays (same day) but the meal was excellent. Skillet cornbread is totally on my to-do list but i'm quite horrible at poached eggs...
Did they recently redecorate the restaurant? I was there some months ago but I don't remember the walls being blue (but then again, it was at night so maybe I didn't notice the blue walls). I love the glassware there too. I wasn't a fan of their dinner menu but I heard their breakfast items are quite good. The Niman Ranch Pork Belly Benedict looks amazing - was that hollandaise sauce they put on top? I still think fried brussel sprouts taste way more spectacular than roasted :)
I've never been here before so don't know about the redecorating thing. I think I'm reconsidering blue hues for the house though with all these pretty restaurant setups! That sauce on top is mustard hollandaise, according to the menu. Also, because of your cheese post, I totally had to go check out the Venissimo Cheese Shop! The ladies working there are super nice! I wanna do more cheese exploration! I also hope to get that cheese festival recap up soon!
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