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The Cork and Craft San Diego: brewery, winery 

and upscale dining in one

What could be more festive than a romantic dinner on your birthday? Well...eating at an upscale food and drinks hotspot in ‘finest city’, San Diego. While wearing a lovely new dress ánd receiving a glass of bubbly plus appetizer on the house. Sip sip hooray!

Anita’s birthday dinner at The Cork and Craft San Diego

The Cork and Craft is the first restaurant in San Diego with its own wine lable and an inhouse brewery (+40 craft beers on tap!). Entering the building, that’s hidden away in a business park, the brew part is immediately obvious. But don’t let that fool you. Chef Scott Cannon and his team cook up creative flavour combinations of comfort food with elegant plating. Or as they like to say ‘refined comforts’.

The Cork and Craft San Diego

Still a bit overwhelmed by our glamorous welcome we pick one of their booths with comfy leather sofa’s. When we scan the extensive drinks menu we see an option to ‘Buy the kitchen a round’. How original! And already well deserved. Why not? We also order an entree to share: sweet potato gnocchi, fennel ricotta, sage brown butter and duck confit. That last one really mélts in my mouth, amazing. Since we are in a brewery, Tom decides to try one of their pairing Abnormal Blonde beers. Me, the birthday girl will stick to the wines.

Photo by Barrera Photography, 2018

If we had to choose one ultimate favourite dish, risotto would be it. So when I see a roasted squash, shortrib and cinnamon balsamic creation I am over the moon. Tom is very much tempted to order the same, but we always want to taste as much as possible when eating out (sorry hon). Besides the New York Strip Steak sided by grilled broccolini, roasted potatoes, shiitake and pear sounds delicious as well.

We both enjoy a glass of their ‘Abnormal Wine’: No. 20 zinfandel and No. 18 merlot. Which taste abnormally well balanced. Think soft tannins and hints of cherry, red berry plus always prominent white pepper. And just look at that minimalistic bottle design! Bonus points for you C&C creative team.

Interesting plating (even though the photo is a bit blurry)

Abnormal wine company

Time flies and before we know it we are digging in on dessert. This years cake is anything but traditional by the way. Deconstructed Pumpkin pie with Madagascar vanilla-bean ice cream topped off with crunchy macadamia/pepita brittle (let’s adopt this word in Dutch, translation doesn’t sound half that classy posh). But it does come with a little birthday candle (make a wish) and a truly American ‘Happy birthday’ sung by the waiters. Followed by my glass of Chocolate Berry port. A toast to two vintages at one table.


16990 Tazon/Rancho Bernando Rd, San Diego

California, USA