San Diego Restaurant Week is upon us again. It runs from January 16- 21. You can view all the participating restaurants here as well as the menus for each of the restaurant offerings.
Over 160 restaurants are participating, offering three course price fix menus, priced at either $20 $30 or $40.
As you may recall, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in a sneak peek of restaurant week menus in the past. This time around, the people of McFarlane Promotions once again offered me and one guest a complimentary meal to preview restaurant week.
In the past, we were able to choose from a list of restaurants. This time, we were each paired up with a restaurant.
Admittedly, Nico’s Steakhouse would not have been my first choice because of location. Located in Chula Vista, it’s quite a ways from where I live, and is hard to commute to during the weekday evenings.
However, I’m not one to turn down a free meal, so off BF and I went to check out Nico’s. Nico’s underwent new management about a year ago and is currently owned by retired NFL player Robert “Griff” Griffith. It is located in the sprawling Otay Ranch Town Center shopping plaza.
Normally when I participate in Restaurant Week, I choose the $40 menus so that I can try out some fine dining places at a reasonable price. Nico’s offers a $30 price fix menu, so going in, I knew I had to adjust my expectations accordingly.
Once we arrived, we were promptly seated, and presented with the Restaurant Week menu as well as some hot bread rolls.
For our appetizers, I chose the smoked wings. You get a choice of sauce with the wings. The server brought us three different sauces to try: tamarind, spicy and BBQ. The sauces were a little too much like ketchup to me, with some flavoring added.
The wings had crispy skin and were moist. The smoked flavor wasn’t very apparent. The wings themselves didn’t have much flavor, and definitely needed the sauce.
BF chose the chili. We were informed the chili has some filet mignon tossed in.
We saw pieces of steak, but neither of us thought it was filet mignon. The chili was a mix of ground beef, beans, and steak pieces. I thought the steak pieces were a nice touch, though they were overcooked. BF thought the chili should have been served warmer.
For the main course, I chose the Fire Grill Salmon. Being that this is a steakhouse, I would have liked to see more steak options on their restaurant week menu, but the lone steak option was a skirt steak.
The salmon had a sweet glaze. It was served on top of a bed of mashed potatoes and spinach. There was also some pineapple salsa accompanying the salmon.
BF chose the BBQ ribs. The ribs were served on a large bed of mashed potatoes and a bowl of cole slaw. The ribs were tender, with the meat falling right off the bone. I would have liked a sauce that was a little more unique.
For dessert, I chose the banana bread pudding. The pudding came out piping hot and was topped with vanilla ice cream.
The first few bites of this dessert were heavenly. Chunks of banana were mixed with chunks of soaked bread. I was surprised at how good the dessert was, especially because dessert tends to the weak point on a steakhouse menu. After my initial few bites, BF stole my dessert and it took me a while to get it back. When I got the dessert back, it was no longer hot and no longer tasted as good as a result. This dessert definitely needs to be eaten straight from the oven.
BF chose the chocolate mousse pie. It was chocolately, rich and a bit too sweet for me.
Overall, we felt that the food we ate was representative of the $30 price. Nothing stood out but there wasn’t much criticism either. The one thing that did stand out was the service, which was excellent.
It also would have been nice to speak with the manager or chef, something we’ve been able to do at all our past restaurant week sneak peeks.
2015 Birch Road
Chula Vista, CA 91915