The night after I got into town, the Mooms and I felt like tackling one of the restaurants I’ve had on my “to review” list since planning the move to San Diego. With 470+ other reviews, an appealing farm to table menu, and a personal recommendation from SD’s own Kirbie, we decided to start with Whiskenladle.
We made reservations for 7:30 and were promptly seated in the front of the house. Several members of the waitstaff took care of us throughout the evening, all of whom were attentive and professional. I will mention that the staff minded more to being unintrusive rather than being exceptionally warm. I’m content with adequate service, but a smile can go a long way.
Many of the menu items caught our eyes, but we kept it to two appetizers and three half sized entrées.
Mooms was more of a fan than of this one than myself. Marrow on it’s own is just a sort of gamy, fatty, jelly. I could have used more of a hit from the lemon and capers. To the dishes credit, the toast was pretty kick ass.
Our next app was my favorite dish of the entire meal. Inside the crispy breading was a mildly spiced sausage and sweet date. The fritters had such great flavor and texture that I wouldn’t have missed the tomato sauce, which Mooms felt was out of place. Still a great dish overall.
This was another one showing off WhisknLadle’s house made sausage. I didn’t get a tremendous amount of spice from the brocoli raab, but the use of the milder ricotta salata allowed the flavor to come through. The cavatelli was yielding with just enough texture for some contrast. The dish was then finished with a healthy dousing of olive oil. Pleasant overall.
With both uni and saffron in the ingredient list, my expectations for this one were quite high. The flavors were present but not as strong as I would have liked. The fettucini itself was the most al dente preparation I’ve had, right on the border of undercooked. I liked the texture, but I could see it being too hard for some. I was hoping for a bit of flavor from the squid ink, but all it seemed to add was color.
We finished off on a high note. A close second to the chorizo date fritters for best of the evening. Gnudi is just like a gnocchi where the potato has been replaced by ricotta cheese. Just enough flour was mixed in for a slight bite, while keeping the overall gentle ricotta flavor. All of the accouterments added a nice balance of flavors and textures – I’d definitely get this one again.
So this first visit to WhisknLadle was a pleasant one. No one in our party was blown away, but I wouldn’t say anyone was let down. I wouldn’t mind seeing what their monthly supper club has to offer, sampling more of the menu during happy hour, or visiting sister venture PrepKitchen down the street. Based on this visit, I think WhisknLadle is a decent choice if in the area – I’ll be sure to update accordingly.