As excited as I was to finally make it in to Delicias, this wasn’t a visit I intended to write much, if anything about. My parents were in town, and after not seeing them for several months I didn’t intend to be nearly as food focused as I usually am. In case you couldn’t tell, that didn’t last very long. In my defense, I think my parents ended up talking about the meal more than I did. They repeatedly mentioned that this was among the best food and hospitality they’ve had anywhere, and the beautifully renovated dining room received quite a few compliments as well. I don’t have elaborate tasting notes, or great pictures of every dish – but with so reasons to recommend a visit, it would be a shame not to share a few highlights.Beet Salad – caramelized yogurt, candied pistachios, orange, vadleon, arugla
Take for instance this Beet Salad, a a signature dish of Chef McCabe’s. Just when I was starting to grow tired of seeing beet dishes on every menu, I found one that I hope never, ever goes away.Hamachi Crudo – pickled peach, frozen creme fraiche, fried oats, basil
You won’t come across many restaurants doing as many covers as Delicias where the Chef/Proprietor still works a station in the kitchen each night. I mention that because A) it deserves to be recognized, and B) I’m not sure who to credit with the expert knife skills. Whether it was McCabe or Sous Steven Molina, this dish looked almost as good as it tasted.BBQ Sweetbreads – fresh corn grits, vegetable slaw, house bbq sauce
The bbq sauce covering the tender sweetbreads had quite the kick. It made me all the more appreciative of the moderating sweetness from the corn grits they were placed on, and the cooling vegetable slaw along side.Organic Corn Agnolotti – chantrelles, summer truffles, brown butter
An al-dente bite from the thicker agnolotti dough gave just the right amount of contrast to a filling with a texture similar to ricotta, but made entirely from white corn. The addition of whole kernels, chantrelles, and summer truffles was almost enough to make me forget that the kitchen had graciously held the lobster for my vegetarian father. Instead I’ll just say it’s another reason for me to return.Meat & Cheese Plate
I’ve only covered dishes from the small plates section of the menu.There were also a number of the medium plates, including a diver scallop dish that was my personal favorite of the evening. The large plates were skipped in lieu of more sampling, and a few fantastic versions of the classics from the dessert menu.
I often close with, “I don’t know what took me so long to visit.” In the case of Delicias, that isn’t true. I know exactly why I kept putting it off – Delicias is a little bit out of the way, and there really isn’t anything else to draw me up to the Rancho Santa Fe area. After finally stopping in I can say Delicias is reason enough. I can’t wait to go back to see more of what McCabe and team have to offer.