Summer Menu Tasting with Craft Beer Pairings @ Vessel Restaurant, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA in Pics

One of the perqs of this whole blogging/social media-ing thing is that every once in a while, you get invited to partake of special things.

If one of the things you happen to blog about is food and drink, every once in a while, you get invited to partake of specially delicious things.

My hot date for the evening - Kelli May
(@ ShivaLife Yoga! Shout-out, GF! ❤)

Like a fabulous six course Summer menu tasting in a fantastically San Diego kind of setting like Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai Resort & Spa.

Where they pour a stiff cocktail... (Thank you, Peter!)

A Vessel Old Fashioned for me and an old fashioned
Old Fashioned for Kelli.

...and maybe not everybody, but somebody (namely the person who printed out your place card), knows your name. (That's a corny 80s reference, kids! :P)

And they pair some truly fantastic food...

...with some truly fantastic craft beer... true San Diego fashion.

The food was thoughtful, playful, and most importantly, well-executed and delicious. (Chef's descriptions as usual.)


48 Hour Pork Belly
plantain powder, sweet potato spaetzle, anise, bitter chocolate
Craft Beer Pairing: Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter

Yes, that belly was as melt-in-your-mouth porkalicious as it looks. :)


Roasted Pear
borage flower, Cowgirl Creamery Smoked Bleu (Roquefort was originally
planned, and would have been delicious, but this selection was yums!),
fine herb medley, caramelized black pepper vinaigrette
Craft Beer Pairing: Alesmith .394 Pale Ale
It's hard to go wrong with Alesmith. ;)

Kelli and I both thought that was deLISH!


Corn Dusted Albacore
serrano custard, bacon powder, onion jam
Craft Beer Pairing: Refuge Brewery Blood Orange Belgian
(I loved this dish with all the elements together, and I liked
this beer, but I didn't love the pairing. Oh, and that crunchy freeze
dried corn surprise at the bottom of the custard - a fun touch!)


Dry Aged Ribeye
blue cheese popcorn, foie gras butter, bordelaise
Craft Beer Pairing: Stone Brewing Co. Delicious IPA
Everyone LOVED that popcorn. I loved that ribeye even more... :)

Total indulgence.

I think I tricked Chef Roy Hendrickson into that winning grin.
(He's got that Serious Chef Face thing happening, IYKWIM. ;))


Confit Game Hen
anise scented couscous, quince lacquer, roasted grape
Craft Beer Pairing: Back to the Alesmith .394 Pale Ale
(The hen was juicy and perfectly seasoned. I appreciated the measured
hand with the anise - so many chefs go overboard with that spice.) 

Dessert's on the way, but first let us take a selfie. :P :P :P


Crema Catalana
almond semolina biscotto and Port

Lovely texture - delicate yet velvety.

Service was warm and accommodating without a hint of pretense. I always love when you can have elevated food in a friendly and comfortable environment.

And of course the surroundings don't hurt one bit.

Fantastic food, wonderful service, and a lovely location.

What a treat.

Kudos and gratitude to the team at Vessel and Kona Kai for a fabulous evening. :)


Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai Resort & Spa
1551 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92106



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