Last week my friend Elizabeth and I tried out Toast Enoteca & Cucina – a wine bar/restaurant right located around the corner from Petco Park. As a sister restaurant to the delicious Acqua al 2, I didn’t expect anything less from Toast. The second we walked in we noted that it was a perfect location for a cute date or a girls night out. But this was like no other wine bar we had ever visited.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly server and chose a table inside that was closer to the bar to get a good feel for the intimate venue. As expected, a wide variety of bottles of wine were displayed across the restaurant, complemented by tasteful wood paneling and unique works of art. I studied the clientele for a little while. To my left was a large happy group celebrating a birthday. To my right were tables for two that were grabbed up by lovebirds that trickled in. In the middle of the restaurant stood a circular wine stand – the focal point of the space. Since it is wayyy easier to show a picture instead of explain, here it is:
The newcomers to Toast (myself and Liz included) are given a walk-through of how the unique contraption works. It is actually a self-serve wine tasting bar that dispenses one-ounce pours with the quick touch of a button. Being girls who love wine, we were completely intrigued, and ready to try it out. We put $10 on a Toast card, and were ready to go. (Think a Dave and Busters-like style of wine tasting!) We had the opportunity to sip a lot of great wine. Also – it can be a great way to sample wine without being committed to an entire glass if it isn’t quite your style. But enough about the sips, because the eats were just as great!
We started off with the Insalata di Cavolo- a kale salad. I have never been a huge fan of kale, but this was really good. Topped with dates, pecorino cheese and a Caesar dressing, I learned that eating healthy could taste completely delicious! Next up, we shared the Prosciutto e Datteri, with Italian-imported prosciutto and more dates. It paired well with our wine. In between courses, we would run up and try a new taste.
The next dish we shared was the Cavolini Gratinati. Bacon-seared Brussels sprouts, in a lemony tomato sauce topped with breadcrumbs. We had one bite and fell in love. Hands down the fan favorite of the night. The light lemon taste along with the texture of the seared Brussels sprouts was heaven. (Writing about them is making my mouth water!)
For the entrees, we had the Pizza al Gorgonzola e Peperoni Dolci and the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Both equally delicious. The pizza was topped with sweet red peppers (peperoni), pine nuts and, of course, gorgonzola and mozzarella. By this time we were pretty full, but the pizza was delicious. We were told that the flour and tomato sauce is imported straight from Italy to offer the most authentic dishes. The Tagliatelle pasta was homemade with a fresh rustic Bolognese sauce and topped with fresh shaved parmesan. The presentation was amazing, and once again, the wine was a perfect compliment.
As if we didn’t have enough food, we had to order dessert- the Italian Bread Pudding to be exact. It was a homemade amaretto bread pudding, topped with vanilla gelato and strawberries. It was the perfect sweet ending to our Italian experience.
I have to take a second to praise our excellent server Nick. He was incredibly knowledgeable with all of the wines, as well as our meals. He was quite the comedian too! Elizabeth and I felt so welcome in his presence, and he made a point to answer any questions and make sure we were enjoying our time at Toast. It’s no coincidence though, I read great reviews of his service on Toast’s yelp account!
Whether you are looking to take a special someone on a unique date, or to hang out with friends, Toast Enoteca & Cucina is an excellent spot to do so. They have great $8 lunch specials, and their happy hour consists of half priced appetizers and wine and beer deals! (Perfect opportunity for you to try those amazing Brussels sprouts for only $5!!) Tip for those on a budget- during Tuesday’s happy hour, they offer complimentary appetizers in the bar! If you haven’t visited Toast Enoteca- I think you need to grab someone and go sip some wine!
927 Jst San Diego Ca, 92101